As I explained in my previous blog on how others see you, there’s a series of assessments that I like to use in my coaching practice to give leaders vital insight into themselves. My favorite is the Hogan Development Survey, which looks at your dark side. What are the things that tend to derail you, i.e. those characteristics that tend to turn into negatives when you’re under stress?
Why do I like this assessment so much? Because many people don’t realize that the same characteristics that can be great strengths can also be their downfall. For example, I have always been very ambitious and driven. The Hogan Development Survey helped me see that this ambition is not always a positive, because when I’m under stress it can cause me to walk all over the rest of the project team.
The Hogan Development Survey measures a long list of traits, including:
- Skeptical – Some people seem to doubt everything that others say, get overly pessimistic and think there’s an ulterior motive for everything. Yes, it’s good to question things. But when it gets to the point where you are an obstruction, this skepticism becomes a problem.
- Cautious – Those who score high in this area exhibit a lack of decisiveness and have a hard time making judgement calls. I’ve seen this in managers who worry so much that they fail to make decisions at all.
- Reserved – This trait is applied to those who might prefer to be isolated and on their own. For some jobs this is fine. But if you’re a leader, you need to get out there and interact with the people you are leading.
- Leisurely – Unlike what you might expect, this trait is applied to people who have a hard time saying “no” and just tell you what you want to hear. They can be very charming and independent, but their credibility and effectiveness are low.
- Bold – These are people who tend to have such high self-esteem that they don’t care much about the opinions of others. They’re operating on their own agenda without opening the door to hear any feedback or taking steps to make others feel part of things.
- Dutiful – This trait is applied to people who are always looking for excessive amounts of approval. As an executive you need to be independent, able to move forward on things without someone above you saying it’s okay.
The Hogan Personality Inventory looks at your bright side. The Hogan Development Survey looks at your dark side. In the final part of this three-part series I’ll introduce the Hogan Motives, Values & Preferences Inventory, which looks at the things that are important to you.