youth worker, student ministry, youth ministry

Effective Leaders Evaluate – 3 Keys to Evaluation

By Doug Franklin June 20, 2013

According to the dictionary, evaluate means “to determine the significance, worth, or condition of [something], usually by careful appraisal and study.”  Similar terms include “measure, estimate, valuate, assess, appraise, and value.”  Simply stated, to evaluate is to place a value on or judge the worth of something.

Effective leaders evaluate.  They examine 3 key areas when they evaluate.

1. Leaders consider why to evaluate.  It’s not worthwhile to evaluate just because you or others think you should evaluate.  Evaluation for the sake of an evaluation is pointless.  Leaders want answers to 3 key questions.

How well did we do?  Were the goals were achieved within in the projected time and budget?  If so, then how well?  If not, why not?

What did our team do well?  What were our strengths as a team?

How can we improve?  What were our weaknesses as a team?

2. Leaders consider what to evaluate.  It’s important to zero in on the most important evaluation criteria.  Leaders focus on another set of 3 factors.

What character qualities emerged during the project?  Were we Christ-like as a team?  Where did we fall short of Christ-likeness?

How was our performance as a team?  What factors contributed to our success?  What factors became stumbling blocks to our success?

How was our overall teamwork?  Was everyone involved and in the right positions based on their strengths?  How could we become more effective?

3. Leaders consider how to evaluate.  It’s important to determine the method of evaluation to make sure to collect the essential data.  Leaders follow 3 guidelines:

Evaluation is done regularly.  Evaluation is a built-in part of the plan for every project.  Formative evaluation occurs while the project is underway so the team can make mid-course corrections.  Summative evaluation takes place at the end of the project to assess the overall success and make future adjustments.

Evaluation is done honestly.  Evaluators must be objective and accurate.  It doesn’t help to be too easy or too hard in your assessment.  Be fair and truthful.  Most importantly, evaluators must desire to use the information to help the team improve in the future.

Evaluation is done actively.  This means that evaluation will take place and the leader will initiate and support it.  It also means that everyone involved in the project has a chance to provide feedback.  Furthermore, the results must be available to everyone to build trust and team unity.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More