MindSonar® - a tool for transformational coaching!

During the time that I was working in a large organisation, I took a number of personality and working style profiles to inform re-organisations and recruitment.  I also studied a number of such tests during my management training. Each time, I struggled to accept any one of them as conclusive, because I know that I think and behave very differently in different situations. In some situations I am quite extrovert and outgoing, in others I choose to be quiet and take a back seat. In some matters I am determined, self-confidence and very pro-active and in others I procrastinate and feel unsure. Just like most, probably all, other people. Our thinking, and therefore our behaviour, varies according the situation that we're in. This is as it should be. For example, the way we think when we are are teaching our specialism to a novice needs to be different from the way we think when we are the novice learning a new skill or subject from an expert. Similarly, the way we are when we are working requires different thinking patterns to those we ave when socialising with friends.  People cannot be put into boxes as neatly as some personality tests seem to suggest.

Now, at last, I’ve discovered a tool which actually looks at a person’s thinking styles in context. A tool that doesn't put people in boxes, rather it enables an understanding of the style of thinking that’s being used in a certain situation, and so helps to identify any that are, in that situation, helpful or unhelpful. This tool is MindSonar® and it’s very exciting!

MindSonar® looks at two aspects of a person’s thinking: what is important for them in the identified situation or context and their thinking patterns in that context (also known as known as their Meta Programs).

The MindSonar® method sees all Meta Programs as equal – none are better or worse than any other in themselves, it is simply the context which makes the difference as to how helpful or unhelpful each is, with people being able to then develop the most helpful ones for a situation.

Here’s an example: one of the Meta Programs is about whether we are spotting mainly what is right (Matching) or mainly what is wrong (Mismatching). In the context of work, a safety inspector needs to be Mismatching in order to see what problems might arise if not addressed. However, when that person gets home to find that their partner has redecorated a room, a Mismatching pattern pointing out only the flaws is probably not so helpful! Hopefully, in that situation the person naturally switches to the Matching thinking style.

Understanding thinking in this way is incredibly powerful for teams too. It can unearth what is behind conflicts, underperformance and it can be used to improve recruitment success. For example, by identifying the thinking styles of the highest performers, you can then coach others to develop those within the context of the job.  Watch this short video for a glimpse of what Mindsonar is and what it can be used for:

I am proud to be one of the first few coaches in the UK to be training in MindSonar. I genuinely believe that this is a tool that, when combined with the skills of the coaches certified to use it, will become as highly valued here as it is in other parts of the world.

The power and flexibility of MindSonar to enable targeted coaching is why I now include it with my breakthrough coaching workshop, The Coaching Conversation.  I also offer it alongside life coaching and career coaching.

I’ll be writing more about the specific uses of MindSonar in future articles. Meanwhile, if you want to know about how MindSonar could help you and/or your teams feel free to message me.

You can also learn more at:, where you can read more, including some case studies of MindSonar use and see an example summary report.
Improving team performance with MindSonar
Nobody wants a dead canary

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Friday, 13 December 2019

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