The Problem of “Scope” in Psychometrics and Coaching

The Problem of “Scope” in Psychometrics and Coaching

If you are a coach, as most Human Patterns administrators are, your bookshelf probably houses several books on “leadership,” several on “coaching,” several on “problem solving,” several on “communication,” several on “facilitation,” and so forth. Each of the books probably has really good material and a conceptual framework that seems to hold together, has merit, and offers insights into the topic.

Let’s take the case of leadership. Each of the books on leadership probably addresses a different “leadership.” For some, leadership means strategic visioning, for others it means interpersonal inspiration and motivation and communication, for others means structural change of control systems, for others it is on methods for employee engagement, for others it is on managing employees, for some it means assessing risks and opportunities, for some it means knowing how to pivot your organization; and the list goes on………..

Each global – and therefore variably defined - term addressed by Human Patterns, such as “leadership” or “work” or “relationships” can be viewed as a hologram where multiple angles on the subject can yield a full picture. Human Patterns tries to offer holographic content without claiming that any given angle is comprehensive or even most valuable. The full report has personal, interpersonal, occupational and leadership and management sections and each graph within a section addresses what we hope are the most common and measurable factors involved in a subject.

For a coach, it is important to make sure that a rich context is established for the coachee and that the dyad of coach and coachee share the same frame of reference. Take “work” for example. Work itself is a nested set of factors with multiple time horizons. Here is how Human Patterns groups these factors:
1. Roles – performed over the long term in contrast with others who are assigned complementary or conflicting roles.
2. Functions – performed over the medium term in support of a role.
3. Activities – performed in the short to medium term to fulfill functional requirements.
4. Tasks – performed in the immediate term often in the service of activities.

Some individuals will find that one or another of these grouped factors is misaligned or incongruent with their natural preferences. If this is the case, the coach will address the consequences of the misalignment and help the coachee to shape, supplement, complement, or otherwise achieve congruence with work requirements.


A. Laffoley

Academic Program Director Raleigh- Durham, NC

I used the Human Patterns Inventory in the development program for high potential senior leaders and recommend it as an effective tool as part of any comprehensive employee development program. In my opinion an important differentiator of this tool is the light it shines on the switches that may occur in our behavior when we are in reaction mode (e.g. in a stressful situation). Bringing awareness to where this occurs is invaluable to an individual’s personal development.

K. Jobe

Executive Recruiter Charlotte, North Carolina Area

I have used the Human Patterns as an internal recruiter as well as during client “coaching” engagements. It is the most comprehensive psychometric test that I have ever worked with. I highly recommend this tool to any organization that is committed to talent optimization.

F. Christian

Managing Director Chicago, IL

Human Patterns is a rare exception among assessment tools. Most are simplistic and slipshod, more mirrors of their creators' craniums than windows into one's own. Human Patterns has a richness that allows me to start meaningful conversations with the hidden high potentials I work with, who after years of severe underemployment have lost sight of themselves and their unique ways of working with the world. I'm so enthusiastic I now require it for new clients to shortcut to solutions.