Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Art of Criticism... or "What to do when an evaluation goes bad".

I just read a great article on titled, How to Handle Criticism and it got me thinking about how we TAKE feedback as a Toastmaster.

Have you ever had an evaluation that seemed to "touch a nerve"?

Maybe the evaluator did not present his suggestions in a constructive manner or, more likely, you took his suggestions as a personal insult to the quality of your speech.

We have all been though this ... although it seemed to be more common during my first 10 speeches on the way to my CTM (now called CC).

I did not really know the other people in the club and did not appreciate that they were trying to help me improve my speaking and communication skills. Now that I know them, their criticism is much less "stinging" and since I have more experience, I can recognize when I "miss the mark"... often before anyone has to tell me.

The new Toastmasters leadership manual has opportunities for you to be evaluated in every role... including as an evaluator. Hopefully this will speed up the process of becoming a competent evaluator as well as improve the quality of evaluations at the club level.

Have you ever been insulted by an evaluation? How did you handle it? Do you notice it more as you have given more speeches?

Leave a comment below and share with us your experiences and suggestions!

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