To start the coaching together with the client it is necessary to collect most relevant skills and competencies of the client. That will help the coach to reach the bottom of the client’s problem and stimulate his/her self-exploration. In this context, we only will describe some major items that also will be differentiated. We can’t suggest taking a psychometric assessment because of the different test bases in EU countries. It is comprehensible if we want to get valid results the test must be scientifically aligned on a national reference group.
Big Five Personality Traits
A coach would like to reveal aspects of an individual’s character or psychological makeup. The Big Five Personality Trains is also known as the five-factor model (FFM), is a model based on common language descriptors of personality. When factor analysis (a statistical technique) is applied to personality survey data, some words used to describe aspects of personality are often applied to the same person. For example, someone described as “conscientious” is more likely to be described as “always prepared” rather than “messy”. This theory is based therefore on the association between words but not on neuropsychological experiments. This theory uses descriptors of common language and therefore suggests five broad dimensions commonly used to describe the human personality and psyche.The five factors have been defined as openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism, According to the five factor model of personality a coach can ask with a particular assessment the following aspects:
Openness to experience: (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious). Openness reflects the degree of intellectual curiosity, creativity and a preference for novelty and variety a person has. It is also described as the extent to which a person is imaginative or independent, and depicts a personal preference for a variety of activities over a strict routine. High openness can be perceived as unpredictability or lack of focus. Moreover, individuals with high openness are said to pursue self-actualization specifically by seeking out intense, euphoric experiences. Conversely, those with low openness seek to gain fulfilment through perseverance, and are characterized as pragmatic and data-driven—sometimes even perceived to be dogmatic and closed-minded. Some disagreement remains about how to interpret and contextualize the openness factor.
Conscientiousness: (efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless). A tendency to be organized and dependable, show self-discipline, act dutifully, aim for achievement, and prefer planned rather than spontaneous behaviour. High conscientiousness is often perceived as stubbornness and obsession. Low conscientiousness is associated with flexibility and spontaneity, but can also appear as sloppiness and lack of reliability.
Extraversion: (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved). Energy, positive emotions, urgency, assertiveness, sociability and the tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others, and talkativeness. High extraversion is often perceived as attention-seeking, and domineering. Low extraversion causes a reserved, reflective personality, which can be perceived as aloof or self-absorbed.
Agreeableness: (friendly/compassionate vs. challenging/detached). A tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others. It is also a measure of one’s trusting and helpful nature, and whether a person is generally well-tempered or not. High agreeableness is often seen as naive or submissive. Low agreeableness personalities are often competitive or challenging people, which is argumentativeness or untrustworthiness.
Neuroticism: (sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident). The tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily, such as anger, anxiety, depression, and vulnerability. Neuroticism also refers to the degree of emotional stability and impulse control and is sometimes referred to by its low pole, “emotional stability”. A high need for stability manifests itself as a stable and calm personality, but can be seen as uninspiring and unconcerned. A low need for stability causes a reactive and excitable personality, often very dynamic individuals, but they can be perceived as unstable or insecure.
Interpersonal circumplex (ICP) or Leary Circumplex
The interpersonal circle or interpersonal circumplex is a model for conceptualizing, organizing, and assessing interpersonal behavior, traits, and motives (Wiggins, 2003). The interpersonal circumplex is defined by two orthogonal axes: a vertical axis (of status, dominance, power, or control) and a horizontal axis (of solidarity, friendliness, warmth, or love). It refers to the work of Timothy Leary and is well known in the Netherlands as “Roos van Leary”. By using this model, a coach can connect the Big Five Personal Traits with the 2 dimensional diagram. The IPC is one of the most researched model to survey ones personality.
As we talk about a client-centred approach in INTENSE we should think about knowledge & skills with which the client can realize the objectives according to the indicators of employability.
What do we expect of the client in our transition concept?
Recognition: Acknowledgement by the client of the existence, validity of a problem.
Initiative: The client must be able to use the support on his/her own initiative.
Objectives: The client must be able to develop his/her own objective/goals.
Pursuit: The client must learn how to pursue his/her own objectives.
Development: The client will develop his own competences.
These aspects briefly illustrate which items are relevant in case we can speak about the client pursues his/her transition process on his/her own responsibility.
During the coaching process, the transition coach must ensure that the client will develop his / her skills that are identified as 5 indicators of employability:
If we look at the target group with their needs, it seems clear that social, personal, methodical skills and social stability need to be developed before a client is able to extend his/her school and vocational competences. This consideration only becomes integral as the Transition Coach uses the context of the “extension of school and vocational competences” to support the client’s development in the mentioned soft skills.
How can the Transition Coach enable and support this development? The self-exploration scale provides the transition coach has a tool to reflect what has just happened to the client, how the methods have supported the development of the client and which impact has the coach-client relationship in this context.
Considering the aspect of setting partial goals in the abovementioned areas of competence and reflecting on their degree of achievement, the Transition Coach faces the challenge of identifying exact differentiations and developing them in a targeted manner with the client. To make differentiations and the stage of development visible, we have a collection of psychometric test procedures as well as standardised survey methods. At this point we would like to enlarge 4 factors, which are particularly appropriate to reflect and assess client’s development according to the 5 indicators of employability.
Alertness / concentration
If we rate client’s alertness either with psychometric instruments or standardized surveillance sheets the coach can make a connection to methodical skills, such like acquisition of knowledge. Furthermore, there is also a connection visible to personal skills like stamina and social skills like active listening. It can be understood as an item that influences cross-sectional client’s development in all indicator areas.
Motivation / Need for achievement
While thinking of an assessment to rate client’s need for achievement the Transition Coach can make a considerable connection to the indicator social stability with its differentiations acceptance and taking the responsibility for his/her own future. In addition, a gained need for achievement effects social skills, like self-efficacy, self-confidence and general motivation.
Communication capabilities – communication skills
Communication is – more than any other skill area – cross-sectional. Communication skills are the foundation for all areas of competence. A Transition Coach can assess communication capabilities with test procedures or in standardized survey methods as well as in teamwork contexts. Gained communication skills will strengthen personal items, like self-awareness, motivation, openness, acceptance as well as methodical skills, like structured acquisition of knowledge to develop qualification level.
Another important connection can be seen in relation to the development of social stability. Increased communicative abilities can also found the ability to pursue own plans, to reflect the progress and to qualify the results.
Resilience and coping ability
An assessment that rates client’s resilience can deliver important aspects that the Transition Coach to make connections personal, social and methodical skills but also to social stability. The Transition Coach can evaluate client’s ability to self-regulate, if he/she is able to deal with unpleasant feelings and if he/she already developed the capability to qualify his/her own behavior that follows these feelings. And in the end the Transition Coach can see if the client is able to question this process and develop an individual coping strategy.
Thus, it is helpful for the transition coach to use tools that measure these factors, allow an assessment, and point out criteria to be considered to take the next steps in the transition process with the client.
In the holistic and integral consideration of client’s development variations of this procedure are often necessary. The variation ultimately reflects the individuality of the client.
This section is intended to put the Transition Coaches in the position to look from another point of view on the creation of an individual support plan as well as continuing the coaching process. Considering the integral and holistic statement of INTENSE there is only one central aspect to be internalized – with the client instead of for the client.
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