Ask an Expert 2 January 2018

Ask an Expert

Q: I was caught off-guard during a recent workshop when I was openly challenged to explain what my qualifications were for interpreting what a leader’s score meant. Has this happened to others? How did you respond?

A: Before leaders work with me they are aware of my 35+ years of experience as a senior human resources leader and my credentials as a Certified Master, coach, and facilitator of The Leadership Challenge®.

Nevertheless, I make clear from the very start of any engagement with leaders that my principal role as a professional certified coach in the LPI® 360 debrief process is to help them raise their own awareness of The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership®, how frequently they are practicing the associated 30 behaviors, and to reflect on the implications of the LPI® on their effectiveness as leaders. My role is also to help them generate responsibility for next steps as they develop a plan to improve.

I communicate my belief that they are resourceful and full of potential. They know their world far better than me and are, in fact, experts in that world. Therefore, they are fully capable of drawing their own conclusions from the data they receive in the LPI®360 report.

My role is not to interpret what their scores mean but to help them interpret the scores for themselves. I can help shine a light on some of the key aspects of their assessment—e.g., where observer scores differ significantly with their own, or note any correlations or trends—but, ultimately, it is they who will find meaning in their report and be in the driver’s seat of their own personal development plan.

And finally, if you have received a formal designation from The Leadership Challenge—e.g. Trained Facilitator, Trained Coach, Certified Facilitator, Certified Master—be sure to play it up! Share your completion certificate upon request and the requirements associated with that achievement. Use the logo associated with your designation in your email signature, LinkedIn Profile, and website. If you do not have your certificate or logo, please contact the Certified Master or Global Training Partner from which you received your training. Learn more about our formal designations.  

Ciarán Coleman, FCIPD, ACC, is a newly-minted Certified Master of The Leadership Challenge® with 20+ years of experience coaching senior leaders and teams. In his current role as founder, executive coach, and leadership facilitator with International Leadership Solutions Co. Ltd., he works throughout Southeast Asia, China, and Europe with a focus on helping to guide individuals and organizations through change. Ciarán can be reached at


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