One of the assessment tools I often use in my leadership development and talent management work is the Hogan Lead Series, part of the Hogan Assessment System. This is a tool with several applications. Hogan Lead Series is a three-part assessment:

  • Values describe what gets you out of bed in the morning and give clues
    about organizational fit
  • Potential tells us about how you typically show up day-to-day and gives insight into the type of work you are likely to enjoy
  • Challenge shows the things that make you good at what you do but if taken too far can become derailers.

Because this is a self-report instrument, it often does not tell a leader something wildly surprising, rather gives a leader new ways to talk about who she is and how she leads, useful both to the individual leader and for articulating leadership style to others. Looking across the three reports we can often better understand how parts of a leader’s personality “play” with other parts. Viewed together, the reports are extensive and one has to be willing to dig into the details to find the Hogan useful. Leaders who take the time to understand their Hogan and reflect on their leadership style are more authentic in their leadership, as they can leverage their strengths and personality.

Hogan Helps Leaders Become More Self-aware

Hogan is a great place to start with my coaching clients as it helps us build a development plan. Clients often say that the assessment helped them to understand and explain to others who they are and how they approach their work and leading others. For example, one client found her low Adjustment score helpful in understanding the time and energy she puts into showing up calmly with her colleagues. Adjustment is on the Potential report and reflects the degree to which a person is calm and even-tempered or, conversely, moody and volatile. High scorers seem confident, resilient, and optimistic. Low scorers seem tense, irritable, and negative.

Another leader I am working with has a high Recognition score and found the information helpful in asking for what he needs as well as being aware of times when his peers need less recognition and visibility than he does. Recognition is on the Values report and measures how indifferent a person is to visibility versus wanting to be noticed and seeking appreciation. Low scorers are unconcerned about official attention; high scorers seek the spotlight.

Hogan Can Be Applied to Various Coaching Situations

I use Hogan to support various individual coaching engagements:
  • With one organizational client, I use Hogan with high potential individuals identified through their succession planning process. I help the leaders build development plans that they present to the CEO and their boss in order to grow into future senior leadership roles.
  • I coach graduate students who take the Hogan at the beginning of their studies to help create individual learning plans and better articulate how they lead others.
  • Some of my individual coaching clients begin our engagement by taking Hogan to better understand and describe their leadership style or to build out a development plan and set goals for our work together.

Recently I worked with an intact operations team at a higher education institution as part of their annual planning retreat. Everyone took the Hogan Values assessment and we talked through what each of the values means and then stood up to create a human chart of their results for each of the ten scales. The conversation touched on what each value looks like, how it shows up for various people at work, and any requests of colleagues who were at the other end of the continuum. The conversation was lively and fed into the teams’ rules of engagement for how they work with one another day-to-day and brought new team members up to speed.

Benefits of Working with a Certified Hogan Assessor

The Hogan is a complicated assessment and I recommend engaging a certified assessor, either from Hogan’s Independent Consulting Network or internal to Hogan, to debrief your results. In addition to having training on what the various scales mean, I bring experience reading the three reports and helping to explain how various scores interact with one another. A high score in one report could be tempered by a low score elsewhere, for example. Hogan, like other assessments, doesn’t provide a magic formula of how to lead but does help leaders better understand themselves, aid teams in working effectively together, and support organizations in developing leaders to support succession planning.



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