Do you know your dark sides? – Excitable

Coaching the Excitable scale
Do you know your dark side - Excitable

The Hogan Excitable scale is one of the eleven scales in the Hogan Development Survey (HDS), which is a measure of the dark side of personality.

The Excitable scale measures a person’s tendency to become easily agitated and emotionally reactive, especially when facing stress or pressure. Individuals who score high on this scale may be prone to explosive outbursts of anger or frustration and may have difficulty controlling their emotions. This tendency can negatively impact their relationships and work performance.

On the other hand, individuals who score low on the Hogan Excitable scale are typically calm, composed, and able to handle stressful situations without becoming overwhelmed. They are less likely to lash out in anger or frustration and are generally seen as level-headed and easy to work with but could also be failing to demonstrate adequate excitement or passion or conveying a lack of urgency.

It’s important to note that no scale on its own can fully capture a person’s personality and that individuals should not be judged or evaluated solely based on their scores on personality assessments.

Excitability is a trait that can bring both passion and energy to our lives, but it can also cause individuals to lose control of their emotions. When they become overly excited or agitated, they may yell, act impulsively, or make decisions that they later regret. However, with coaching and some simple techniques, they manage their excitability and harness its power:

First – Recognise the Signs

The first step to managing excitability is to recognise the signs of becoming overly emotional or reactive. This may include physical symptoms like a racing heart or shallow breathing, as well as emotional signs like feeling overwhelmed or frustrated. By paying attention to these signs, the next step is to start to identify the triggers that set it off and take steps to prevent them from escalating. One thing one can do is “Check where your back is; is it against the backrest or have you leaned in?” If you are an excitable individual this could be a good warning sign that you are getting agitated.

Second – Take a Timeout and Breathe

When you feel your emotions running away from you, it’s essential to take a break and breathe deeply. If possible, take a break physically by leaving the room or context, but if not, perhaps you could take a mental step back to assess the situation and identify what’s important in the long run. This can help you to calm down and regain control of your thoughts and feelings. One useful technique is to focus inward and “surf” on your emotions, asking yourself “How much do I feel this right now, on a scale of 0-100?” This can help you to identify the intensity of your emotions, shift focus from changing the situation to accepting your feelings at the moment and take steps to manage the situation accordingly.

Third – Listen to Trusted People

It’s essential to have people in your life whom you trust and can turn to for support when you feel discouraged or overwhelmed. These individuals can help you to persevere through difficult times and remind you of your strengths and capabilities. By listening to their advice and encouragement, you can learn to control your initial enthusiasm and avoid becoming discouraged.

Four – Control Initial Enthusiasm

While excitement and enthusiasm can be powerful motivators, it’s crucial to control them and avoid becoming overly emotional. When you get too excited, you may lose sight of your goals and become distracted by your emotions. By learning to manage your initial enthusiasm, you can stay focused on your objectives and avoid becoming discouraged by setbacks or obstacles.

Five – Persist and Learn

Even when you experience setbacks or failures, it’s essential to persist and learn from these experiences. Instead of thinking, “I knew it wouldn’t work,” you can ask yourself, “Why didn’t it work, and “How would I do differently next time”.


The Hogan Excitable scale measures a person’s tendency to become easily agitated and emotionally reactive. Still, there are ways to manage these tendencies and channel them productively by analysing triggers, focusing inward, seeking support from trusted individuals, and controlling initial enthusiasm, individuals can learn to manage their emotions more effectively and improve their productivity and performance.

Should you seek further insights into your dark sides or guidance on effective coaching strategies, we are readily available to assist. Feel free to connect with us here at your convenience.

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