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Executive Coaching 101: Hogan Leadership Assessments

Executive coaching comes with its own vocabulary.  It can be a little daunting if you’re not sure what you’re getting into. In the interest of better communication (one of my favorite things), I’m starting a series called Executive Coaching 101, where I’ll be defining the common terms you hear in the executive coaching space in a way that everyone can understand.


What are Hogan Leadership Assessments?


Hogan Leadership Assessments are a valued evaluation tool that many organizations, including large global multinationals, use to assess personality and leadership style – often with the help of trained executive coaches. The core assessments measure normal personality characteristics, career derailment risks, core value drivers, cognitive style and decision-making ability.


The assessments include three parts: the Hogan Development Survey, the Personality Inventory, the Motives, Values and Preferences Inventory. These assessments add up hundreds of data points to help you understand your values and motivators as a leader.  


A major advantage of Hogan is that it really helps you understand your cultural fit to an organization and what motivates you as an employee. These don’t change much over time, so it’s useful in perpetuity. Hogan Assessments also tell us about your leadership potential and help with creating professional development plans. A key piece of Hogan helps identify likely behaviors under stress by analyzing your reaction to 11 scenarios. Are you at low, medium or high risk to exhibit certain behaviors in response to different stressors?


How do you use Hogan Leadership Assessments?


If you’re self aware and know how you may demonstrate certain behaviors under stress, you can avoid or better navigate conflict or problems at work. It’s a great tool for individuals, as well as teams and larger organizations. The flexibility and the unified vocabulary Hogan brings to the table is especially helpful for getting everyone on the same page and speaking the same language in terms of leadership development.


Typically, when an organization invests in Hogan, a leader gets an assessment for himself/herself and for each member of his or her team, including other leaders. Hogan assessments give teams a common language for leadership traits and allow you to compare different profiles. If, for example, you find that your team has a very high creative aptitude, but lacks focus and organization, you might hire a strategy person next to round out a team. By identifying strengths among your team, it’s much easier to build out a diverse, well-rounded unit.


How can an executive coach help you with Hogan Leadership Assessments?


Hogan Assessments are highly sophisticated. They’re not going to do you much good without a trained interpreter. If you’ve never seen a Hogan Assessment before, here are examples of some of the data that they provide.

Hogan Development Survey

Hogan Personality Inventory

Hogan Leadership Potential Profile

Hogan Performance Strengths


As you can see, that can be overwhelming to the layperson, which is why Hogan offers certifications for coaches.


The value in working with an executive coach is in the interpretation of this robust tool and helping you understand how a data point from your potential report and one from your development report might relate to one another. There are correlations and nuances between different measures that only someone who has worked with Hogan for a long time can truly understand. More importantly, executive coaches can help you interpret this data in the context of your specific situation. Moving from abstraction to action is one of the key roles of an executive coach when it comes to Hogan Assessments. An executive coach doesn’t just tell you what your assessments say, he or she explains how to apply those results to your everyday life.


Beyond their role as interpreters, executive coaches can also handle the more labor intensive aspects of Hogan Assessments – identifying who should take them and when, and the actual administration of the assessments.
If you’re interested in a personal Hogan Assessment or providing them for your organization, contact me and I can help you get started!