April 2021 Leader Letter

Evaluating Your Leadership Development

Learn how evaluations can put you on the fast track to improving your leadership skills.

By Andy Tonge

For many, being evaluated can be daunting and intimidating. Being told how you performed and having your strengths and weaknesses pointed out can make the best of us uncomfortable. Despite this, evaluations hold incredible value, especially for those looking to sharpen their leadership skills.

As a leader, you may feel more comfortable giving feedback than receiving it. By receiving feedback on your leadership skills, you will gain insight on what you do well and what opportunities for improvement you have. By increasing your awareness of your leadership skills and weaknesses, you can address any concerns and build on your strengths.

One way you can feel more comfortable with being evaluated is to start the process with a self-assessment. How you see yourself as a leader may differ from how others see you. By comparing your evaluation with one from another person, you can gain a better picture of your leadership skills and how you can continue growing.

A great way to start the evaluation process in Toastmasters is to use the recently created Club Officer Self-Evaluation Forms and District Leader Self-Evaluation Forms. These forms were created to be used throughout your term and can be vital in tracking your leadership growth and noting areas for improvement.

While both are self-evaluations, they were designed to be reviewed with fellow leaders. The benefits of reviewing with another leader are to give clarity to expectations, close previously missed gaps, provide more accountability, and offer an opportunity for course correction. Additionally, by completing the evaluation and reviewing with a fellow club officer or District leader, you will start to feel more comfortable with receiving feedback and being evaluated.

Looking to take your leadership development to the next level? A great way to do this is to gather feedback from multiple sources instead of just one. In the same way that your self-evaluation might differ from how others see you, evaluations from different people can also yield different results and reveal things that might have otherwise been missed.

A popular way to gather feedback from several sources is to do a 360-degree evaluation. Toastmasters leaders can participate by using the Club Officer 360-Degree Evaluation and District Leader 360-Degree Evaluation resources. In Toastmasters, these evaluations rely on feedback from peers, other leaders, and club members to provide clarity on how the leader can continue developing their skills.

If you’re looking for ways to continue developing your leadership skills, don’t shy away from being evaluated. Building awareness of where you excel and where you can improve will put you on the fast track to becoming the best leader you can be!

Additional Resources:

The Secret to a Meaningful Evaluation

Evaluations: Bridging the Culture Gap

Making the Most of Evaluations