COVID-19 has created a context unlike any we’ve ever faced before, with pressures and stresses heretofore unseen. With no clear end in sight, our coping mechanisms are overtaxed and strained – the perfect storm for Dark Side behavioral tendencies to run rampant.

Taking a look at your Hogan Profile through a COVID-19 lens can help get a handle on those tendencies and give you proactive tools to be more effective during this crisis, both personally and professionally.

Hogan Assessments offers useful insights to consider as you review your Profile. We share them with you here.

1. What competencies and behaviors 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. Per your Hogan profile, do the competencies and behaviors 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 behavior. 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 recognizing 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 emphasize 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. Recognize 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, realize 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. Are your derailers appearing more often or are your behaviors 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, recognize that your derailers might appear more often or more acutely. All of a sudden people can blow their tempers, disappear, avoid making decisions, or micromanage others when stressed. They are also more likely to demonstrate these dysfunctional behaviors at home, as people pay closer attention to managing their public reputations at work than they do with their families. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly increased the odds that leaders and employees will exhibit the dysfunctional behaviors associated with dark side personality traits.

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.

Dark Side Traits Definition What Happens During COVID-19 Crisis
Excitable Having dramatic mood swings and trouble with emotional control. Waxing and waning on people and projects. Over-reactions to small issues; emotional outbursts during conference calls; vacillation between apocalyptic and overly optimistic views of the pandemic’s impact.
Skeptical Cynical and overly sensitive to criticism. Withholding information and difficulty trusting others. Assuming coworkers are sloughing off while away from the office; spreading rumors and conspiracy theories.
Cautious Lacks the self-confidence needed to make decisions. Suffers from analysis-paralysis and is reluctant to take chances. Inability to make decisions about priorities; making requests for additional information that can’t be known; hoarding supplies in case the worst happens.
Reserved Lacks interest in or awareness of others’ feelings. Disappears or becomes uncommunicative when stressed. Taking a business as usual approach; tuning out or dismissing others’ worries and hardships. Not considering the human side of work requests.
Leisurely Seemingly willing to pitch in but doesn’t follow through with commitments. Procrastinates and makes excuses. Saying yes but not delivering; playing the “pandemic” card as a handy excuse for not getting anything done on time.
Bold Has inflated views of own competency and self-worth. Takes on too much and cannot admit mistakes or learn from experience. Thinking their way is the only way, discounting concerns, and believing they are the only one talented enough to solve problems; being quick to blame others when things go wrong.
Mischievous Takes risks, pushes boundaries, and plays games. Breaks rules and will try to talk their way out it when caught. Routinely violating team norms and company policies, such as not showing up for conference calls or not adhering to coronavirus mitigation recommendations.
Colorful Overly dramatic and attention seeking. Believe others are lucky to have them in meetings or on teams. Can’t focus. Going on and on about their own personal challenges, flitting between issues, taking up all the airtime, and not listening.
Imaginative Has odd or eccentric ideas for solving problems. Overly absorbed in own solutions and discounts others’ ideas. Offering unusual or overly philosophical beliefs about work, the pandemic, and life in general. Becoming so enamored with their own points of view that they become oblivious to everything else.
Diligent Perfectionists who believe there is only one way to do things. Micromanage everything and hard to please. Cannot prioritize. Emphasizing or enforcing minor rules that don’t make sense given the changed circumstances.  Wanting to review everything before being sent to anyone outside the team.
Dutiful Eager to please and reluctant to push back on boss’ requests. Won’t get needed resources or stand up for employees. Following orders without raising legitimate concerns, such as resource constraints. Never sharing bad with superiors.


We are here if you’d like to review your profile in this context and determine which scales are most applicable and which behaviors you need to dial up or down.  We love nothing more than sharing our insights to help you maneuver through this unchartered territory and we continue to defer payments through this time of economic instability.