There have been a number of discussions of judgement, evaluation, and
feedback. I want to propose an a new mental model that may be more
This mental model begins with the perspective that we can learn about life
through concepts or approaches like action research. Thus, as events
happen, and as we participate in them, we can struggle to learn from those
events the germs of value that may have relevance in other situations.
Once we accept action research as a way of approaching life or job or
whatever, then there is obvious value in having conversations with other
people who may be more experienced or at lest wiser than you are.
Frequently, that person is the supervisor. This is at least true for me,
and in true in general in my white collar world.
As a consequence, my direct reports meet with me periodically, and we have
conversations about things they are struggling with. These conversations
sometimes result in a mutual agreement to pursue some course of action,
and attempt to learn from the consequences. We call these responsible
experiments, and we track them like little projects. Later, we try to
reach agreement on what we have learned if anything, and frequently we
share the learnings with others.
Is this evaluation, judgement, and feedback? I guess so. I think of it
as applying the scientific method to 'life'. It's actually fun, and it is
a success as long as people are willing to think, analyze, learn, and try.
The key thing to understand is that for people of normal intelligence and
capability, they cannot help but succeed and become more effective in
their work if they pursue this path. Interestingly, these people are
willing to identify the flaws in the system and fix them. Thus, they
eliminate the distinction between the people and the system. They
recognize that unless people take responsibility for fixing a system, then
it won't get fixed.
Rol Fessenden LL Bean, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <email@example.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>