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I use assessment tools to help my clients better understand themselves, understand their behaviors, and develop into better leaders.  I have selected and achieved certification in two primary assessment tools:  The Leadership Circle and Hogan Personality Assessments.  I also use other tools and assessments in my work that do not require certification.

The Leadership Circle 360

The Leadership Circle is a suite of tools to provide 360 assessments for leaders, managers, and leadership teams.

I chose the Leadership Circle as my 360 assessment suite for three primary reasons:  

  1. It is evidence-based
  2. It closely aligns with Zenger and Folkman’s research and insights.
  3. It provides direct links to coachable behavior and provides insights into the assumptions and beliefs that drive an individual’s behavior.

An example Leadership Circle Profile

The Leadership Circle (TLC) assessment provides deep insights into a leaders behavior by illuminating the assumptions, thoughts, and emotions that drive behavior. To do this, TLC evaluates two domains of leadership, Creative Competencies and Reactive Tendencies:

  • Creative competencies are well-researched competencies that measure how leaders achieve results, bring out the best in others, lead with vision, enhance their own development, act with integrity, and encourage and improve organizational systems.
  • Reactive Tendencies are leadership styles that emphasize caution over creating results, self-protection over productive engagement, and aggression over building alignment. These self-limiting styles overemphasize the focus on gaining the approval of others, protecting oneself, and getting results through high control tactics.

These competencies are broken down into eight high level dimensions and 29 individual behavioral dimensions that provide a strong basis for coaching and competency development and that are easy to understand and interpret.  These dimensions are also aligned as to how they relate to tasks or relationships.

The Leadership Circle is useful for individual leaders and it is highly effective for teams, providing a common language and structure that supports developing highly effective teams.

Hogan Leader Personality Assessments

The Hogan system is a set of personality-based assessments that help leaders understand their strengths, their potential derailers, and their fit in an organization.  Hogan assessments have over 25 years of history, with over 2 million assessments delivered, and over 700 validation studies, providing a very robust evidence base.

The system breaks down into three assessments:

Hogan Personality Inventory

The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) describes normal, or “bright-side” of personality – qualities that describe how you relate to others when you are at your best.  The HPI can help you understand how you work, how you lead, and how successful you might be in a specific role.  

The HPI measures normal personality along seven scales:
Adjustment: confidence, self-esteem, and composure under pressure
Ambition: initiative, competitiveness, and desire for leadership roles
Sociability: extraversion, gregarious, and need for social interaction
Interpersonal Sensitivity: tact, perceptiveness, and ability to maintain relationships
Prudence: self-discipline, responsibility, and thoroughness
Inquisitive: imagination, curiosity, and creative potential
Learning Approach: achievement orientation, valuing education

This framework provides a solid platform for coaching and for professional and personal self-awareness and growth.

Hogan Development Survey

The Hogan Development Survey (HDS) describes the “dark side” of personality – qualities that emerge when your guard is down do to stress, fatigue, or even comfort or familiarity.  These qualities can disrupt relationships, damage reputations, and derail your chances of success. By assessing dark-side personality, you can recognize and mitigate performance risks before they become a problem.

The HDS measures dark side personality along 11 scales. The following describe high scorers in each dimension:
Excitable: moody, hard to please, and emotionally volatile
Skeptical: suspicious, sensitive to criticism, and expecting betrayal
Cautious: risk averse, resistant to change, and slow to make decisions
Reserved: aloof, uncommunicative, and indifferent to the feelings of others
Leisurely: overtly cooperative, but privately irritable, stubborn, and uncooperative
Bold: overly self-confident, arrogant, and entitled
Mischievous: charming, risk-taking, and excitement-seeking
Colorful: dramatic, attention-seeking, and interruptive
Imaginative: creative, but thinking and acting in unusual or eccentric ways
Diligent: meticulous, precise, hard to please, and micromanaging
Dutiful: eager to please and reluctant to act independently or against popular opinion

While "high risk" scores in any of the above may be indicative of a personality disorder or disruptive style, they can also be very helpful in building a leader's awareness. Many leaders are unaware of their disruptive or damaging behaviors and therefore unable to mitigate them, and developing this awareness enables them to modify their behavior.

Motives Values and Preferences Inventory

The Motives, Values, and Preferences Inventory (MVPI) describes personality from the inside ⎯ the core goals, values, drivers, and interests that determine what you desire and strive to attain. By assessing your values, you can better understand what motivates you to succeed, and in what type of position, job, and environment you will be the most productive. 

The MVPI measures values along ten primary scales. High scorers are described as:
Recognition: responsive to attention, approval, and praise
Power: desiring success, accomplishment, status, and control
Hedonism: orientated for fun, pleasure, and enjoyment
Altruistic: wanting to help others and contribute to society
Affiliation: enjoying and seeking out social interaction
Tradition: dedicated to strong personal beliefs
Security: needing predictability, structure, and order
Commerce: interested in money, profits, investment, and business opportunities
Aesthetics: needing self-expression, concerned over look, feel, and design of work products
Science: wanting knowledge, research, technology, and data

As a leader, the MVPI  can help you understand what drives you to succeed and provide you with valuable insight to help guide your career.  It can also provide you with insight on how your unconscious biases may influence your decisions about people and projects, and the type of corporate culture your values are likely to create.

When taken together, these three Hogan assessments can be very useful to a leader and his/her coach in developing insights regarding how their personality drives their behavior.  These insights can be leveraged to drive more effective and productive leadership behavior and mitigate any possible derailers uncovered by the HDS.

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