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A Coaching Story - Vol. XIII

· A Coaching Story


Lenny was a new coaching client that had just been promoted to a new position, previously held by Brenda (A Coaching Story XII) who was also just promoted. This was going to be a real stretch from what he had been doing before – at a new location in a new state. Having worked with Brenda in the past, she wanted to support Lenny in her former role as much as possible.


As I have shared in other blog posts, new coaching clients are required to complete a DiSC® behavioral profile to assist them in their self-awareness of their strengths and areas for development. Brenda had shared with me that she felt that while Lenny had some skills to be able to transition into this new more challenging position, she found him to be a bit of “know-it-all” and not as receptive to feedback, which was a concern for his development.

Prior to our first meeting, Lenny completed the online DiSC® assessment and then we reviewed it at our first meeting. Having worked with this learning instrument for about 20 years at that time, it became obvious to me that the way Lenny presented himself in person was not in congruence with the style that was reported in his assessment. Even though I had never seen such a differentiation, I knew this was possible. The reason is due to the respondent making choices that drive the results of the profile. If they are not being completely honest in their responses, the outcome will not match who they really are. This causes incongruities but in the many years that I have been employing this instrument both in coaching and training situations, this was the widest gap that I had witnessed. There are some checks in the system that picks up inconsistencies in responses, but it would produce a graph that I was trained to recognize. This was not the case this time.


Initially, I kept this information to myself and contacted Wiley of which I’m an authorized partner for their products. Their support team said that I should share this observation with Lenny and ask him to complete a second one. Unfortunately, the results were like the first one. Not much of a change. At that point, there was nothing else I could do so I moved forward. This disconnect on Lenny’s part, either due to denial or blatant sabotage, will never be known. After working with him for several months, what played out in not one, but two reports didn’t resemble Lenny’s behavioral style. This matched Brenda’s first impressions. They had conflict in their relationship until they were no longer working together.

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