Monday, March 17, 2014

The One Student

I have been training activity professionals for over 20 years in holistic activity programming.  I have online classes in aromatherapy, art and music.  I also have traveled across the country offering workshops, classes and keynotes.  I love offering programs to activity professionals.  As any good trainer/teacher knows evaluations are important.  They are a useful tool in what worked and what could have been better.  For those of us who are perfectionists (I am in recovery) they can also be devastating.  Why?  Because we put our heart and soul into something and we get one unkind evaluation.  Did you notice the word one?  Yes, you can have one hundred students and ninety-nine of those students loved your workshop and then there is the one student to point out a flaw.  I am not the only one that will pause and focus on the one student.  My colleagues tell me they do the same.  And at the end of the day it makes us just as annoying as the one student.  Let me explain.

If I have done my best then that is all I can do.  So why focus on the one student?  Because they called attention to a flaw…my flaw.  Yesterday I had a student get rather pissy on her evaluation because I misspelled a word.  She was the one student.  Now, at the beginning of each class I tell students that I am not perfect and that my classes will contain errors and I am ok with that.  BUT some people are drawn to the negative.  They are the ones always looking for what is wrong instead of what is right.  AND as the teacher/trainer I too am guilty of this because I went straight to the evaluation that was negative instead of focusing on all the wonderful things the other ninety-nine students said.  The difference is that I did stop myself and say “It’s ok Kimba.  You have dyslexia and you do an amazing job at putting words together and the people you hire to proof make mistakes too”.  And with that I started reading the other ninety-nine evaluations.  

So, if you are teacher/trainer focus on what is going right and how you can be better at your job.  For those of you who complete evaluations think of what could really be helpful to the person you are evaluating.  And last, those of you who like to tear people down because you can hide behind an anonymous evaluation….we know who you are and we are not going to give you a second thought.

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