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Who do you think you are? TypeCoach offers new angle on Personality and Preference


Image: TypeCoach President, Rob Toomey

Myers Briggs (MBTI) was something most of us were familiar with many moons ago, and over the years we have seen clients use a variety of tools such as Hogan, Neo and Insights.

Last year, Vana were introduced to Rob Toomey at TypeCoach and attended an event he was running in London. Rob is a very engaging presenter, and he and his wife Carly staged a fun, informative session for a number of HR and Development people in London. From this it was clear that TypeCoach had a place in the market.

When we work with a number of start-up/entrepreneurial businesses – and particularly where there is a millennial/strong graduate workforce that are becoming first time team leaders (and in some where they are yet to hire their first HRD) – we find that some of the psychometric tests/self-assessment/team build profiles are too complex. They need something simple to understand their own style, and that of others, to help them communicate up, down and across the organisation, and get the best out of their teams – and something cost effective, easily accessible.

TypeCoach uses its own videos and animations in lieu of traditional questions to map someone’s preference against the 4 letter model to establish a ‘type’ similar to the outcome of completing Myers Briggs or any other type-based questionnaire. Where TypeCoach differs is in what else it offers – and how ‘type’ is applied beyond the individual to an entire organisation.

We asked Rob to tell us a little more…


How does TypeCoach vary from traditional instruments (such as Myers Briggs®, Insights®, etc.)?

Where traditional indicators are focused on the individual (‘Am I an Introvert?’), we are focused on communication (‘My boss/client is an Introvert, what do I need to do?’). We find our clients benefit significantly more from this focus as it addresses team conflicts, drives improved sales, and allows everyone to achieve results far more effectively. And, somewhat unexpectedly, we are also seeing high impact on self-awareness as a natural by-product of improved communication.

You’ve created a ‘Type-to-Type’ tool – what’s this designed to do and how does it work?

A group using the same access code will complete our initial Verifier program and their results populate into the Type-to-Type tool. This provides the group with communication advice based on the combination of any two personalities (ENTJ with INFP etc.). The ‘Top 10 Tips’ that are provided for each combination are simple and powerful adjustments anyone can make in their working and communication style to avoid common pitfalls. The goal is to ensure the other person is really hearing what you’re trying to say. We’re finding that, as teams go through, they want to keep adding others from their organisation into the tool to get the tips.

Who would particularly benefit from the TypeCoach tools?

We’ve seen the greatest use of TypeCoach – and the most impact – in these groups:

  • Sales teams and those in key influence or negotiation roles,
  • Newly-forming teams looking to get off on the right foot,
  • Underperforming or high conflict teams,
  • New manager programs,
  • High potential programs, usually multi-stage learning.

In what circumstances can these tools be most effectively put to work?

A key variable has to do with reaching a critical mass of usage within a group or organisation. If only a small group (say, just a single management team) use them, the impact will be lessened. When the terminology and insights becomes part of everyday interactions, meetings and communications, the impact is fully realised. Because we license our tools ‘for life’ this encourages ongoing, repeated usage – an essential ingredient.

It’s likely that people will have completed other personality programs – what more would they find out about themselves through TypeCoach?

The most valuable information people report from our programs is a realisation of how different they are from others and how much effort is required to communicate across those differences. Graduates of traditional indicators usually only learn the meaning of their own personality and not how they fit in context with others. We believe this realisation, and the accompanying focus on ‘what do I do now’, is where the primary value of personality type resides. We also have some great materials on strengths and challenge areas that participants report finding very valuable and is new information to them.

How accurate have you found these tools to be?

Our initial Verifier program is designed to educate the participant through videos and animations, and allows them to make an informed selection. In the subsequent workshop or coaching session, they have an opportunity to meet with a trained professional to ask additional questions and it’s then that they finally confirm their personality type. The vast majority of participants using our Verifier program find the results describe them very well and they do not change these after a full day workshop. By educating the participants in advance, it allows the majority of time in the session to be devoted to application, which is where people experience the most value.


Why not experience TypeCoach Verifier tool for yourself? All you have to do is;

  • Go to the TypeCoach website
  • Click Sign Up (top right)
  • Create a password
  • Enter the access code: FXEFKG

(one test per email id).

If you’d like to know more about TypeCoach in the first instance and how it could work for you, please contact Martin Spencer, Vana Assessment (who’s working with Rob on a number of projects): / 07836 353235.