Very few people enjoy being evaluated. Most of those who say they do, are either liars or not receiving proper feedback about their evaluation.
The problem is that judging someone is very easy. It’s also kinda fun. But here’s the key point:
Judging, and evaluating are two very different things. If we’re frequently evaluating, it’s less likely we’ll be judging.
We love the idea of evaluation: of being tested, seeing where our strengths are, how to make things better…. but when someone’s looking over your shoulder, when they’re picking apart your every action and telling you what you did wrong… that part isn’t so much fun.
Evaluation is tricky. It’s often difficult, and very easy to perform poorly. But it’s damn important.
Because as hard as it is to put myself forward for evaluation; as awkward as it is to evaluate someone else, evaluation is productive.
Evaluation shows us where the holes are. It helps us see where we’re failing, and lets us know when we’re improving.
Intentional evaluation creates growth keeps us accountable.
Judgement isn’t productive. It’s often personal and it’s shamefully filled with pride; because most often we’re comparing the standard to what we think is better, not actually what is best. Judgement isn’t an intentionally planned or consensual program; it’s a projection of what we want, upon someone or something else. Judging in human terms (outside the legal world of course) is lazy.
Being told where you sucked during an evaluation is hard, but it’s almost unbearably painful when you receive undue judgement as well.
With this in mind, if you’re a student like me I encourage you to keep going, keep asking for evaluation, develop a think skin for constructive criticism and grow.
“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisors they succeed.” -Proverbs 15:22
The council we gain from those who have taken the time to evaluate us is a blessing and a privilege. Whilst it may hurt to be told you’re not perfect, the truth is this person is trying to help you. Better men and women than us have let their pride prevent them from learning the lessons wiser minds have offered. Instead of viewing evaluation as an attack upon you personally, view it as a measurement tool, a progress chart.
We get what we measure, so measure often and the fruit will be a practitioner with 10 years experience, not someone who’s done the same experience 10 years over.
If you’re an assessor, a mentor, a senior worked, I urge you to think carefully about the comments you give out and statements you throw into the open: are they intentional? Are they humble and helpful? Are they productive?
Are you judging, or evaluating?