Friday, January 30, 2009

myLADR Webinar Invitation Reminder

This is a reminder that our clients and colleagues have been invited to an online tour on February 4, 2009 at 11:00 am CST introducing myLADR which is a one-of-a-kind advanced personalization front-end for any Learning Management System.

MyLADR begins with comprehensive individual assessment and coaching feedback. This is a custom micro-to-macro system that carves out individual learning plans linked to business needs and competency requirements. The system makes suggestions, provides for interaction and choices and approvals, produces management reports and budgets and tracks individual, department and organization development activities. Also included in the system are required learning segments such as orientation, ethics, harassment, etc.

The system, offered by CDR and partner companies, is ideally suited to provide reports for succession planning, training needs analysis, and development activities. Private industry and government organizations will benefit from this unmatched system that offers a wide array of standard or customization and branding features.

Please call us 1-888-406-0100 or email to register or if you have any questions! We hope you can arrange to join us for this exceptional tour and demo session.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Selection testing and “faking”: Is this still being debated in your organization?

Well, it shouldn’t be.

A rather seasoned debate has existed, for about fifty years now, concerning job applicants and their propensity to intentionally “fake” personality assessments used in selection screening. Many have tried to answer the question of frequency of faking. Most of the research has used either scales designed to measure response distortion embedded within the assessment or comparisons of applicant to non-applicant samples on assessment results.

I’ve always felt the concerns about applicant faking were a bit over-blown primarily because the base rate for cheating in general is fairly low. It did occur to me a few years ago that a better way to estimate faking frequency would be to re-test people who were assessed as part of a selection process. I’ve had this on my list of research to do ever since. Thank goodness some outstanding scientist-practitioners have finally accomplished just this study.

In a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Ellingson* et. al., identified over seven hundred individuals who had completed the California Psychological Inventory for both selection and development purposes. So to put it more simply: A group of people who took the CPI as part of an employment screening process then again sometime later for professional development purposes.

After working the statistical magic needed to analyze the data, the researchers show that there is indeed very little faking going on in the selection context. The bottom-line? Applicant response distortion amounts to an increase in personality scale means of approximately .075 standard deviation units—or a score change of 14.3 to 14.6 on a Flexibility scale. In short, the difference is not at all practically significant.

I encourage those so inclined to read the entire research paper, it is a fine piece of work. I hope that others will follow with similar studies using different personality instruments. In the meantime, it really may be time to put to rest this “faking” issue once and for all.


*: Ellingson, J. E., Sackett, P. R., & Connelly, B. S. (2007) Personality assessment across selection and development contexts: Insights into response distortion. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 386-395.

2009 Coaching Survey Results

2009 Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey

Survey results from their fourth annual survey based on 1,500 respondents. To download the complete survey go to:

In addition to a wide variation in the US and Canada on the question of certification I would like to hear you thoughts on their definition of executive coaching, and what executive coaches “as a general rule do not” do (bolded below). Quoting from page 4 of the survey:

“Executive coaching means: regular meetings between a business leader and a trained

facilitator, designed to produce positive changes in business behavior in a limited time frame.”

This definition clarifies:

- who coaches are—trained facilitators (not consultants, counselors, trainers or mentors.)

- what coaches do—produce positive changes in business behavior.

- when things happen—on a set schedule with a limited time frame.

In 2007, the European Foundation for Management Development adopted this definition in communication with its members in seventy countries.

Executive coaches, as a general rule,

- do not share their own experience (as do mentors),

- do not give advice (as do consultants),

- do not impart specific knowledge (as trainers do) and

- avoid personal issues. (the role of a counselor or therapist or life coach)

I disagree with most of these “general rules” especially when we are using an assessment like the CDR and feedback.

In the Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey, I disagree with their position that “in person” coaching was better than by telephone. Personally have had great results using the telephone when using CDR —what are your thoughts?

Matt M. Starcevich, Ph.D.

Matt –

Thanks for submitting this link to the survey and for sharing your insights.

I also disagree with most of the 2007 European Foundation for Management Development’s Executive Coaching Guidelines you sited.

Specifically, executive coaches may share experiences – while this needs to be limited – sometimes real world stories can be useful. Next, when using assessments and having clear insights regarding a persons strengths, risks, vulnerabilities, challenges and gathering information about their performance, it is the role of the coach to explore and sometimes offer ideas and potential advice when appropriate. Last, knowledge can be shared though the coach certainly does not want to become a talking head so to speak.

I do agree that executive coaches need to stay away from personal issues and if a client is obviously having significant emotional or personal problems, it is time to suggest they talk to a counselor/therapist or EAP advisor.

Again Matt – thanks for sharing!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Welcome -- What Are Your Hot Issues?

Welcome to our Assessment Advisor Blog. We invite you to ask questions, provide suggestions, share interesting assessment cases and use this blog to support your consulting, coaching and talent development initiatives.

To get things moving, topics you might find of interest:
  1. Interventions -- leaders who don't fit their roles --and what to do about it
  2. Telephone feedback -- why and how it works as well as in person coaching
  3. Profile examinations: "High Likeability Floaters", "Fakers (Spinners)", Egotist/Pleaser Leaders, etc.
  4. Upward Selection Screening-- Assessing your "would be" boss/executive before taking a new postion
  5. Benefits of Using Assessments During Down Economy

Hopefully, the above nuggets will spark your interest in participating in this blog by discussing your issues, questions and sharing your success stories as well. We welcome (CDR) certified coaches, other executive coaches, leaders and those with a professional interest or calling in talent and leader development.

Have a great day!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Gender Differences in Leadership

What do you think?

Despite expertise and education, women are simply not gaining access to top corporate positions in numbers that correlate to readiness. Consider:

· Under 2 percent of the top five earners at Fortune 500 and 1000 companies are women
· 97.5% of CEOs of large corporations are men
· The majority of college graduates are women

Contrary to popular beliefs and politically correct assumptions, IMPORTANT gender differences do exist. When comparing men and women leaders’ inherent personality traits and risk factors for derailment with validated psychometric assessment instruments*, the averaged results reveal differences that matter.

Women tend to be warmer, compassionate, supportive, and better at building and maintaining relationships. Unfortunately, they have more significant risks as “Worriers” which translates to being cautious, slow decision makers who tend to over-analyze because of the fear of failure.

Men, on the other hand, tend to be more candid and direct and may be more strategic than operationally inclined. Men have more significant risk factors as Egotists, Rule Breakers, and Upstagers. This means men are more outspoken, bold, arrogant, prankish, willing to challenge, stubborn, limelight seeking, and tend to fight (and succeed) more intensely on the corporate ladders.

So, it turns out that under stress or when the heat is on, men tend to be more aggressive, outspoken, and argumentative. Men tend to "move against" the "opposition" or those in their way. On the other hand, (many) women -- under the same tension or conflict will go back and re-study or over-analyze rather than fight for turf or power. With women where there is a greater instance of "worrier" profiles, they will move away from the conflict or stress point.

These "tendancies" are based on averages on the leader profiles of the research group. (Women N=120; Men N=111)

How does this mesh with your experience? Your thoughts?

Welcome to Assessment Advisor Blog

Welcome to the Assessment Advisor blog hosted by Nancy Parsons, President of CDR Assessment Group, Inc.

We are glad to have you on board. This blog is primarily for executives and leaders, executive coaches, organization development professionals, chief learning officers, human resource executives, industrial/organizational psychology specialists, and those interested in developing the human capability within organizations.

Our firm, CDR Assessment Group, Inc. provides proprietary assessment tools for client organizations and for independent consultants/coaches. We also provide coaches' certification and advanced training programs. The CDR 3-D Suite provides specific and unique insights into a leader’s key strengths and development needs in the areas of:

· character traits, acumen, EQ and leader fitness,
· inherent risk factors that can sabotage effectiveness and lead to derailment,
· personal drivers, motivation, and values.

The CDR 3-D Suite has editions in English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian, and is available through a proprietary online system. Another highly beneficial and lucrative feature of these robust tools for a consulting practice is the wide range of applications that they can be used for without the need to retest. Succession planning, strategic team development, high potential talent identification and development, and staffing decisions, are among some of the value-added services that can be performed using our tools.

We also offer a robust and insightful 360 tool as well. I'll go into that more when and if needed.

Enough of the info-mercial...

With this blog, we hope to share insights, experience, interesting stories related to assessment results, interpretive overviews, ROI, coaching excerpts, research news, answer coaches' questions, and to discuss issues on the minds of leaders and coaches who have interest in our blog.