FAQ: Lectical Assessments

You feature Lectical® Assessments as a key differentiator between what you offer and what other coaches offer. What are they?

Lectical® Assessments target a specific set of skills and concepts, such as those involved in managerial decison-making, ethical reasoning, mindfulness, and self-understanding. The primary one that I use, the LDMA (Leadership Decision Making Assessment), focuses on executive decision-making skills like the decision-making process, contextual reasoning, and perspective taking and seeking.

In the executive coaching industry there are few coaches who measure what they do, and there are fewer coaches who are able to measure accurately. Lectical® Assessments are the first assessment that measures leadership decision making, ethical reasoning, mindfulness, and self-understanding in a statistically valid and reliable manner.

Why do you make such a big deal about using Assessments?

I have three reasons. First, Lectical® Assessments provide rich feedback to both of us about the learning sequence for leadership decision making. This means that I am able to tailor our coaching program precisely to the thing that you would benefit from learning next, rather than something that is three steps ahead or behind you. Most coaches have to use their intuition to figure this out, and while helpful, intuition has its limitations. Lectical® Assessments provide a rich, 3rd party assessment that is grounded in the best research coming out of Harvard into leadership development.

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Second, I want to be able to point to growth over time. That is, my clients take one Lectical® Assessment at the outset of our work, and then take another one at the conclusion for a comparison. We are able to show empirical evidence of growth on the sub-scales of leadership decision making, which proves the case that growth occurred as well as showing what is next for you to continue to grow into beyond our coaching engagement.

Third, I want to know whether my methods actually work. That is, I am actively searching for feedback that tells me whether my way of conducting an executive coaching engagement actually does something. While there is plenty of evidence from client testimonials and subjective data that says I do, I am also seeking an impartial perspective on whether my methods activate positive change in my clients. Lectical® Assessments are one tool in beginning to build that evidence.

What do Lectical® Assessments actually do?

Lectical® Assessments rationally reconstruct learning sequences. Lectica®, the company that creates Lectical® Assessments, is a leader in the field of psychometrics and they create assessments that have rationally reconstructed learning sequences for dozens of disciplines ranging from mathematics and chemistry, to leadership and mindfulness. The sequences they construct increase in complexity from the very basic all the way to very abstract.

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A good way to understand what these assessments do is to imagine a child trying to understand a simple concept, like the concept of “bedtime.” As an adult the concept of bedtime is not very complex. But depending on child’s ability to hold complexity, it could be a pretty complex or abstract concept. Just for a moment, try brainstorming all of the concepts that comprise something like “bedtime.” There is probably “brushing teeth”, “putting on pajamas”, “reading books”, “hugging and kissing goodnight”, “getting a drink of water”, and perhaps several other things. Until a child is familiar with, and able to understand all of these sub-concepts clearly in their mind, something like “bedtime” can be way over their head. If a parent tells a child that it is “bedtime” the child might not have the ability to fully understand, let-alone perform, all of the tasks associated with bedtime. Quite a bit of frustration can be experienced in both the child and the parent if expectations are out of sequence. Rationally reconstructing the learning sequence of “bedtime” so that each sub-concept can be understood easily would accelerate the child’s ability to understand what “bedtime” means.

The same principle applies to leadership. That is, there is a rational learning sequence for leadership that increases in complexity from the very basic (“A leader is someone who is in front” from a 2nd grader) to the very complex and abstract (“A leader is a highly competent servant to her organization exhibiting traits that are inspiring to others, visionary within the field, and deeply committed to the mission being served”).

The LDMA measures the complexity with which we make decisions as leaders and matches it with 8 different sub-scales that comprise the discipline of “leadership decision making.” An LDMA report will tell us where you reside in terms of these 8 sub-scales and what you will benefit from learning next. This information helps me tailor a coaching engagement to your exact learning edge.

What are the different kinds of Lectical® Assessments?

There are many different Lectical® Assessments. The ones I tend to use in my coaching practice are the Leadership Decision Making Assessment (LDMA), Lectical Ethical Reasoning Assessment (LERA), and the Lectical Self Understanding Assessment (LSUA) There are others that are applicable to the coaching industry as well, and for more information about Lectical® Assessments you can visit Lectica’s website here: Lectica Welcome