What A Career Coach Does: Part II: Career Diagnosis

In yesterday’s blog post, What a Career Coach Does: Four Steps to a Satisfied Client: Part I, you learned the process and value of first part of the Career Coaching process, the career history.  Using the medical analogy we started with yesterday, once you have a complete history, you move on to……

What a Career Coach Does: Step Two–Make a Diagnosis

For a Career Coach, the diagnostic process ideally includes four types of input: the career history, your experience and intuition as a Coach, your client’s behavioral and values assessments (the DISC and PIAV at a minimum, described below), and your client’s written vision of her ideal job or career.  What a Career Coach does is to put all these pieces together into a coherent whole to guide and coach your client to his most rewarding and least stressful career outcome.

1) The Career History

First is all the information you collected in the career history.  When you compare likes and dislikes, skills, etc. across your client’s work history, it will become obvious which job or career factors are consistently positive experiences for your client and which are consistently negative.  What a Career Coach does is use those factors as a strong starting point for your diagnosis.

2) Your Experience and Intuition as a Coach

Next, add in your own experience and intuition.  What did you hear in your client’s voice?  What jobs or aspects of jobs was he excited about?  Did he say he has a degree in something and “should” be doing that, but his tone of voice was resigned and depressed?  Did he sound excited when he talked about columns of figures that add up the way they should?  Or did she speak longingly of being part of the design team, but says she “doesn’t have the background for it?”  What a Career Coach does, like what any personal coach or life coach does, is to read between the lines and hear what the coaching client isn’t saying.

3) Your Client’s Behavioral and Values Assessments

Optionally, but ideally, the third piece of the diagnostic puzzle is a technology piece including DISC and  PIAV  assessments.* If you have your client take these two quick but highly accurate online assessments, one about your client’s behavioral tendencies and one about the values that guide his decisions and actions, they can help inform your diagnosis.  These assessments differ from what a job counselor would use because they are not about specific skills, but rather about your client’s innate behaviors, styles of communication and natural comfort zones. They provide information about what kind of environment and job or career culture will be a comfortable fit for your client, and what style of personal interaction and communication is most comfortable for her.  You can have a three-way interpretation of the results of the assessments for you and your client with a coach specially trained to do this, or you can learn to interpret them yourself.

4) Your Client’s Personal Vision

The fourth piece is your client’s personal vision of her ideal job or career.  Have your client spend an hour, or as much time as she needs, in a relaxed state, just daydreaming about what her ideal career would look like if there were no constraints, and write down all her thoughts, ideas and plans, as if anything were possible.  Where would she be?  Who would she be?  Who would her colleagues be, or would she be happier in a solitary job with only herself as a supervisor?  What tasks would she love to spend her time on?  What would she like to delegate and never have to do herself?  Would travel be part of the picture?  What would her products or services look like and who would benefit from them?

What a Career Coach does is to integrate all the information from these four diagnostic pieces: the career history analysis, listening skills and intuition, the assessment results, and the client’s vision.  When you have done that, you are in a position to move on to the third step to a satisfied client.

Look out for Part III of What a Career Coach Does in tomorrow’s Blog Post.

*The behavioral tendencies profile is called a DISC profile, standing for Dominance, Influencing, Steadiness and Compliance.  These are four different behavioral styles which identify the natural tendencies of your client in terms of how they respond to problems, people, pace and procedures.   The PIAV is the Personal Interests Attitudes and Values profile, which assesses the values and passions which drive your client’s choices and interests.  These and other assessments are available from JTS Advisors.

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Dorine Kramer,

JTS Advisors Strategy, Accountability, & Assessment Coach

FREE Video Course: How to Build a High Paying Coaching Business

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