Recently I came across some old note of mine, from some meeting several years ago. I though it would be useful in my writing so I saved it; actually there were two notes that were similar in content. They both relate to blogging, although at the time I didn’t know I would be blogging.
I lump them all under the title of taking a stand, although stance would probably be more descriptive.
The notes are these:
- Know your audience.
- Be proactive to anticipate needs.
- Be reactive to meet needs.
- Be authentic.
- Be direct.
- Be unapologetic.
What you do with them affects you in your dealings, even your evaluation dealings.
If you do not know your audience , you cannot write to them; plan an evaluation with them; conduct an evaluation for them; teach them how to do the evaluation later. (That last sounds like you want to work yourself out of a job??? Maybe?) I have identified my audience as people who work for the Extension Service and need/want to know about evaluation (and sometimes other things… 🙂 ) and other people who have an interest in evaluation in general–there are a lot of evaluators out there…
I listen to what folks are talking about and try to anticipate needs. Sometimes I’m not very good at anticipating needs; sometimes I am. I know that Fair Season is upon us and folks are probably not thinking EVALUATION right now. I think it is important to have evidence regardless of the season. Evaluation is one way to get evidence to support your contention.
When folks ask a question, I try to answer them (I see a question as a need–most of the time–and my knee jerk reaction is to find a solution). It may not be immediately. I look for answers and remember where those answers were. I send the answers (or at least where to find an answer) to whomever asked. No simple task. Fortunately, I’ve a bunch of good resources.
A long time ago, when I was first starting out in this business, I decided that being authentic (read: real) was the way to go. To me, that is the flip side of being direct. If you have to pussy foot around, you are not being real; you are not being direct. That doesn’t mean you have to be rude or insensitive. It does mean that you call a shovel a shovel, not that digging implement (unless you don’t know the name for something…).
At a certain point (probably after two, maybe after 18); there is no need to apologize for standing up for what you believe. You can only be a door mat if you lie down. So when it comes to taking a stand, no need to apologize. (I still find myself apologizing for things over which I have no control…I don’t need to do that). I do offer a caveat, however, letting the listener know this is my take on the issue.
I’m sure you can figure out how this is all evaluative.