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    Jan 19, 2021    |   Psychometrics Canada

Five Positive Experiences Coaching Leaders – Virtually

3 minute read

Written by John Russell, I/O Psychologist

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Tales from the Trenches

This past year I’ve had to shift how I provide leadership coaching with our multi-rater feedback tool, the Psychometrics 360. Changing how I deliver feedback sessions with leaders has led to some unexpected benefits.

Happy Woman Working From Home Using Laptop and Pen

A comfortable environment is important for delivering feedback and leadership coaching.


The first thing I have noticed has been an increase in the level of engagement with regard to leadership development. Previously, I would schedule feedback sessions well in advance, travel to the client’s location and spend the day, or multiple days, sitting in a boardroom and have leaders coming through in a revolving door fashion. Often leaders would be dealing with issues of the day and not be completely engaged in the process, and not have sufficient time or focus to properly explore their leadership behavior. In my virtual sessions leaders have been more present.

Safe Environment

The second benefit was the shift in environment. Now I am working with leaders who are in their homes, in a comfortable space such as a home office, a living room couch, or even out on the backyard deck (during the summer!). Being able to receive sensitive feedback from peers in a safe environment allowed us to build rapport quicker, create a trusting atmosphere, and approach the process with more vulnerability. There is a feeling of psychological safety when we are in our homes, and not the more formal environment of a boardroom. Since 360 assessments are often exploring uncomfortable areas of performance and behavior, the change in environment has increased the feeling of psychological safety.

Time to Reflect

It has been a stressful time for all of us, and through it all, leaders have recognized that the stresses of this year require them to be even better. I’ve had more leaders reach out looking for 360 coaching and actively seeking out feedback than in previous years. Exceptional leaders I’ve worked with have allowed themselves the opportunity to slow down a little and to pause and reflect on their leadership behavior, and evaluate potential ways of increasing their effectiveness.


We have flexibility with scheduling now. I no longer have to plan weeks or months in advance, and my leadership clients don’t either. We have flexibility with scheduling now. We can ensure that we find the appropriate time, and foster the self-reflective mindset needed to explore leaders’ behaviors and the impact being felt by the people they work with. This flexibility also allows me to tailor each 360 session to the individual leader, whether more time is needed to explore the various aspects of their leadership, or more frequent follow ups are required.

Expanding Leadership Feedback

Cutting out travel time and expenses has allowed client organizations to introduce leadership development initiatives more broadly than before, not simply focusing on executive leaders. The opportunity for front-line and early career leaders to receive 360 feedback sets them up for greater success down the line and acquaints them with feedback-seeking behavior, a valuable leadership competency for the future.

Moving Forward

The increases in engagement, psychological safety, personal reflection, and flexibility are terrific benefits that I have noticed in the shift to virtual leadership coaching. My recommendation? Don’t let the inability to meet with your clients face-to-face get in the way of continuing your work. They need it more than ever.

helpful resources on the psychometrics 360 assessment

Webinar: Using the MBTI® and Psychometrics 360 assessments to maximize leaders’ self awareness. Presented by Lead Psychologist, Shawn Bakker.

Results: Developing Leaders with the Psychometrics 360 feedback tool, Psychometrics Canada case study with Cornerstone Credit Union.

View more resources in our Knowledge Center for Psychometrics 360.

Filed under: Leadership Development