Allowing Others to Improve You

There’s an aspect of teaching I know all teachers dread. It’s looked at with fear and anxiety and apprehension. It’s likely the darkest day of their teaching year. I’ve seen strong, valiant, and incredibly admirable teachers crippled with fear on this day; evaluation day. In most corporate or professional settings, we generally experience some type of evaluation. We are critiqued on our performance. We are given points to improve upon and cheered for victories and accomplishments. We are built up, but also maybe torn down a little bit. I’m not here to say that they’re good or bad, how they’re looked at, just that they happen.

They happen not only in the corporate world, but in every aspect of life.

The bottom-line purpose of a performance evaluation is to improve. It is to take what you’re currently doing and see how you can make it better. It is to learn from an opinion that is not your own. It is to hear the thoughts of someone who is not you, who is not in your own skin, making your decisions; an outside perspective. A lot of what we’re taught from an early age is not to let people influence us…negatively. We are told not to listen to the opinions of others because we should be our own person, because we should stand tall in our decisions and own what we do. This is all true.

…But what about allowing others to improve us?

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Real talk friends; I’m terrible at this.

Unfortunately, the other side and opposite of this is ugly and nasty. People can be cruel and tactless. We live in an age of social media especially, where rude vindictive people lurk in the shadows of their computers, ready to pounce on the vulnerable. I think so much of motherhood these days is being bombarded with social media and other moms’ lives, looking at them and judging (either yourself or them). It’s thinking that what you’re doing is just fine and you don’t need anyone’s help. It’s not taking or considering that performance review, so to speak.

You know what’s hard to hear when you’re passionate about doing something, albeit a job in the ‘professional world’ or living out your motherhood? A critique. Ways to improve. Because you aren’t already doing them…you likely didn’t think of them first.

And really, who wants to hear that?

It’s something I’m working on. Listening to others who are informed and kind (while obviously trusting my mama-gut!) Rather than dismissing information that is handed to me, I’m working on taking it into consideration for the purpose of improvement. I want to build and grow as a mother, and sometimes I can’t do this on my own! Knowing that I cannot do it without learning from life, but also from those around me. I want to take into consideration the words and advice others I trust give to me.

As parents and people, we often get the choice; to listen to the words we’re given, or dismiss them and try to do it ourselves. Sometimes the latter is the best and right choice. And maybe, occasionally we’re prone to choosing the latter over the former for other, more stubborn reasons.

I want my evaluation to celebrate my victories and accomplishments as a mother…but I also want to use it to grow and improve.

I want to allow others to improve me.

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