5 Ways to Use the Typefinder with your Coaching Clients

Personality type plays an important role in helping someone understand why they are dissatisfied with their current career and the kind of work they would enjoy instead. And sometimes it doesn't even have to be over complicated – for some, learning they are an Introvert or an Intuitive and understanding what that means can be life changing. 

When a coaching client learns their combination of type preferences, they can start to connect the dots between their personality and how they communicate, lead, collaborate, manage priorities and deal with stress. They also learn why some of their colleagues take an entirely different approach and gain useful guidance about which personal and professional development goals to prioritize. 

When career coaches incorporate personality type into their process with clients, it can assist with:

  • Improving self-awareness
  • Identifying personal strengths
  • Understanding and managing blindspots and developmental needs
  • Planning for career and personal development 

Here are five ways Truity’s Typefinder assessment can help coaches when working with their clients. 

1: Help clients value their strengths 

It is very natural to undervalue our strengths and overemphasize our weaknesses. One reason people get off track with their career is that they are trying to be good at their blindspots and forget they have strengths that come more naturally to them. 

That can happen for many reasons. But if our strengths have never been validated or we have never seen or worked with someone of our type who role models the value of our strengths, it can be hard to see why we should invest in them. 

Instruments like the Tyefinder provide coaching clients with a framework and a language to start to see and identify their own strengths in action – first in words and then through observation. Ask them to start using their strengths and observe how they feel about it. Often when we are using talents that come naturally to us, we feel energized, excited and in flow, but if we feel it's too easy we can also discount it as not being “like work.” All of this will provide you with important feedback to work through with your client. 

As you debrief the Typefinder with a client, ask them to explore the following:

  • What are the strengths of your Typefinder type?
  • How does that match up with what you do everyday?
  • Are there any that you are struggling to accept or see within yourself? 
  • Are there any strengths you would add?

2: Help clients see their differences and blindspots in context

Without a framework like the Typefinder, it can be difficult for a coaching client to see the role of cognitive diversity in their job, team or workplace. The eight elements of personality help to demonstrate the value of working with people who think differently from us. In fact, the more diverse a team, the more successful they will be at solving problems as long as they can take the time to communicate effectively with each other. 

After you have looked at the value of their strengths, ask the coaching client to use the eight elements to see what strengths their colleagues bring to the team, and which of those include the coaching client’s differences. Explore their relationship to the four facets they aren’t using (that is, the four letters that aren’t in their type code) and see how they feel about the facets in themselves and in others. 

This process will help your client appreciate the value of differences in others, see where tensions are arising in the team, and observe how they feel when they use their blindspots versus when they use their strengths. 

As you debrief the Typefinder with a client, ask them to explore the following:

  • Think about a recent work project you struggled with. Looking at this through the lens of your personality type, what made it difficult? 
  • Which of your blindspots are you trying to turn into strengths? 
  • Which aspects of your type are presenting the most challenges at work?
  • What strengths do you value in your colleagues? Do these correspond with your blindspots? 

3: Planning personal and professional development

Just because we have innate talents, it doesn't mean we have invested the time, energy and practice it takes to turn them into strengths. As you review the Typefinder with your client, start to get a sense of which strengths and blindspots they need to invest time into. Use that list to help the client prioritize any personal or professional development plans.

As I mentioned, sometimes you need to work on developing strengths and sometimes on developing blindspots. Here is an example of what that looks like in practice.

Imagine you're working with a client with a preference for Introversion, and they are feeling overwhelmed by Extraverted colleagues or the workplace. This client will benefit from activities that allow them to lean into their Introversion by finding ways to work in a calm environment, such as arriving at work early or working from home. Planning private breaks or quiet time during the day to allow for reflection, thinking and processing will also help.

If those things are already happening, and your client is feeling their career is stagnating, they may benefit from developing their skills around Extraverting. Activities for that might include: regularly catching up with colleagues for coffee or lunch, speaking up in meetings, asking a colleague for advice before fully thinking through their perspective, and joining a professional association. 

As you debrief the Typefinder with a client, ask them to explore the following:

  • For your four strengths, which do you need to invest more time into?
  • For your four blindspots, which need to be stretched a little? 
  • How might you practice those?

4: Identify alternative careers 

Sometimes the hardest part of changing a career is knowing what to change to. It can seem like a huge leap into the unknown without a lot of certainty. The Typefinder includes a long list of possible careers that suit each type. Of course, not every career will interest your client, but it will provide inspiration and alternatives they may not have considered. 

As you debrief the Typefinder with a client, ask them to review the top careers for their type and highlight the following:

  • Which of these interest you, even if you lack the skills or credentials?
  • Which of these have you considered in the past, actively or secretly?
  • Which of these are you definitely not interested in?

Then ask them to prioritize three careers they want to learn more about and how they will go about getting that information. 

5: Adjust your coaching or mentoring style

Once you know your client's type, you can decide what you might need to adjust in your own style. The Typefinder includes a section on each type's communication  and relationship style which can provide you with some suggestions. But in general, here are the four main ways to adjust your communication style to suit the needs of the following four groups.

For Sensor-Thinkers (STs) it helps to be clear and specific. Be brief, sequential and provide all the relevant information. Don’t be afraid of being too impersonal and objective, especially in the first few sessions. They will have a businesslike manner and will look for clarity and precision. They will need practical reasons as to why they should make a change or invest in development.

Sensor-Feelers (SFs) want to build a friendly and personable relationship with you. They will want to be sure you understand what is important to them and need you to share practical information directly related to their situation. They will be open to change when they can see how it will positively impact the people they care about. 

Intuitive-Feelers (NFs) want to focus on the broader context, and respond better to metaphors than specific details. Ensuring alignment with their values and living with authenticity is central to any career discussions. They will be open to change when they can see it aligns with the needs of others and their values. 

Intuitive-Thinkers (NTs) need you to respect their expertise and competency. They will want clear goals about the purpose of coaching and will ask many questions until they feel satisfied they understand the process. Provide them ideas and suggestions to bounce off. They will be open to change when they can see how it aligns with their long term goals and personal definition of mastery. 

Using the Typefinder with clients

If you would like to use the Typefinder with clients, head over to the Testing for Counselors and Coaches page, which allows you to email assessments directly to your clients and see the results once completed. 

Whatever assessments you use with your client, they all offer similar benefits for assisting with: 

  • Improving self-awareness
  • Identifying personal strengths
  • Understanding and managing blindspots and developmental needs
  • Planning for career and personal development
Samantha Mackay

Samantha is the Lead Trainer at Truity and will shortly be a certified Enneagram Coach. She believes our personality is the key to navigating life's strangest hurdles. Despite her best efforts Samantha is an ENTP and Enneagram 7, who is always surrounded by a pile of books, a steaming cup of tea and a block of her favourite chocolate. Samantha is currently studying with Beatrice Chestnut and Uranio Paes of CP Enneagram Academy undertaking their Professional Enneagram Certification. Currently located in Auckland, New Zealand. Find her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samanthamackay/. Check out her course "Unlocking the Power of Your Personality" at www.truity.com/training

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