The Power of Executive Coaching and HBDI

The Power of Executive Coaching and HBDI
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Coaching with leaders within organisations is cited as a highly valuable tool for developing people and businesses. The institute of coaching cites that over 70% of individuals who receive coaching benefit from improved work performance, relationships and more effective communication skills.

They also reported that a huge 86% of companies feel that they recouped the investment they made into coaching plus more on top.  Studies show that coaching is effective at reducing procrastination and facilitating goal attainment and there is a growing body of empirical research that supports the findings that business coaching really does facilitate goal achievement.

Executive coaching is a leadership development intervention. One of the most powerful things about coaching is that it works at the level of the individual. It is a confidential process, allowing the coachee to set specific goals in order to gain a new perspective on self-awareness, emotional intelligence and effectiveness. Each executive coaching experience is unique and is designed to the individual needs of the coachee and the capabilities they want to develop.

Our experience in the area of Executive Coaching shows that with a good understanding of how leaders relate to others in the work environment and their style of leadership, they can adjust their behaviour to be more effective in leading teams and delivering business results. By understanding their vulnerabilities, they can improve their self-control, and by understanding their thought patterns and behaviours, they can learn how to manage them and reach desired goals.


Self-Awareness – Coaching increases the level of self-awareness. It enables leaders to see themselves more clearly, understand their strengths, limitations, capabilities, and self-concept and gain more insight into how they impact others. Self-awareness is about understanding: “who am I” and “how am I seen by others”, is fundamental for developing emotional intelligence.

Self Confidence  – Leaders experience an increase in self-confidence and often a decrease in self-limiting beliefs.

Self-Leadership – Leaders often report (Institute of Coaching) that as their development, knowledge of themselves and self-confidence grew so did their awareness of their own self-leadership. How they lead themselves and the expectations they set themselves were highlighted through the coaching work and explored within it.

Leadership style – Coaching directly impacts how leaders think about their leadership behaviour, the impact on others and performance. Leading through constructive and effective leadership styles promotes the following:

  • Building a successful professional and personal brand
  • Building emotional intelligence for resonant leadership
  • Managing anxiety and disruptive emotions
  • Communicating with impact, and confidence and leading the way
  • Dealing with difficult relationships and situations


The purpose of Executive Coaching is performance improvement.  Significant performance improvement can often only be generated through a deeper understanding of the leader’s own inner drivers and perceptions which shape their behaviours, and ultimately their results. If great leadership starts with self-awareness, then psychometrics has a potentially powerful part to play in understanding the impact that the leader has.

A discussion of a leader’s psychological profile can yield deeper insight into their thinking, communication preferences, behaviour, work style and likely impact on others. They also bring benefits for the coach and the coaching relationship: they make it easier for the leader to open up the discussion with an otherwise rather inhibited client who can’t easily talk about him/herself; and they can reveal insights that might not come from discussion alone, especially where self-awareness is limited.

Psychometric tools are invaluable as a means of assessing which specific areas of personality and behaviour could most usefully be addressed through coaching.


Each one of us thinks in ways that are much more complex. The Whole Brain Thinking Model takes into account the many different factors that indicate how we think. It is more accurate – and therefore more useful as a leadership development tool.

Using the Whole Brain Thinking Model, leaders can improve their skills to become “ambidextrous” thinkers: being able to actually change the way they think based on the situation.

The first step is to identify our innate thinking preferences. The Herman Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) is a powerful, intuitive assessment tool that helps you understand how you think and what you emphasise in your decision-making process. That’s important because how you think affects how you lead. It’s not a matter of one style of thinking being better than another. Instead, it’s about realising the advantages and pitfalls of your particular thinking biases and adjusting accordingly. You’ll become:

  • Better at changing your thinking style based on the situation
  • Better prepared to manage personalities on your team
  • More informed about how to solidify your leadership brand
  • Ultimately, you’ll become a stronger, more decisive leader
The Whole Brain Thinking assessment tool provides valuable insights into how you think so you can improve how you lead.


The HBDI is a validated and reliable assessment tool similar to the Life Style Inventory (LSI) and Meyers Briggs and other related assessments.

However, the HBDI is not a personality assessment. It is a cognitive-based tool tied to the physiological makeup of the brain. The Whole Brain Model measures your preferences for certain patterns of thinking that influence how you communicate, think about risk and make decisions.

One of the most unique reports provided by the HBDI profile is seeing how your thinking style may change during times of stress. This is why taking your HBDI and learning what it shows is a much more valuable tool for improving your leadership effectiveness.

This comprehensive tool measures your thinking style in multi-dimensional ways:

  • Analytical vs. Creative Thinking
  • Organised vs. Emotional Thinking
  • Theoretical vs. Realistic Thinking
  • Other factors include your spot on the introversion/extroversion scale
  • How your thinking style changes under stress
With the help of your leadership coach, you’ll pinpoint exactly what type of thinker you are, providing tremendous insights into your leadership style. The Whole Brain Model improves leadership skills by building self-awareness and, in conjunction with one-on-one coaching, improving your ability to adapt your own thinking practices.

The Whole Brain Thinking assessment tool gives you insights into your leadership effectiveness that you can’t get any other way.

A leader who also understands their team’s preferences can actively encourage them to consciously shift their thinking to what would best serve the situation. In doing so, they facilitate their team’s ability to be agile in their approach to business.

We believe that good psychometrics in hands of skilled practitioners can bring powerful insights to coaching work. But they should never be used as a substitute for an in-depth conversation or as stand-alone sources of information about an individual. We remain mindful of the evidence that it is the coaching relationship which matters more than any specific coaching tool or intervention.