Covid 19: Time to take another look in the Hogan mirror

Hogan results on laptop

If you have applied for a job or participated in a development or leadership programme it is likely you have joined over 150,000 others in completing a Hogan psychometric assessment through the Winsborough team, or through one of our highly qualified and experienced partners.


Usually, in a feedback session we will discuss your assessment results in the context of your role, team and organisation.  Well the context part has most definitely shifted in the last month!  We’re now living and working in a new era.  For many of us, ‘remote working’, ‘virtual meetings’, and ‘lockdown’ are becoming standard phrases.  For those in ‘essential services’ – you’re adapting to new threats, increased personal protection requirements, isolation, and for some, relentlessly long hours.


So, as we settle into the new rhythms and routines of remote working due to Covid-19 it’s worth digging out your most recent Hogan assessment to pause and reflect on your results through a new lens; to determine what will help you to adapt and remain effective in your new and evolving context of Covid-19. 


The following is based on the wise advice of our friend, Executive Coach Trish Kellet (Hogan Assessment Systems):


1. Your Context: what’s needed most from you right now?

What competencies and behaviours are critical for you to exhibit during the COVID-19 pandemic?Several examples are communication, innovation, and resilience. Perhaps you’re now managing a team of remote employees, so communicating frequently and clearly will be paramount. Perhaps you need to be more innovative than ever and encourage your team to create solutions to unique challenges presented by COVID-19. Perhaps you need to demonstrate resilience and be a calming influence for your team during this crisis.


2. You: what does your Hogan profile tell you about potential strengths and challenges in your new Context?

Per your Hogan profile, do the competencies and behaviours you identified in no. 1 come naturally to you (key strengths), or will you need to consciously work on them (development areas)?

Looking at the above as examples: communicating clearly and frequently, innovating, and demonstrating resilience. Take a look at how Hogan scales can guide you in these. Make sure you consider not only the scales you typically associate with the identified competencies but also other scales that could contribute to your behaviour. Look across the three reports: Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI), Hogan Development Survey (HDS), and Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI).


Communication: If you’re high on Sociability and Affiliation, you’re probably adept at communicating, and it will be both a priority for you and rewarding for you. However, keep working on your listening skills – are you hearing what others need from you? If you’re lower on these scales, you’re likely to be listening, but you’ll need to remind yourself to reach out to others and share information. Ask for feedback from your audience to ensure that your frequency and clarity are meeting their needs. If your Reserved score is high, make sure you’re not disappearing when times are tough. The team needs their leader even more, and you need to be more visible, even if it is in virtual terms.


Innovation: If you’re higher on Inquisitive and Learning Approach, you probably are open to ideas, have broad interests, and are skilled at innovating. However, now is also a critical time to apply the mantra ‘KISS’ (Keep. It. Simple. S…). If you’re higher on Prudence, your eye for detail can support the implementation of new ideas, but you might tend to micromanage or curtail discussions prematurely, so be sure to watch that.  Also, if you’re higher on Imaginative, you’ll need to make sure you don’t overwhelm your team with too many ideas. If you’re lower on Inquisitive and Learning Approach, innovation might not come naturally to you, but you can certainly encourage it in your team members by being more open to their ideas, not cutting off discussions, and recognising and rewarding their efforts. Acknowledging and celebrating contributions should come easy to you if you have a higher Recognition score, and if your score is lower, you can consciously emphasise this more.


Resilience: If you’re higher on the Adjustment scale and typically calm in the face of crises, you’ll need to leverage this fully given the turbulent times associated with COVID-19. Be aware, though, that you might not pick up on or relate to the stress that your team members are feeling, especially if they’re lower on Adjustment. If you have a lower Security score, you probably don’t need much role clarity or task clarity, and that will serve you well in the new environment. Recognise that your team members with higher Security will need more direction for a sense of stability during this time. If you’re higher on the Security scale yourself, realise that the world has shifted and you won’t have the same order you had in the past. Also, check your Interpersonal Sensitivity score to see what your natural tolerance level of others is, and be more patient and understanding with their reactions to COVID-19, especially if they’re higher on the Excitable scale.


3. Your Dark-side: mitigating those ‘faulty coping strategies’

Are your de-railers appearing more often or are your behaviours more exaggerated?  De-railers typically come out when you’re under stress or dealing with ambiguity, but the stress and ambiguity you’re experiencing with COVID-19 is unlike anything we’ve seen before. So, recognise that your de-railers might appear more often or more acutely. Self-awareness and self-monitoring are more crucial than ever now, so make sure you’re paying attention to how you’re acting and, more importantly, how others are perceiving you. If you’re upset or annoyed, it’s much easier to dash off a quick email from a remote location than it is to confront someone when you’re working together in person. Give yourself a chance to calm down and put the issue in perspective before emailing. Also, in the virtual world, others can’t see your facial expressions or hear your tone (unless you’re using a video platform), so make sure you choose your words wisely.


Reviewing your Hogan profile and determining which scales are most applicable and which behaviours you need to dial up or down will serve you well during the COVID-19 crisis.


With all of the new challenges you’re navigating, please remember that the team at Winsborough are here to help.  With our deep experience and expertise, we can guide you through a review of your Hogan profile, to help you to pivot and adapt, and show up the best you can in this new context.   We’re adept at virtual discussions and we’ve been conducting virtual feedback and coaching sessions long before COVID-19.


If you’d like to schedule a one-hour debrief session, please contact Winsborough here.


You can find more Leadership Resources that we've put together to help you through the Covid-19 pandemic here