The “Now What” in a COVID-19 World


Apr 06, 2020


*This article was written by Hogan Assessments. Hogan Assessments.

At Hogan, we view the assessment results as the “what” (what are your strengths and areas for development?), the interpretation of your results by your Hogan coach as the “so what” (so what do these mean to me, and how do they impact my reputation and performance?), and the coaching discussion and action planning with your coach as the “now what” (now what can you do to be more effective?).


Further, we emphasise the importance of considering context in interpreting and acting on your assessment results. Consider factors such as your job requirements, the demands of your situation, the challenges you face, the business goals you need to achieve, the team you manage, and the culture of your organisation. Behaviours that are strengths in one context could be derailers in another and vice versa, so context truly matters in interpreting and acting on your Hogan scores.

COVID-19 has created a context unlike any we’ve ever faced before, so we encourage you to review your Hogan results through a COVID-19 lens to determine what will make you more effective during this crisis. Is your “now what” (the actions you need to take based on your Hogan results) different than it was before? Here are a few points to consider.

  1. 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. 2. 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)?

Using the competencies we identified above as examples (communicating clearly and frequently, innovating, and demonstrating resilience), let’s take a look at how Hogan scales can guide you. 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, if you’re lower on these scales, 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. You’ll need to make sure you encourage it in your team, as well. If you’re higher on Prudence, 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.

  1. Are your derailers appearing more often or are your behaviours more exaggerated?

Derailers 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 derailers 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. The experienced coaches of the Hogan Coaching Network are ready to assist you if you’d like professional guidance and a discussion to review your profile. They’re adept at virtual discussions and were conducting virtual feedback sessions long before the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’d like to schedule a one-hour session, please contact your Hogan consultant.

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