Recently I heard a team leader of a communication team wanting to protect his first year staff from sitting under too many seasoned, veteran speakers so as not to feel a sense of insecurity. While I can appreciate the pastoral nature of this leadership, I disagree with it from a long-range perspective. If your young communicators or leaders are not exposed to experienced mentors, the bar will remain low. As the years roll by your product, will be reduced to a lower common denominator.
In other words, if young communicators cannot see someone to emulate and be challenged to advance, they will never reach their potential. There is a certain degree of insecurity in youth which shows us how much we need to grow.
In this lies the process of self-evaluation. Speakers must watch techniques of others to learn and grow. We all need to see ways in which we can improve.
While key in communications, this is equally true in leadership, marriage, or parenting.
We all want someone to speak into our lives. Our spouse and kids can do this, but the higher you climb in leadership, the less people will input into your life.
Leaders must practice self-evaluation.
We need to continually be evaluating our style, our impact, and our communication. While not wallowing in our weaknesses so much we do not walk in our God-given strengths, we must make a plan to develop continually.
Leaders do not plateau or arrive. They adapt
There have never been so many resources readily available to develop our skills.
Be an avid reader.
Listen to podcasts or teaching series.
Start a growth group with people in similar areas of interest or vocation.
Seek out input and counsel, rather than waiting for someone to “mentor” you.
Sit down with a cup of tea or coffee and make a plan for growth.
If we seize upon the benchmarks life brings us, we can reflect on past successes and failures, making a plan for growth in the future.
Such benchmarks are:
A birthday or anniversary?
A new role or the passing off of one which you were involved in.
A new phase in the life of your children or family.
Whether a communicator, a leader, or even a parent or spouse; the tool of self-evaluation is the first step in growth.
What are some tools you have used for self-evaluation to spur your own growth?