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Why regular and ongoing Employee feedback matters – even if Employees have to go out and get it

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

Regular and ongoing Employee feedback matters – even if Employees have to go out and get it.

There are cool things about being a Trainer. And some pretty intense things about being a Trainer.

Venn Diagram example

And sometimes, in the Venn Diagram version of the job, those two things overlap.

For example, when it comes to regular and ongoing feedback.

Every week, typically 2 – 3 times per week, a group of smart professional folks evaluate my work and give me feedback.

How much feedback has that been?

Using 2 workshop sessions per week x an average of 10 folks per workshop x  40 training weeks a year x 20 years of training and that works out to be 800 individual feedback reports a year or 16,000 feedback reports over the 20 years I’ve been teaching.

Excluding university classes, speeches, Emcee duties and keynotes.  


And what does all this feedback mean? 

It means that I’m up to date, on a regular basis, as to what’s going well, what could be improved, what’s ‘irrelevant’ (some is) and what actions I need to take – both short term & long term.

If I want great ‘scores’ and feedback I have to do something with it. Otherwise, I’d have been out of business long ago.

There are obvious parallels with what I’m describing here and the role of Voice of Customer.

But my purpose in writing this isn’t to explore those parallels.

It’s to share how important getting regular ongoing feedback at work is – no matter what you do and no matter where you work.

And how important it is to get regular Employee feedback even if you have to go out and get it yourself.



Regular Employee feedback – my old Corporate life

In my old life in the Corporate world, my boss(es) would perhaps 1x  or 2x per year take me out to a nice lunch.

Dessert at Performance Review lunch

And at that lunch they’d either skirt around a few issues in between courses or now and then shoot straight between the eyes as to what I needed to do better (usually after dessert was served).

They were almost always very uncomfortable. It showed – despite the fact they were all CEOs, VPs or Business Owners.

And for me, it felt like there wasn’t enough regular Employee feedback, or userful Employee feedback, to make concerted changes or develop myself.

I often found myself trying to read between the lines to see how I could be better.


Pretend everyone is an external Client

When you serve external (vs. internal) Clients you’re automatically in the feedback headlights. Over the 15 years or so that I employed Client Service Managers I found that most of them grew dramatically.

Invariably they told me it was because of the regular ongoing feedback they received from Clients – and that to succeed in the job required a lot more attention to external feedback.

Especially as compared to ‘old’ jobs – which were mostly in the Corporate world.

The realized that in their old jobs they could work for months with little or no developmental feedback from their bosses.

But Clients – who were paying for our services – never held back on how they felt.



So what’s my point

No matter if you’re working with internal or external Clients. No matter what it is that you do.

Go out there and  ask others how you’re doing and what you can do better. Be proactive and fierce about it.

Don’t wait for the sometimes antiquated performance review process to guide you – that may come too little, too late.

And as painful as it can be, take (most) of that feedback seriously. Because there’s wisdom in it.

For me I knew I was always a good communicator. It’s a personal strength.

But remember those 16,000 individual feedback forms I had to wade through?Gosh they helped.

Thank you for reading!

DanielNo alt text provided for this image

Why the miscellaneous part of your Job Description matters

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

When it comes to the miscellaneous category in a job description, there are two kinds of Employees.

Employee type #1:

Why is there a miscellaneous category in my job description?

That makes me uncomfortable.

I’d like to know exactly what this job entails and how I will be measured.

Employee type #2:

Thanks for the miscellaneous category.

That means I can make this job my own.  And I have a chance to shape my contribution.

Whether that’s through the job I took or by ‘running to trouble’ to solve organizational problems that come up.

Employer intention matters

It’s easy to guess that Employee type #2 would be preferred over Employee type #1 for hiring.

Set your intentionBut Employer intention matters.

If the miscellaneous category is added because the job description writer is unclear on what the job entails, that’s an Employer problem.

Find out what the job entails and correct the job description.

If the category is added because the Employer expects the Employee to do anything that is asked of them that’s not only unclear, it’s negative.

Positive Employer intention

What if when you walked someone through the job description, you said –

Here you’ll see a miscellaneous category on the job description.  Let me explain that a bit.

The world is changing very fast, and we value folks who adapt to grow and flourish.  We’re all in this boat together. Noah's Ark

Even more, we think that you should have a voice in what your job becomes.  

We’ve given you the Job Purpose, we’ve listed out the key Roles & Responsibilities. 

We’ve also shared who you report to, both directly and indirectly.

But we find that our most successful Team Members bring their own perspectives and talents to the job.   

So in closing, we think the miscellaneous category is one of the most important ones on the job description and hope that you find that to be true too.

In closing

When your job description is written with good intention and clarity, the use of Miscellaneous might be one of the best ways to allow your Employee to grow and contribute.

Thanks for reading!


Picture of Daniel Ord













What I’ve learned about Motivational Quotes

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International No Comments

I’d always been sceptical of Motivational Quotes

I’d always been sceptical of motivational quotes.

Of course, there were exceptions.

President John F. Kennedy’s “Don’t ask what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” always stuck with me.

Later on I learned that the design of JFK’s quote – that of ‘parallel construction’ where two halves of the claim are attractively balanced – has much to do with it’s wow factor.


After my Mom passed away

After my Mom passed away, I found a small spiral bound notebook titled “Inspirational Quotes” in her desk.

Over the course of a few small pages – in her painstakingly beautiful handwriting – she had written down about a dozen quotes.

As I read each one, I considered the context of the quote in her life.

For a few I understood the context right away – for a time she was a caregiver for both her husband and son (my brother).

Thematically these quotes focused on personal strength.

Maya Angelou’s “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide to not be reduced by them” was one of these.

For the other quotes I realized that the context belonged to my Mom.  I couldn’t be sure why they had struck a chord with her.

But I as I read these I felt I was looking down into her well of inspiration – and it inspired me in turn.


I’ve rethought the utility of motivational quotes

Not all motivational quotes are created equal.  A quick scan on Pinterest on the topic of ‘motivational quotes’ proves this out.

But when I find one that resonates or inspires, I think first of context.

Who in what situation would benefit from reading this?  That’s an interesting empathy exercise.

Reading my Mom’s selections from her little spiralbound notebook gave me insight into what she needed or wanted to hear.

Sometimes I actively seek out quotes that address my own context – what do I need to hear right now to keep the fire burning.  Or what can I look at in a new or different way?

A resonant quote – at the right time – gives me a chance to dialogue with myself.

What can I do with my CCXP?

There’s nothing new under the sun

When it comes to human frailty, foibles & emotions, there’s nothing new under the sun.

Someone has experienced what I’ve experienced or felt the way I felt.

I love that some of these folks – whether from ancient times or the present – wanted to share perspective.

Thank you for reading!



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