Wednesday 9 December 2015

My Dark Side

A number of my coaching clients, and some fellow coaches whose work I rate highly, have spoken well of the Hogan psychometrics, and especially the one that identifies potential career de-railers - the so-called Dark Side assessment.

So I have decided to get trained on these, and as a first step, had  a go at completing one myself, under the guidance of Julia Cater of People Decisions. It was very interesting.

My initial reflections on the report that emerged are that it has quite high face-validity; that is, I recognise myself in it (rather more than, say, a horoscope). Moreover, my wife (if not my greatest fan, certainly my most acute critic) also recognised me in it.  And we could both see, even though there are areas where we both think it gets it wrong, that it is a very useful basis for reflection and discussion with a coach (I have yet to meet Julia for the de-brief).

Overall, it suggests that my high scores (that is, my strengths-that-might-become-weaknesses-under-pressure are being Reserved (Independent can become detached), Imaginative (Imaginative can become eccentric) and Colourful (vivacious can become dramatic).

I also score very low on some areas where perhaps I lack the strengths at all: Diligent, Dutiful and Sceptical.

By and large, that's not too far off the mark.  However, I strongly disagree with Lacking few well-defined beliefs or interests, but with regrets about past behaviour and Lack passion or enthusiasm.

I think the Reserved is somewhat overstated, particularly Not communicate frequently or well,  and likewise the Colourful  especially Talk more than he listens.  And clearly, those two points, Not communicate frequently or well, and Talk more than he listens, sit rather oddly together.

However, I can see how it arrived at all of these, and they (and many of the other points) are worthy of thought and discussion - and even as I type, I am wondering if, under extreme stress, those may have some validity...

The big question, of course, is about the self-report aspect. For instance, I answered some questions based on the literal words, even though I suspected (and I think rightly) that they would be interpreted in a way that is not what I feel about myself. For example, when a question has ‘never’ or ‘always’ in it, I always take that literally so will tend to disagree, as there is nearly always at least one exception; whereas if it has nearly always or almost never, I will answer the opposite way.  So the process didn’t feel very robust in that way. Also, I was aware of what it was likely to be saying about me, and there is always that tendency to answer about the Andrew I’d like to be…

All in all, very interesting, despite these reservations, and as I say, it could certainly be the basis of some useful exploratory discussions and reflections.

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