The Power of Coaching using the HBDI®

Change is difficult. Changing old habits or trying new ones is next to impossible when operating on auto-pilot is so much simpler. But how do we grow as individuals, as leaders and in our lives?  We know we have the ability, but how do we actually do it?  Today, we know so much more about neuroplasticity and the ability for our brains to change and grow new connections. Neuroplasticity is defined as: “the change in neural pathways and synapses that occurs due to certain factors, like behavior, environment, or neural processes. During such changes, the brain engages in synaptic pruning, deleting the neural connections that are no longer necessary or useful, and strengthening the necessary ones.”

One of the best ways to grow these pathways is by repeating new behaviors and expanding our capacity. And the best way to create sustained, lasting, positive change is to NOT DO IT ALONE…to have someone consistently helping us. Coaching, whether through a formal engagement or one that elicits peer coaching is one of the most important success factors in our ability to change. And as leaders, the ability to coach others is one of the most important skills we can develop. But how do we do that – what can guide us to communicate most effectively in a coaching relationship from both sides? Interacting with people based on how they think using the HBDI® can be an incredible framework to guide and strengthen the coaching relationship. Whether you are a coachee, a coach, a peer coach or mentor, here is a walkaround that addresses typical thinking and information needs by quadrant. Of course, it is most effective to share profile results from both people in any coaching relationship to set the stage.


Key Takeaways:  Giving and receiving feedback in a coaching relationship always involves sharing the positive first with specific examples. Offering input around what needs to be changed comes secondarily with a discussion to ensure buy-in and a commitment to change. Many books are written on coaching and feedback. Two incredible leadership coaches and experts on the Global Gurus Top 30 List are Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith. Their recent books recommend to:

  • Start with One Thing
  • Don’t do it Alone
  • Let Go of Judgement
  • Remember What Got You Here

These are concrete tips to get you focused through change and on a path towards growth. This philosophy towards coaching and the ability to allow for disruption of the status quo in our lives have given millions of people the guidance they need.

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