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We Are ALL Being Evaluated

Posted by on January 28th, 2013 with 0 Comments

We are evaluated every day.

It doesn’t matter who we are – parent or child, teacher or student, coach or athlete, executive or intern.
And it doesn’t matter where we go. We are evaluated at home, at work, at school, at play.
We are eternally under the evaluation microscope… and we HATE it.

It makes us feel vulnerable, weak, judged.

  • Have you ever been shocked when someone rated your performance lower than you expected?
  • Have you ever been frustrated because you couldn’t describe what ‘excellent’ performance looked like?
  • Have you ever struggled with performers who thought they were excellent, while you rated them ‘average’ or ‘below average’?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are in good company.
Almost everyone has experienced a performance disagreement.

Here are a few examples:

  • The Beatles: Countless record companies rejected the Beatles before they hit it big.
  • Movies: Roger Ebert gave ‘Die Hard’ two stars out of four and ‘The Usual Suspects’ one and a half stars.
  • Athletes: Boston Red Sox General Manager Dan Duquette said that pitcher Roger Clemens was ‘washed up’, right before Clemens won three more Cy Young awards.

It’s no wonder that Albert Einstein said, “Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods“.

In a survey by Taleo Research in April of 2009, 78% of American employees were dissatisfied with the performance review process. I have personally struggled – as an employee, a manager, a student, and a trainer – through painful performance disagreements.

How can we avoid – or at least minimize – this pain?
The answer lies in agreeing on the standards of evaluation: what we call goals, objectives, or targets.

SMART as Hell Exercise:
Reflect on a performance disagreement you’ve had in your personal or professional life.
Were the standards clear?

Post your stories below.

 

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