I never thought I'd miss receiving corporate evaluations. You know, the mandatory procedure involving a superior sitting you down to have an involved, face-to-face discussion regarding your performance and ‘areas of opportunity’. Before my current position as a Pure Barre studio owner, I was the store manager of a large, corporate retail store. As a store manager I could always depend on my monthly, quarterly, bi-annually and yearly “Career Development Plan”-our fancy term for corporate evaluation. My boss and I spent hours thoroughly assessing my performance, creating short and long-term goals, drafting measurable benchmarks, and developing thoughtful and realistic game-plans. This training was invaluable. As a business owner, I don't have the luxury of being evaluated by a superior who knows my strengths and weaknesses. However, I am convinced I've found a close substitute. I've learned to actively solicit feedback from others. I've discovered the key to improve my effectiveness as a business owner is to reach out for honest, usable feedback. I now find it necessary to incorporate some form of seeking feedback into my daily life. Not only seeking feedback, but learning to really hear what is being said about me, and then bettering myself through these assessments. I may miss my structured corporate evaluation, but I'm finding others' feedback to be just as impactful.
AUTHOR: Sami Dinsmore Sweeny