By Lorette Theron on January 11, 2016
Practitioners mostly use the Cognitive Process Profile (CPP) for selection, placement, job and organisational structuring, succession planning, career pathing, as well as people management and development. However, did you know that the information contained in a CPP report can also be used for coaching purposes?
Although many CPP practitioners are comfortable providing CPP feedback to delegates, not all are experienced in coaching.
The CPP identifies the most suitable current and potential work environments of an individual. However, the question most often asked by managers and candidates is how they could develop and realise their full cognitive potential. Although there are some developmental guidelines in the CPP report, it is important to know how to use this information effectively.
Elizabeth is a team leader at a financial institution. She has been identified as a possible candidate for the general manager position based on her performance. As part of the leadership development program, she completed the CPP. Her results indicated that she is currently comfortable in the Diagnostic Accumulation work environment with potential to function in the Parallel Processing environment. Her predominant cognitive styles are Logical and Reflective. The major stumbling blocks in realising her potential include being over-analytical, repeatedly checking detailed elements and working relatively slowly to achieve accuracy. In addition, she is not particularly self-aware and also lacks trust in her own intuitive insights. She thus obtained a relatively low score on the Judgement dimension of the CPP. This may cause her considerable anxiety and/or discomfort in unstructured and vague environments.
Elizabeth seems to be an ideal candidate for personal coaching. Coaching initiatives need to be informed by the person’s CPP profile as well as their current work-related challenges. Coaching highlights the current strengths and weaknesses of a person’s problem solving approach. The objective is to make the person more aware of their thinking processes and problem solving styles.
Ineffective thinking strategies are addressed by guiding the candidate towards the application of appropriate metacognitive criteria. These criteria are then practiced until they are internalised and therefore automatically applied.
Metacognitive criteria refer to a small number of critical questions that problem solvers needs to ask of themselves, such as “is this relevant?”, “does this make sense?”, “is this necessarily so?” etcetera. Given Elizabeth’s profile, she probably has an emotional need to be correct and may thus over-emphasise the metacognitive criteria of “accuracy” and “precision” at the cost of questions related to “what is my gut feeling about this?”; “what is the core meaning?”, “what is most appropriate?” and so forth.
Focusing on the cognitive styles, using both facilitative and anchoring styles, can also be useful in a coaching session to develop the way in which the person is thinking. Although an analytical style is effective (and expected) when executing certain tasks, over-analysis can be ineffective where a more abstract, generalised or broader view is required. Elizabeth can be guided towards the application of both an Analytical and a more Holistic or Integrated problem solving approach. She needs practice in considering the big picture and capitalising on her intuition in order to come to more integrated and contextualised solution, rather than getting lost in the detail.
Emotional factors, language patterns, and reframing techniques can also be capitalised on as part of coaching aimed at cognitive development.
The Thinking Skills Coaching course
Cognadev provides a 1½ day training course specifically aimed at CPP accredited practitioners. The aim of the course includes enhancing the coaching skills of CPP practitioners to enable effective guidance of others in realising their cognitive potential. The course outline is as follows:
- Quick overview of Information Processing Competencies
- Emotional factors that influence thinking (e.g. impulsivity, making assumptions, over-generalisation)
- Identifying emotional patterns that interfere with effective thinking and problem solving
- Language patterns supporting or detracting from effective problem solving
- The role of the coach (derailing factors, communication, collaboration, rapport, identifying and adapting to own emotional responses)
- CPP measures used in coaching
- Coaching others in the application of metacognitive criteria
- Coaching others to use metacognitive criteria to guide their thinking
- Framing and reframing techniques
- Practical application through case studies and role playing, using real CPP results in coaching scenarios
The Thinking Skills Coaching Course delegates earn 12 CEUs towards their CPD portfolio. Please contact us to book your place.