Issue 21 [ISSN 1712-4670]

In giving advice, seek to help, not please, your friend.

Greek Politician
638 – 559 BC

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The learning promotes success in relationship building, negotiations, selling and in understanding myself and how to play to my strengths.

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Community Innovations Inc.

The program was worth it. It will definately change your relationship with others. A very enriching experience.

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Oikos Global

I had some powerful insights personally, as well as many new ideas for my business. Life changing! Thank you very much.

Elizabeth Fletcher Brown
Life Mastery International



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Leading the Way is a free ezine published by Consulting Resource Group International, Inc, Copyright 2008.


Focus on Professional Development

The Gift of Feedback

Feedback: Response about an activity, action, behavior, or policy

Feedback—real feedback: the truth, whole truth, and nothing but the truth type of feedback—is critical to our continued growth, both professionally and organizationally.

The Number One responsibility of any coach (personal, business, or athletic) is to provide feedback to the individual so that he or she can improve. Imagine a coach that focused only on the positive—NEVER mentioning the things you could improve. That wouldn’t be much help to you. 

Feedback is an important strategy in any organizational or professional development process.

Feedback must be intentionally designed to maximize the benefits to all parties involved. So let’s look at potential feedback strategies and considerations.

1. Not all feedback is of equal value.

Make sure that the feedback is coming from qualified or capable individuals. Example: Many years ago I was a member of our local Toastmasters Club. As part of the learning process, each segment of a meeting was evaluated by another member and feedback was provided. The value of the feedback varied greatly, depending on the experience and capabilities of the evaluator. My point is that you should be aware of where feedback is coming from. In some cases, we should take it with a grain of salt. 

2. You can’t argue with perceptions.

This especially true when you are deploying an opinion-based survey or feedback form to a specific group. I was part of a team that designed an employee survey for a Fortune 100 client and its distribution network. 

With regard to the debrief of a set of results, one of the distribution-center owners—let’s call him Fred—was not pleased with the way his 50 employees responded to the questions. Rather than trying to understand why they responded the way they did (with low scores), in a rage Fred attacked the survey design, called the report fiction, ripped up the report, and stormed out of the room.

Because the survey design reported only raw scores with open comments, his remarks were not valid. The fact is that Fred could not argue with his employees’ perceptions; they were what they were. The real value of such feedback comes from understanding how those employees arrived at their perceptions. Because Fred was one of my consulting clients, I knew his situation. I agreed with the opinions of his staff.

Note: The owner was correct in his concerns that feedback forms need to be designed in a neutral way so that the questions are not leading the participant to respond in a certain way.

3. Feedback or Assessments do not create the result; they only document what is already true.

Fred had not provided a feedback process prior to this survey. Feedback/assessments processes, if designed correctly, do not create the results. They only document what is already true or present. Whereas the owner got upset with the results of his employee survey, his employees had felt that way long before the introduction of the feedback process. That is a critical point for professional developers to remember, especially when there is resistance toward specific results. 

Note: Some assessments can present false results if their design is flawed. As publishers of assessments, we are often asked by individuals and organizations to consider their assessments as an option for our clients. A few months ago, we looked at such an assessment. 

The purpose of the tool was to document certain personal traits via the participant’s answers to the assessment. The questions and the subsequent report were unclear. Even though the company claimed the results were valid, the assessment did not meet the CRG team’s high professional standards. When selecting feedback tools, please keep quality in mind. 

4. Not all individuals or organizations are ready for feedback.

Before any feedback method or content can be successfully implemented, a level of trust must be present.

During an intervention with another Fortune 100 client, we were asked to conduct a 360º Feedback Assessment on the company’s regional managers. They refused. Why? Lack of trust! The participants feared that head office might use the results to potentially fire them. This in itself is a powerful measure of the culture of the organization. In this case, going ahead with the 360º feedback process would have destroyed any remaining credibility the executives had with their managers. We decided to work on trust-building processes first.

In A Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck’s documented that one of the most difficult physiological conditions to treat is Character Disorder. This is where individuals blame everyone else for their condition; they are not open to any feedback where they must take personal or professional responsibility. No feedback will be effective until this condition is first addressed.

5. Why feedback? It improves performance.

Why bother with feedback, anyway? On average, it improves the performance of the individuals receiving the feedback. When low to medium-level performers where given feedback, their improvement was most dramatic. Improvement was less evident in high performers because they were already performing at a desirable level. It makes common sense that feedback toward top performers would have less impact because they have little room to improve.

Note: In a study on the value of executive coaching, it was determined that the ROI was 2 to 4 times the investment. Very few activities provide such a strong return and must be seriously considered as legitimate strategy.

6. Set Up Formal and Informal Feedback.

Feedback will not happen by accident. 

First, as a professional, you should take it upon yourself to receive ongoing feedback from a trusted source on the issues that you want to improve.

Second, if you have any responsibility for others’ development, design a feedback strategy that meets the needs and outcomes you wish to achieve. You can use the following processes.

  • Set up formal feedback sessions where the individuals involved (in a respectful environment) can discuss the issues. CRG created that process in one of its TeamLead modules called Straight Talk, where individuals share both their likes and concerns toward another individual. 
  • Use self-assessments to establish professional benchmarks. All the CRG assessments fit into this strategy, from personal style to values and self-worth.
  • Use a formal 360º Feedback assessment. This is where several individuals provide confidential and anonymous feedback to a specific individual; the feedback is then collated and presented to the individual for a professional debrief. CRG’s Leadership Skills Inventory – Self and Others assessments fit into this category. We will outline more details of how to use 360º feedback forms correctly in a future issue of Leading the Way.

Feedback is a gift. When done correctly, it provides each of us with a roadmap to improve our effectiveness and performance. It also does not happen by accident and requires each of us, as individuals as well as organizations, to have an intentional strategy to ensure that feedback takes place. Without feedback, we are all missing opportunities to develop. 

All of us, at certain moments of our lives, need to take advice and to receive help from other people.

Alexis Carrel 
Author, Reflections on Life


Do you want to personally and professionally develop while being able to help others? If so, plan to attend CRG’s next 3-Day Train-The-Trainer program.

CRG’s 3-Day Train-The-Trainer Intensive is designed for all professionals who want to make a difference in other people’s lives. Register now for our February 23 to 25, 2006, event in Vancouver, BC.

What started out as a simple 2-day assessment-orientation program 15 years ago has grown into a 3-day Intensive Personal and Professional Development Experience.

Over the past three years, we have retooled and rebranded the CRG organization and revisited the entire Train-The-Trainer program. This TTT session is designed for all professionals—whether you are new to CRG or you have been using our resources for years.

Our goal is to ground and serve YOU, so you can better assist your customers. Recently when one of our long-term clients attended the program, he thought he was coming to learn about CRG. What he did not anticipate is that he was about to learn about himself. 

In the program debriefing, he found himself raw with emotions because of his new levels of self-understanding. Not only is he living his life more On Purpose, this new-found passion has helped him triple his CRG business in less than 12 months.

Honoring the learner on his or her journey to more fully living on purpose is what CRG is all about—and professionals acknowledge that in their unqualified recommendations. It’s no accident that 80% of professionals switch to CRG resources from other choices. 

In fact, the more experience you have in the HR field, the more important it is for you to attend a CRG session—to understand the uniqueness of CRG’s resources and unlearn some popular false assumptions in the marketplace.

That’s why CRG introduced the TTT Alumni program. Those who have already attended the CRG Train-The-Trainer program can re-attend—at a significantly reduced fee—to stay current, learn what’s new, and network with Associates from around the globe. 

Many of our Associates attend TTT on an annual basis, to keep up with the progress and exciting developments at CRG.

Register now for CRG’s Train-The-Trainer program.

Space is Limited.

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If you have questions about our TTT, please contact Neal Diamond.
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Ken Keis Speaks at National Speakers Association Northwest Chapter Session with Thom Winniger
Title: Speaking On Purpose
Where: Embassy Suites, Bellevue, WA
When: Saturday, January 21, 2006
Time: 8:30 AM to Noon
Ken’s Time on Program: 11:15 AM to 11:45 AM

Ken Keis Conducts In-home Evening Workshop for National Speakers Association Northwest Chapter
Title: Secrets to Building a Successful Speaking Business
Where: Seattle, WA
When: Monday, February 6, 2006
Time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

CRG Train-the-Trainer
Where: Vancouver, BC
When: February 23 to 25, 2006
Train-the-Trainer February 23 to 25, 2006

CRG at Career Association Conference
Where: Vancouver, BC
When: March 1 to 3, 2006

CRG at BC Human Resource Management Association Conference
Where: Victoria, BC
When: April 19 to 21, 2006

CRG Train-the-Trainer
Where: Vancouver, BC
When: June 8 to 10, 2006
Train-the-Trainer June 8 to 10, 2006


Online Co-Branding and Print-Based Private-Labeling Brochure 
Learn how you can add your logo and contact information to the CRG assessments or have your logo or images appear on the CRG site. Download the PDF File now!

CRG’s Print Shop: New Capabilities 
CRG has purchased a new perfect-bound booklet finisher. We can now produce workbooks with a flat-edge professional-finish binding with our saddle-stitch binding. Download our CRG Print Shop price list or call the CRG office to discuss how we can meet your full-color printing needs.
Download the CRG Print Shop PDF Now!

Dutch Translation: Available Now!
Personal Style Indicator and PSI In-Depth Interpretations (print-based versions) are now available in Dutch!

Vietnamese and Spanish Translations: On the Way!
The Personal Style Indicator and PSI In-Depth Interpretations (print-based versions) will be available in Vietnamese and Spanish in January 2006. Place your pre-orders now!