I sat at the kitchen table as my 5-year old Daughter struggled through her handwriting exercises. I encouraged her to slow down and take her time. I reminded her to start her letters at the top, focus on straight lines, use good posture, and hold the pencil closer to the tip. I could tell the more I commented, the more frustrated she became. In an effort to evaluate and coach I was only exacerbating the problem. Anyway, who am I to judge? My handwriting could use some improvement too.
One of my job responsibilities is to evaluate the work and effort of copywriters, graphic designers, technical designers, and course developers. I should emphasize that I have never held any of those positions. I never studied design and my written skills require constant improvement. Still, every Wednesday I sit in a creative review where I evaluate the output from the previous week. I never know how to approach these meetings. I work with such talented individuals who care greatly about their craft and yet they have to present their material for my critique.
As I worked with my daughter I gained some clarity. My job is not to judge. My role is to encourage good habits and best practices. The same can be said for our creative reviews. I simply focus on best practices and provide suggestions. Sometimes my recommendations are incorporated and sometimes they’re not. What’s important is focusing on my tone and when I chose to provide constructive feedback. My Daughter became frustrated because I hammered one negative after the next and never pointed out what she was doing correctly. I overwhelmed and discouraged her.
When reviewing the work of my team I must remember those very things. I should always include positive feedback and stress what was done well. I must listen to their presentations, allow them to explain and defend their work, and know that mine is just an opinion. I need to recognize their talent, training, and hard work. Only then can I expect to encourage positive development.
How do you avoid judgment, and focus on evaluation?
You know the buzzwords; inbound, outbound, content, demand gen, lead gen, martech, social media, account-based, advocacy, customer success, sales enablement, and analytics.She studies it, plans it, executes it, experiments with it, and loves it.
Through discovery, creation, and innovation she's learned to say "Yes, And".Like business, her career is one big improvisational act.
She leads all aspects of the brand and culture, developing and executing a clearly defined, integrated marketing communications strategy.Marilyn is responsible for planning, organizing, staffing, training, and managing all marketing functions to achieve objectives of growth, awareness, customer success and making work better.
Marilyn exists to empower sales and support the customer. When not geeking out over marketing analytics, she can be found daydreaming about her unrealized dream as a professional wrestler with the WWE.
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