If we don’t learn we will never get any better … so what is the point? I have tonight had the privilege of being general evaluator for the Casterbridge Speakers meeting.  We evaluate everything.  Indeed my own role was evaluated as part of the Competent Leadership award.  I am quite close to completing this.

So why do we evaluate?  Well, I believe there are a number of reasons for us to learn to do this well.

Firstly, we tend to be poor at giving constructive praise.  By this I mean ‘you’ve all done very well’ doesn’t work.  What have we all done well at? When we give praise we need to give examples of what is so good and why indeed we perceive that! Learning from good examples is SO powerful.

I am a staunch believer that it is better to learn from what is done well that try and work out what went wrong!  Especially as we tend to be too critical of what went wrong rather than offering an opinion on how it might have been better.

Finally, quite often we are too shy of critiquing when actually people don’t always learn from what they did well but how they might improve.  Harsh as this may seem, even when members deliver a brilliant speech – there will always be opportunities for improvement.  We may need to think carefully about the impact of this but … isn’t that what we join the Speakers Club for.

We shouldn’t shy away from offering an opinion.  After all it is only that!  But the shared learning will empower everyone in the room!

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