by | Thoughts

Monitoring is a necessary growth tool for the professional speaker and others who want to soar beyond success. Over 50 years, I have observed the polarization of my evaluations:

1) I have been described as “A Georgia Treasure and a National Treasure.”  Side by side with “I surely hope we did not pay this fellow anything to speak.”

2) One client who insisted on paying me more than we agreed upon, and another client who wanted their money back. In a similar vein, you must be equipped to handle evaluations from two angles.

When others evaluate you…

1) Another’s evaluation of you may have more to do with them than you. When it comes to evaluations, purity of motive is elusive.

2) By evaluating you in terms that equal terms of poor performance, others may be building themselves up by bringing you down.

3) Most evaluations are genuine and can service your journey well.

4) Keep a file of evaluations from others.

5) Some are reluctant to evaluate you because of a fear of reprisal.

6) When possible, write a “Thank you” note for the evaluation.

When you evaluate others…

1) Seek to be objective rather than subjective.

2) Use specific terms, do not generalize.

3) Spend more time affirming them at a strength point, rather than their point of weakness.

4) Choose your words carefully.

5) Read the instructions and evaluations – questions carefully. I have had thousands of people give me a perfect score on handouts and I do not use handouts.

6) Use “feedback” rather than “criticism.”

Take the evaluations that you make on others very seriously. Monitor how you say what you are trying to communicate or how you say what you write. What you say or write may be insignificant to you, but very significant to to receiver of your message.

Stephen is the best-selling author of 26 books, including What Do They See When They See You Coming? He has also written countless articles for a variety of publications and has produced multiple audio books and video programs. Stephen has appeared on PBS Television and XM Sirius Satellite Radio. He continues to hold one of the highest invite-back ratios in the speaking profession.