When we start a new project with an individual leader or a leadership team, we almost always start with an assessment so that we and our clients can have an accurate and honest understanding of how they are showing up in the world. This post discusses one of the assessments that Benjamin Papa is certified to administer and interpret – the Hogan Assessments, developed industrial-organizational psychologist Robert Hogan, Ph.D. Hogan measures people’s strengths, weaknesses, values, and approach to problem solving. The test is statistically valid and reliable, allowing us and our clients to trust the information and create a development path that is targeted and on point. In fact, according to the Hogan website, more than half of the Fortune 500 companies have used Hogan.
There are three parts to the Hogan Assessments. The first test measures what drives the client – what are the values and motivations that he or she needs in order to feel fulfilled at work and in life in general. There are ten primary drivers/ motivators. Low scores on a particular driver indicate the client is indifferent to that particular value/ driver. Moderate scores indicate the client would prefer to have the driver/ value/ motivator in his or her life, and high scores indicate that the client must have the driver/ motivator in order to feel fulfilled and in sync. If a client is struggling at work, it can be extremely helpful to know to what degree work is aligned with the client’s “must have” values/ drivers/ motivators. If there is a strong disconnect and the client is not able to change the position and how it works, the job may simply not be a good fit.
The second test is a general personality measure, showing the client how he or she shows up in the world on a day to day basis. This test is based on the commonly used Five-Factor Model of personality and is descriptive rather than evaluative. That is to say that there are no “good” or “bad” results. However, in the context of a particular job or workplace context, a particular personality profile may be an obvious fit – or not. For example, someone with a low score on the Sociability scale may not be a good fit for a job that requires frequent interactions with customers and colleagues. Conversely, a person with a high Inquisitive score, might be just the right person for a role that requires a lot of innovation and creativity. A coach or consultant certified to administer Hogan can help the client make deep meaning of the results and how they apply to his or her work and life.
The last test measures a client’s “derailers” – challenges that if they are not managed well can sideline, stifle, or even end the client’s career. The good news is that our derailers only apply when we are under stress or off our game. The bad news is that in today’s complex and complicated business environment, people are frequently stressed and not at their best. In fact, Hogan’s research indicates that more than 60% of organizational leaders fail, costing their organizations dearly. Hogan shows coaches and clients the degree to which a client is at risk of getting derailed by the eleven dysfunctional dispositions the test measures. Clients score as either no risk, low risk, moderate risk, or high risk on each of the dispositions. If a client is at high risk of one or more of the derailers, that can be a clear path to explore in coaching or other professional development work.
Leadership and team development is largely an art based on the skills and experience of the coach or consultant working with the leader or the team and is dependent on the context in which the client is operating. Grounding that creative work in an empirically based assessment, such as Hogan, provides a scientific foundation to work from in development.