Human Ecology Background
The original Coaching Signatures instrument was designed as a subset of Simon Walker’s Personal Ecology Profile (PEP), a set of models rooted in Human Ecology Theory (Walker 2009), a theoretical framework which offers originality in approach to human communication. In 2010 the Coaching Signatures element was sold to Coaching Supervision Consultancy Limited (CSC Ltd.) as an independent profiling instrument for use with those involved in coaching, supervising & people development and which is now called the Coaching Signatures Profile®.
How the Online CSP Tool Developed
The Coaching Signatures Profile® is a coaching specific tool used to explore via a visual landscaping metaphor, the most comfortable functioning of the coach – their ‘Coaching Signature’ through completing an on-line ‘self’ profile together with how they are working i.e. the ‘postures’ they adopt with their coachees by completing the ‘coachee’ profile. This data is collected from a similar on-line process ‘as if’ the coach is working with their clients. An evaluative, self-reflective psychological profile & report is then generated for use in a professional supervision relationship with an accredited Coaching Signatures Supervisor’
Patti Stevens, is Managing Director of CSC Ltd. which she founded in 2004 to meet the Professional Supervision requirements of practitioners working within the contexts of coaching, leadership & people development. After acquiring the Coaching Signature subset of the PEP, Patti set out to evolve a ‘stand-alone’ tool to provide users with a statistically reliable, valid & beneficial coach profiling instrument that represents a credible alternative to other standard tools.
Many other profiles measure personality variables which are hypothesised to be stable over the lifetime. Additionally, the characteristics laid out in those profiles are then interpreted as being more or less useful in particular occupations. Conscientiousness, for example, in the NEO-P-R, is said to be a good indicator of work performance. Some scales are more explicit than that, and suggest particular occupations for particular combinations of traits (the MBTI for example)
There are several fundamental differences between such classical tools and the Coaching Signatures Profile® which fall into two categories: the first is a conceptual basis of change rather than stability, and the second is a specific measure of task and personality characteristics bespoke to the coaching and supervision profession. The Coaching Signatures Profile® has been developed with specifically the coaching skill set in mind & includes measures of variables which can be described as those relating to personality, and task- based characteristics. The Coaching Signatures Profile® uses these measures to form a bespoke framework to describe and develop the work of the coach with individual clients, and is uniquely capable of mapping that change.
Metaphor and Theoretical Constructs
The Coaching Signatures Profile® uses metaphor to examine theoretical constructs which relate to the process of coaching & measures dimensions which can be described as a posture, or ‘natural’ way of being, with an understanding that postures change and can be adapted to work in different ways with different people under different circumstances.
What this means is that one can measure an individual’s posture in several circumstances: the posture when one is alone for example, as compared with working with specific, identifiable other individuals. This provides a snapshot of the coach, and a measure of change between them and several coachees, with whom they may work quite differently. An Accredited Coaching Signatures Supervisor is able to then see both the natural ‘posture’ or ‘signature’ of the coach, and the range of skills they are using in their work – a fruitful basis for exploration & development.
Development Through Narrative
The advantage of the Coaching Signatures Profile® is that it allows and expects people to develop, and provides a useful framework within which to discuss change.
Working at the narrative level with the three dimensions of Empathy, Logic & Control which inform the Coaching Signatures Profile® enables the supervisee with the help of their Coaching Signatures Supervisor to formulate an increased awareness and honest assessment of their work thus enriching their understanding and options for intervention through a dynamic, on-going and mutual process of discovery.
The Coaching Signatures Profile® is ideally suited for the supervision, training, & on going personal & professional development of coaches and people involved in working with others at all levels of expertise. Coaching Signatures Profile® data can continue to be plotted over time & therefore builds a reflective & reflexive journal & shared language to develop, monitor & evaluate coaching practice.