Coaching: Is an Assessment a Good Investment?

As a Certified Executive Coach (CEC), one of the things that I get asked about regularly is whether an assessment should be conducted as part of the coaching experience.  Some coaches don’t use any assessments; some coaches will only coach after an assessment has been done; many coaches consider assessments as optional.

Sometimes the coachee believes that he/she already has sufficient information without having an assessment.  That may be true.  But usually I find that the right assessment, properly administered, and with a sufficiently detailed report of the results, provides important information that helps to increase the coachee’s awareness.   This increased awareness, if used, provides an important foundation to help the coachee achieve his/her goals.  But, it is important to select the right assessment. There is a wide range of assessments available. Here are six key considerations when choosing an assessment:

  • What is the purpose of the coaching, and what assessment tool is available to address the purpose of the coaching?
  • Can the assessment tool be customized? (Customized assessments are usually preferred.)
  • How easy is it to administer the assessment?
  • How reliable are the results?
  • Is the report sufficiently detailed and easy to interpret?
  • What is the price?

Much of my coaching is focused on the coachee bridging the gap to his/her next level of success, for example, an important promotion. Occasionally my coaching is focused on the coachee keeping the job that he/she already has. In both of these important situations, I ask one additional question:  Can you afford not to have the assessment?

I believe that the right assessment is a good investment, and if done early in the coaching process, it can help to save the coachee money and time.  Check out the assessments that are available and which ones you think might be right for you.  Your coach should be able to help you select the right assessment.


© Dr. Karen Somerville, PhD, MBA, Certified Executive Coach, CPA, CGA — with more than 25 years of experience in Senior Management.  Karen is the President of Performance Plus Group: .

Performance Plus Group has developed three customized assessments:  an assessment related to Executive Presence, an assessment related to Leadership Development and an assessment that forms Phase 1 of our Developing Organizational Change Skills Program™.