You are here: Home - smart as hell - Evaluating through Intuition

Evaluating through Intuition

Posted by on February 5th, 2013 with 0 Comments

As we’ve discussed on this site, we all evaluate, we are all being evaluated, and we all invite evaluation.

From the moment we wake, we move through evaluations of the weather, our energy level, our physical appearance, our need for coffee, and a hundred other judgements.
Most of these assessments are of a type I call ‘Intuition’.

Intuitive evaluation is the qualitative assessment of output.
Common intuitive phrases include:

  • “She’s my best employee”
  • “I love this painting”
  • “Great presentation!”
  • “I feel like shit”
  • “Worst… Movie… Ever…”

This intuition, which I also sometimes refer to this as ‘Roman Thumb’ evaluation, has a number of positive and negative attributes.

Pros: It’s fast. It’s easy. Anyone can do it. It’s great for sorting through ‘multiples’ like paint chips, or finding a bargain at the bottom of a bin at a garage sale.

Cons: It’s inconsistent. Your evaluation tomorrow might be completely different. The criteria are unclear or nonexistent. Everyone does it. It’s impacted by personal and political bias. It can lead to ‘popularity’ contests. And the feedback is mostly useless, in terms of taking action on it.

Intuition is harmless when the stakes are low; when there are no rewards or punishments (or the consequences are trivial). But it can be risky when the stakes are high.

Some very public examples of ‘Intuitive Evaluation’ being used include:

  • Traditional Baseball Scouting: If you’ve seen the film “Moneyball” – or read the book –  you know that traditional scouts preferred their ‘eye’ (another word for intuition) over statistics. As a result, a lot of bad decisions were made, money was wasted, and the Oakland A’s came close to a championship.
  • HotorNot.com: Hot or Not was a website where participants posted their portraits, and visitors literally made snap decisions, based on only one tenuous criteria, is the subject of the photo ‘hot’ or ‘not’? You saw a precursor of this site in “The Social Network“. (note – now it’s a dating site)
  • Yelp.com: Yelp is, according to its’ banner, ‘the fun and easy way to find and talk about great (and not so great) local businesses’. Yelp expands the evaluation to a five point scale, but the criteria for scoring is still undefined. Opinions vary wildly.
  • Donald Trump, host of TV’s ‘The Apprentice’, pronouncing “You’re Fired!
  • George Steinbrenner, long-time former owner of the New York Yankees, and quite possibly – according to Trump – the inspiration for “you’re fired”. The Boss, as Steinbrenner was known, fired a extraordinary number of managers in a short period, often with little thought. It was not uncommon for him to fire you today and hire you back tomorrow.
  • Phone voting for programs like American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, or any local area ‘Battle of the Bands’ relies on ‘non-expert’ evaluation.
  • Peer voting in Survivor, Best Chef, and other similar television programs begs for bias, politics, and inconsistent standards.

Look, I’m not trying to convince you to stop using intuition for evaluation. We make thousands of evaluations a day. Most of them are trivial. Intuition is fine in most cases.

I am asking you to be aware that you are using ‘intuitive evaluation’ and to ask if there is a more appropriate evaluation method for your situation.

Simple, but important, questions like “are you prepared for the trip/meeting?”, “is my paper ready for submission?”, “shall I take him/her home”, or “should we hire him/her?” should NOT be left to intuition.

SMART as Hell Exercise:

  1. List the evaluations you made yesterday.
  2. How many of those evaluations would be classified as ‘intuition’ (qualitative assessment of output)?
  3. How many of those evaluations carry a significant reward or punishment?
  4. Is there risk that your evaluation will negatively impact your reward or punishment?
Share your findings below.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

SMART as Hell

With a mission to help "Change Your World One Goal at a Time", SMART as Hell provides books, videos, coaching, and training programs for individuals, teams, organizations, coaches, and facilitators.

Download the SMART as Hell catalog

SMART as Hell TV

Rick Gilbert

A Graphic Guide to Writing SMART as Hell Goals

Cover - A Graphic Guide to Writing SMART as Hell Goals

A Graphic Guide to Writing SMART as Hell Goals

A Graphic Guide to Writing SMART as Hell Goals follows Mickey, a new employee, on his journey from SMART to SMART as Hell. In this fast paced comic book by award-winning author Glenn Hughes, you’ll watch Mickey rebound from a failed meeting with his boss Amy, by getting clarity around his

Buy Now

Buy This Book Online

Cover - A Graphic Guide to Writing SMART as Hell Goals

Find A Local Bookstore

,

Read More

SMART as Hell Advice

Front Cover for SMART as Hell Advice by Glenn Hughes

SMART as Hell Advice

Do your goals lack punch? Are you struggling for the motivation to realize your dreams? Do you sometimes wish you could get a nice pat on the back AND a good kick in the butt? SMART as Hell Advice is your antidote. In this book, award-winning goal expert Glenn Hughes gathers

Buy Now

Buy This Book Online

Front Cover for SMART as Hell Advice by Glenn Hughes

Find A Local Bookstore

,

Read More

Photo Jolts!

Photo Jolts! Award Winning eBook Cover

Photo Jolts!

Looking to increase clarity, creativity, and conversation?  Photo Jolts! shows you how to leverage the power of photographs to improve yourself, your team, or your organization. Master trainer Thiagi and SMART as Hell.com founder Glenn Hughes share 51 activities (with over 300 variations) that are tested and proven to help participants

Buy Now

Buy This Book Online

Photo Jolts! Award Winning eBook Cover

Find A Local Bookstore

,

Read More

Follow Us!

Archives