Issue 39 [ISSN 1712-4670]

The greater the ignorance, the greater the dogmatism.

Sir William Osler
British Physician
1849 – 1919

Nothing is worse than active ignorance.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
German Scientist
1749 – 1832

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BC Central Credit Union


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Focus on Professional Development

The Ignorant Practice of Using Animals to Describe Personal Style

Ignorance:  Lack of knowledge, education, or awareness
Dogmatism: Positiveness in assertion of opinion, especially when unwarranted or arrogant; a viewpoint or system of ideas based on insufficiently examined premises

Employing assessments to assist individuals in their personal and professional development is an important educational strategy.

Using quizzes and models based on cute animals or other metaphorical objects is not only unprofessional, it’s dangerous.

In the quest to simplify the concept of personal style or typology, well-meaning (but ignorant) individuals have created all kinds of models that are a real disservice to their participants. To my horror, just the other day, I witnessed an HR person call a participant a “woodpecker.” 

These individuals honestly believe, somehow, that labeling a person with the name of an animal species can help him or her understand the complex concept of personal style.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

With 30 years of experience and several million users, the people at CRG can cite myriad examples of damage done by these “darling” assessments. Participants become confused and are fed false information about the nature of personal style and the vital dynamics surrounding the concept.

Participants take the misleading information as truth, then go on to lead their lives in frustration.

  • Many blame themselves for their lack of satisfaction in life because, after all, they are a woodpecker, so they had better act like one.
  • Or they feel betrayed by the assessment process and vow never again to engage in another assessment.

The assessment process must always be taken seriously. We are dealing with people’s lives here.

I have heard many excuses from those who use animal characters or metaphoric approaches.

  • It makes it more fun or easier to understand.

Maybe more fun for the facilitator, but not the participant. Being a woodpecker does not mean anything except to the brilliant mind that came up with the notion.

  • I created this model on a napkin at lunch today, so people could afford it.

That puts a price on the truth.

  • It gets them started on the concept; they can use a real assessment later.

What? That simply confuses them. Using more than one model always does.

  • I wanted to save money by not purchasing a validated tool.

This is obviously either a question of ethics or the individual is an amateur.

  • I have only 30 minutes, so I did not want to go too deep.

Lack of information is more dangerous than no information.

We want individuals to take the development process seriously.

How can you be serious when dealing with cute animals? They trivialize the concept of personal style, to a point where style is not seen as a valuable study.

The challenge of all these cute models is that research reveals the majority of individuals are combinations of the various dimensions (animals). In fact, less than 15% of the population have preferences that represent a single animal or dimension. Does that make me a Woodpus or an Octopecker?

After conducting close to 1000 seminars on the topic, I have lost track of the countless individuals who come up to me after our sessions on personal style to thank me for releasing them from all the previous junk—cute-but-shallow assessments—to which they had been exposed.

They make statements like, “Finally—an assessment and model that acknowledges my diverse nature and that does not pigeonhole me!” Or, they express a lot of anger toward previous experiences that they can now, at long last, let go.
Using metaphors requires that the participants memorize all the qualities that the originator attributed to the animals in his or her assessment—and that is simply not practical.

The best thing we can do as professionals is never be drawn into the deception that it’s okay to use those types of approaches. It doesn’t matter what your time or budget restraints might be. DON’T succumb to this temptation!

Would you place your family in an automobile with no brakes because you did not have the time or money to fix them? Of course not! So don’t put people’s mental or emotional states in jeopardy by using cute instead of valid professional approaches.

Please, never compromise your ethical values. There are many quality assessment options. You should never have to use substandard methods.

Consider the following CRG resources, both for you personally and for your clients and/or team.

Are You Ready to Experience CRG's 3-Day Train-The-Trainer
Transformational Event?

Are You Ready to Experience
CRG’s 3-Day Train-The-Trainer Transformational Event?

If you are a leader or an independent/internal professional developer desiring to make a difference in other people’s lives, this event is for you.

CRG’s TTT orientation program focuses on your personal and professional development.

Why? For you to have credibility using our transformational resources with others, you need to experience the power of our processes firsthand.

You will...

  • Realize the key factors of why 80% of individuals dislike their job or work—from feelings of mild irritation to loathing—and what to do about it.
  • Learn a simple yet powerful strategy to immediately accelerate others’ success.
  • Become aware of how to instantly increase your credibility and effectiveness with others and how to teach others to do the same.
  • Discover why over 85% of professionals prefer and switch from the competitions’ resources and why CRG’s tools cannot be compared to others in the marketplace.
  • Understand the importance of a holistic and congruent development model and how CRG’s family of resources (100 +) fulfills this critical principle.
  • Identify how to incorporate CRG resources to provide solutions for your specific client group and their needs.
  • Appreciate that you have instantly increased your value and capabilities for serving your constituents by attending this event.

And much more . . .

You are in great company. Hundreds of thousands of users—in more than 20 countries and 8 languages, over the past 30 years—have already experienced The CRG Difference.

From individuals, families, educational institutions, and small businesses to large
associations and Fortune 500 companies, CRG’s resources have had the privilege of helping restore and holistically enrich people’s lives.

Register now for our event in Vancouver, BC:

September 20, 21, 22, 2007
November 15, 16, 17, 2007

Space is Limited.

If you are interested in how you can attend this transformational program, please contact Eleanor Perkins.

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Second Edition of CRG's Secrets of Success Journal Ready to Download!

Download SOS II Now!

New articles and new content to serve you and your clients . . .

  • Relationship Fitness
  • Road Warrior Syndrome
  • Are You Really Living On Purpose?
  • Why Don’t You Sell The Way That I Buy?
  • Why Do Professionals Prefer CRG Solutions?

If you want to access the print-based version of SOS II, please contact Krista at the CRG the office for details. Find out how you can get complimentary copies of the SOS II.

Upcoming Events

CRG Exhibits at the
National Career Development Association Conference
Where:            Seattle, WA
When:             July 5, 6, 7, 8, 2007

CRG’s Train-The-Trainer I
Where:            Vancouver, BC
When:             September 20, 21, 22, 2007

Ken Keis Presents “Assess For Success”
International Association for Career Consulting Conference
Where:            San Antonio, TX
When:             October 11, 12, 13, 2007

CRG’s Train-The-Trainer I
Where:            Vancouver, BC
When:             November 15, 16, 17, 2007

What´s New?

  • Price Adjustment, Effective July 1, 2007
    A minor price adjustment on most CRG resources will occur this week, based on increased input costs and movement in global currencies.

  • Welcome Daisy Cheng, CRG’s New Bookkeeper
    Daisy has recently immigrated to Canada with her two children and husband. The family moved from Taiwan, where Daisy worked with KPMG. She is studying for her Certified General Accountant designation.

  • Welcome James Lively,
    CRG’s New Internet Marketing Expert

    James comes to us with a wide range of expertise in the field of online marketing and development. He will be working with Dr. Ben Chen and Eleanor Perkins on the completion of CRG’s new online Learning Center and Website. James will also implement various strategies to increase online traffic to CRG’s main and micro sites.

  • New Position Available at CRG
    Want to work in a dynamic and fun entrepreneurial environment? If you qualify, here’s your chance!

    • Marketing Expert: New Position
      CRG is seeking an individual who can work with the entire CRG team to design, implement, and track an overall CRG marketing plan. This includes the ability to write marketing copy in both print and online formats. Because this position will be remunerated on results, not activities, you must be confident in your ability to deliver. We are interested only in individuals with a proven track record.

All positions are located at CRG’s Head Office in Abbotsford, BC. If you are interested, please send your résumé to