An Evaluator's Guide to Surviving the Holidays
Have you ever sat at the Thanksgiving table with dry, flavorless turkey in your mouth, wishing you could provide some constructive feedback for next year? It’s that time of year again when you have to “enjoy” the holiday cheer and “fabulous” cooking skills of your friends, family, and neighbors as they drop box after box of cardboard-flavored sugar cookies at your door. Who invented sugar cookies anyways...and did they have any friends evaluate a batch before publishing the recipe? It’s the time of year when you need to put your evaluator brain on pause, smile, and smother that dry turkey with gravy and cranberry jelly.
The holidays are also a time to practice receiving criticism with a smile. Just like you keep your smile plastered to your face when you’re mother tells you she likes this haircut so much better the other haircut, receiving feedback with a smile is a crucial skill for working with a highly demanding client.
Much like a good evaluator will present their final report with care, a good Thanksgiving guest will think carefully about how to craft their final goodbyes. It must be done early enough to avoid the meltdown of over-tired children, and yet not too soon so as to miss the pumpkin pie. Similarly, an evaluation should be closed out in time for stakeholders to feel positively about the report, but not so late that they become burdened by the presence of the evaluator.
So to all the evaluators out there, best of luck in silencing your analytical brain, pour a glass of mulled wine and be sure to volunteer to make the turkey next year.