Saturday, May 14, 2011


When I worked at LSU in Academic Support for Student Athletes, one of my jobs was supervising the Learning Specialists who worked with the athletes. Each year, during evaluation time, I would meet individually with our Learning Specialists and review the year and plan for the future.

If your experiences have been like mine, your yearly evaluations are little more than formalities and rarely prove valuable. In 2008, as I prepared for the meetings with the Learning Specialists, I decided to put more thought into making this a positive, growing experience for myself as a leader and for each Learning Specialist as they planned their future at LSU. So, I put together a document for each Learning Specialist to work through before our meeting.

The big idea of the document was based on the 80/20 Principle which states that 80% of what you achieve in your job comes from 20% of the time spent. This is a really big idea that is worth more exploration. The other pieces of the evaluation were adapted from Andy Stanley’s wonderful book, The Next Generation Leader (5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future).

Below are the steps that I asked each Learning Specialist to take:

1. Discover your core competencies (self-evaluation) 
  • Very specific questions to answer about yourself to narrow down what you are really good at doing.
2. Discover your core competencies (peer-evaluation) 
  • Choose 2 or 3 other people who know you well to answer 4 questions about you.
3. Job description 
  • Write a job description that reflects your current reality. Then, write an ideal job description if you could sculpt it any way you wish.
4. Right seat on the bus 
  • These were questions for each person to answer so that I could help them find the right seat on our “bus” and grow in their overall job satisfaction.
5. Revisiting the 80/20 Principle 
  • Finally, I asked each individual to pull all of this information together to determine how they could expand their 20% (where the “juice” comes from) to be more reflected in the other 80% of their time.
I believe that the Learning Specialists enjoyed this process and, in turn, their work through this allowed me to better serve their needs and help expand their role at LSU.

I have attached the document below. Feel free to download, modify and use yourself. This is great for individuals that you supervise, but can also be used as a self-reflection piece as well.

Click here to access the entire document through Google Docs. You can print it or save it to your computer from this location.

Have you ever had a really good evaluation at work? What made it so positive? Please comment below.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi J,

I had forgotten about this evaluation. I thoroughly enjoyed participating because it allowed you to pinpoint where you were and where you wanted to be “on the bus.” I am glad you emailed me in reference to this because it was a very helpful tool to use at the end of a semester to guide your revisions to your job and the direction of the program itself.

Glad all is well,
Leah Saal
Learning Specialist, LSU