Vol.3. No.1, Januari 2017
Let’s Evaluate Ourselves!
Endro Puspo Wiroko
Fakultas Psikologi Universitas Pancasila
The Wake up Call
It was an exhausting day when I had completed my assignment week. My project manager accompanied me to wait for my flight back to Jakarta and his flight back to Kuala Lumpur. We finished our learning session regarding revised program about individual development plan which essence is about how people evaluate their strengths and areas of improvement to be able to create career plan. Since Indonesia & Malaysia share similar work culture (at least from our point of view in our company), we shared some ideas on how to cascade the program well. Few suggestions were delivered until suddenly he asked me a simple question: “You are a Psychologist, aren’t you? Well, besides reinforcing people to evaluate themselves, motivating yourself to do self evaluation must not be a trouble.” Honestly, I was shocked. I could not answer his question clearly and I was only wandering around.
For me, his question was a wake up call. Most of my responsibilities (at that moment) was to assist employees to recognize themselves then to choose the best development plan for each of them. The “psychologist” part was not a compulsory requirement for my job, but since people had known me as a psychologist, some short counselling was delivered for those who need it. I told people to do this and that as well as asked them to frequently evaluate their work result. What about my own evaluation? I did evaluated myself but it was only when my direct superior asked me to come to her room to conduct development discussion. Unfortunately, it is ironic for me who learn about psychology but I can only tell people without being able to proof its application.
Some personal measures
Actually the long reflection was not this simple, but let’s just get into the point of my writing. I decided to do some simple measures when I was still working in the company. First, I asked all people to give me any direct input at the end of my presentation in front of my group division. No matter how unfavorable the suggestion, I had to be ready to improve my flaws. The comments I asked from them were not only the final result of my work but also the process “behind the scene”.
Second, at the end of my presentations to groups of employees, I put simple slides talking about the importance of self evaluation in work context. I put those slides as reminder for me and I committed to regularly apply my own words to myself. There were some self evaluation tips and I keep on trying to apply them to myself. Although now I may forget some points, at least I can still read the file for refreshment.
Third, I came to see some of my colleagues to ask for their comments regarding anything related to my work style or work result. I came not only to those who are close friends, but also other office mates including seniors. Usually, I did informal chat during lunch break or anytime when I thought the person is available.
By the end of the day, I realize that the key of self evaluation is about showing evidence. When I think that I have done good point, I must be able to provide the objective evidence. Was it a total success? Definitely no. Why? It is always easy to listen to our strengths but surely it is a challenge to listen to our weaknesses. At first, I felt uncomfortable when someone argued about something that he or she thought I have done wrong, but eventually I could cope with that feeling. If I could do it, then you could do it as well. Currently, today, I have a new working environment, therefore I need to rearrange my self evaluation strategies.
It is Your Turn Now
The objective of this article is to attract more people to do self evaluation in daily work context. Let’s be fair, we can still see many people who claim themselves as an expert of something but actually they cannot apply their expertise to themselves. Let’s take a look to few people in psychology area either Psychologists or scientist in Psychology or even anyone who graduated as bachelor in Psyhology. I really disagree with the jargon saying “Psikologi Untuk Anda” (Psychology is for you). We learn about psychology, we deliver our knowledge to others, then I think we must apply it to ourselves as well. Nobody is perfect, but at least we who learn Psychology can get the benefit of it.
As I will also spread link of this article to any suitable forums (especially human resources one), then everyone outside psychology area is also encouraged to do self evaluation. There are so many job expertise in this world so I may not give sufficient examples. The point is that whatever your expertise, you have to try best to apply your knowledge (especially soft skills) to yourself either after or before teaching others.
If we take a closer look, there was nothing special about my efforts in the previous paragraphs. Thus, it is your turn to begin evaluating yourself wisely. You only have to look at your work result then evaluate your strengths and areas of improvement during your previous work process. Do not forget to provide evidences of your result.
Self Evaluation in Work Context
This article is focusing on self evaluation specifically in work context. However, we do not talk about self evaluation in global life context since it will need broader point of view. Robbins (2003) explains that employees who can evaluate themselves tend to have better self management. However, most employees will rate their performance higher than the rate from their supervisor. This may not be a drawback since both rates ideally must be discussed during development discussion. The process of balancing employee’s own rate and supervisor’s rate may be beneficial for employee’s feedback (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2004). The person will be able to comprehend his or her truly level of competence based on clear evidences as final discussion result. Finally, self evaluation has something to do with job satisfaction (Judge & Bono, 2001) since those who can do proper self evaluation tend to be more satisfied in their work and achieve good perfomance. Now we can understand that when we are evaluating ourselves, we must be able to show clear evidences of what we have done. Also, we need other party to give more objective feedback.
Judge, T. A. & Bono, J. E. (2001). Relationships of Core Self Evaluation Traits – Self Esteem, Generalized Self Efficacy, Locus of Control, and Emotional Stability – With Job Satisfaction and Job Performance: A Meta Analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 86, No. 1, 80-92.
Robbins, S. P. (2003). Organizational Behavior (International Edition). New Jersey: Pearson Education.
Kreitner, R. & Kinicki, A. (2004). Organizational Behavior (International Edition). New York: McGraw-Hill.