Sometime during the school days, I read about uncertainty principle. In simple terms it says if you need to know what a particle’s velocity or position is, then you need to shoot another particle at it and deduce the information from the reflected particle. When you do this, you are transferring some energy to the other particle and it uses that to change its velocity or position.
It was tempting for me to draw an interesting analogy to evaluation of people. Will it be the same way that once you evaluate, the data is invalid because the person would have learned what needs to be improved and that person is already improving on it. In my experience it is true for me. If I take part in a contest or attend an interview, irrespective of the outcome I have always learnt about where I stand and what I need to do next.
The critics play well in someone’s performance indirectly. First they will say that the task is impossible. Then they will say it is possible, but not within the time frame. Then they will say it is possible to complete within the time frame, but will be with lots of problems. Then they will say there wont be any problems, but may not be able to integrate with the bigger solution. Then they will be a mute spectator after the successful completion of the task. What the critics do here is they communicate the problems and short comings to the individual who would not have a holistic view of the problem in hand. Thus critics are evaluating and providing immediate feedback but in a harsh manner, which can swing the outcome to either side (The receiver can be demoralized and not finish it or s/he can get excited to prove someone wrong and finish it). Whatever the outcome there will be a learning and the same person approaching a similar task next time will do it better.
This observation leads me to ask the question, is evaluation is very much necessary in any kind of work place? My answer from the experience would be that at least an environment is necessary in which the individual can observe oneself and identify the weak links. This environment could be in any form like mentorships, contests, debates. Sadly most of the workplaces stick to the traditional evaluation through perceptions from the people around which can proceed to outcomes like the critic example stated above. The data collected becomes obsolete as the individual would have changed by that point.
The moment you observe who you are, you are never going to be the same person from then on. We need to make sure we have enough of those moments to keep us improving ourselves instead of sticking to traditional evaluation practices.