About Digital Avatar Coaching: CDR-U Coach

As the creator of the first-to-market coaching technology, CDR-U Coach, which delivers an actual personalized coaching debrief of our in-depth CDR 3-D Suite of assessments as well as action planning, we often hear these questions:


How does digital avatar coaching compare to live executive coaching debriefs of our assessments?

 Both our digital avatar coaching and live executive coaching debriefs are founded on the results of our unmatched assessments, the CDR 3-D Suite. The accuracy of the CDR 3-D Suite helps fast forward the development process increasing self-awareness, performance success and personal fulfillment, and creates a blueprint for further coaching and/or development.

  Live coaching provides a robust and productive dialogue with exploration. This live coaching debrief takes about 2.5 to 3 hours to complete.

 Digital avatar coaching provides the same in-depth, thorough and personalized coaching debrief of the CDR 3-D Suite results. The algorithms are so rich that no two feedback sessions are like. The debrief process of all three assessments takes about an hour with one’s selected avatar coach. This is not a two-way dialogue; rather, the avatar coach guides the individual through their assessment results and provides interpretive feedback, valuable insights, connections and examples, as well as developmental tips. Then, there are two action planning modules that take addition time and independent effort to complete.

 The major difference between live coaching and digital avatar coaching is the reason we created CDR-U Coach – scalability. We want to help all levels of an enterprise. Our digital avatar coaching debrief by CDR-U Coach is today’s most viable option for employees or individuals not typically eligible for executive or leadership coaching due to the price point. This typically represents 80% of the workforce. CDR-U Coach is the only scalable option to bring coaching to everyone. Also, people need this feedback earlier in their career to get on and stay on the best track. Considering an HBR study found that only 10 to 15% of people who think they are self-aware, actually are, that’s a staggering statistic that often has a negative impact on one’s performance and career success.


Is it AI coaching?

 No. CDR-U Coach is the scripts of top global executive coaches certified to coach with the CDR 3-D Suite of the assessments. Because it is delivered digitally through an avatar, some say it feels like AI coaching, but it is actually digital. The interpretations are not deciphered or made up by the machine, it is deeply scripted by human experts.


What about psychological safety?

 Surprisingly, many users report feeling safer or that they are in the “non-judgment zone” with the avatar coach. They can listen, take time to absorb and think about the feedback, pause, before moving forward. They are not concerned about what a live coach might think. Also, individuals in tech and finance often prefer the digital avatar coach to a human.


Do you see this as replacing “live” executive or leadership coaching?

 No. While this extends the reach of coaching feedback to people who need it, it is not intended to replace live executive, leadership or other coaching. Some executive coaches are rightly concerned about the aspect of losing the personal touch. However, our rich algorithms provide personalized feedback to help the 80% of people who are typically not afforded coaching.  This helps them become more self-aware so they can drive their performance and careers in the best direction. The benefits of keen self-awareness, in our view, trumps the lack of live coaching for the 80%.


What can result from this earlier self-awareness with CDR-U Coach?

 We find that many people have hidden or undiscovered talent. We believe it is better if they know their true talents and capability in the present than suffer through a lackluster career, underutilizing or never knowing what they may be best at. Another issue is that many people stall, derail or are judged too harshly without proper development because of their personality-based risk factors. This particularly impacts women and minorities. CDR-U Coach helps each individual identify and manage their risks to prevent these from undermining their promotability, visibility and success.


How is the feedback from an avatar personalized?

 The feedback is personalized because the results of the CDR 3- D Suite are so personalized and detailed. The CDR Character Assessment is a Five Factor Model instrument with seven primary scales and 42 subscales. That is a great deal of individual differentiation. Next, we have 11 Risks that are measured with 10 Facets of Drivers & Rewards, with 50 sub-facets. That makes the results very individualized.

 The coaching scripts are based on these individual results as well as data connections, and our many years of coaching feedback expertise and themes that are uniquely developed for each individual.


Why does someone need a live coach or avatar to review CDR Assessment results?

 We see it as an ethical and as a business requirement to help feedback recipients fully understand their results. Because these are rich psychometric and motivational measures unlike many popular styles inventories, it takes a skilled, experienced professional to debrief and help the client with context of the results.


What are some of the ways that CDR-U Coach is being deployed? Who uses it?

 CDR-U Coach is, first and foremost, provided for individual coaching and to improve self- awareness, performance, career success and developmental action planning. So, providing this for individual development is the top use by companies and non-profits.

 CDR-U Coach can be used by executive, leadership and career coaches who are not certified in the coaching debriefs to help their clients deepen their self-awareness. These coaches, with permission, often listen to the clients’ results too and then move forward, incorporating the assessment results, into their ongoing coaching.

 CDR-U Coach’s CDR Character and Drivers & Rewards debrief are used by college students, high school seniors, and veterans for educational and career planning. In the career action planning module, which is used for this purpose, we also have a STEM Fit Review which helps people know if they have STEM capability ideal for development.

 CDR-U Coach is also being used by CDR Certified Executive Coaches to provide the initial debrief for “abrasive” leaders. This gives the leader the opportunity to hear the candid, direct feedback first in privacy with their own avatar coach, before engaging with their executive coach. In this way, the abrasive leader has time to process and think about the feedback.

 CDR-U Coach is also being used to develop Women in Leadership. So, CDR-U Coach provides a way for each aspiring woman leader to have feedback earlier in her career to prevent being held back by her risks when she may have an exceptional leader strength profile as identified by her CDR Character Assessment.

 Last, executive coaches are making CDR-U Coach available to their leader clients as a refresher months after the initial debrief. This is an ideal way for them to review if they are facing a new challenge or need a refresher on preventing their risks from undermining their success or working relationships, as an example.

What enterprise-wide analytics are available from this approach?

 The CDR 3-D Assessment Suite data can be used for multiple applications to get talent decisions right. This includes using the data for promotional decisions, succession planning, training needs analysis, leadership capability analysis and more. This can give the organization an accurate and detailed talent inventory to assure that their talent, recruitment and development is aligned with their strategic business goals.


It seems that CDR-U Coach provides scalability of coaching and developmental action planning. How does this work?

 Scalability is one of the key benefits of CDR-U Coach. An organization can have 10, 100, or 10,000 employees all take CDR-U Coach and the action planning modules. Also, users can revisit their results and coaching anytime as well as update their action plans to review with their managers. This is scalability at its best!


In the best of all worlds, what is a model for deploying both live coaching and digital avatar coaching?

 Our model is to continue with live executive coaching for senior and high potential leaders and then use CDR-U Coach for those who typically are not in the live coaching offerings. This would include leaders, professionals, technical, sales, and administrative staff – even to entry level to get people moving in their own best performance, development and career direction.


With CDR-U Coach, is there live coaching or team development that follows? Please describe.

 Yes, we offer live coaching to follow CDR-U Coach when this is requested. We frequently provide Team or Cohort Group training sessions after each individual completes their CDR-U Coach and we use the CDR data to custom design each session for maximum impact and sustainability of the applied learning.