Sunday, October 6, 2013

Life's Evaluations

After each seminar I present, I collect between 200 and 600 of these evaluations.

Most have wonderful comments and thoughtful compliments on the impact of the training and how it will help them.

But some people complain that they weren't fed cookies in the afternoon. They have no idea that we paid over $30 per gallon of coffee that morning & that cookies would have cost us hundreds of dollars more. Most complaints come from a lack of understanding, and that really got me thinking.

I used to get so upset with just one negative comment on an evaluation but have learned that I can't make everyone happy & what some people think is a good quality ("I loved the personal stories about your family."), others think is a downfall ("too many personal stories"). I now can sift through my evaluations & shrug of the little negatives. I can now tell when I really need to step up my game just as well as I can tell if an evaluation is just filled out by someone that is never happy.

These evaluations remind me a lot about the evaluations & judgements people make on each other in life. Just a few years ago, I thought I got along beautifully with everyone I knew. I had very little conflict & would have been heartbroken to think that someone didn't like me or had something bad to say.

This year has not been so peaceful. I have had quiet conflict with some. I have had difficult friendship-ending conversations with others, but I have finally come to the conclusion that there are some people that just won't ever understand or be happy with me. Some won't ever get the background information needed to understand. Some aren't open enough to talk & repair problems. Some are so busy talking, they can't ever hear.

Like Abe Lincoln said, " Most folks are as happy as they make their minds up to be." I chose joy.


Adam M said...

April, as I have attended a couple conferences with you I can say you have taught me a lot. You are such an awesome person. For those comments about cookies, seriously those people really need to get a life. We are there to learn from you not have a buffet. Also its called bring your own treats in a bag :-). For less then $40 a person and the amount of knowledge these people will learn from you they should be cheering not worrying about cookies.

Leah said...

Love that quote from President Lincoln! :)

Jenny said...

You'll never be able to please everyone...I too love that quote!

Anonymous said...

Love that Abe Lincoln quote. Another favorite that has helped me is this: "We live for an audience of One." Making people happy isn't most important and often it's not even attainable. Pleasing God is the goal--a God who loves us UNconditionally and only expects the best we can be. I'm thankful for that, and thankful for you.