Chapter 2: Wholehearted Human Evaluation
In a previous post, I mentioned my desire to write a book highlighting the differences between salesmen and servicemen. This is the second chapter in the book I will publish this year comparing the similarities, differences, and overlap that exist between salesmen and servicemen. Here I discuss the concept of Wholehearted Human Evaluation; Chapter 3 will then discuss Wholehearted Cause Evaluation.
Close your eyes, and bear with me for a moment.
I want you to think of 5–10 of the most influential people in your life. Family, friends, colleagues, and anyone in between.
Now I want you to think of a time you undervalued them. This could be undervaluing their empathy, their intelligence, their work ethic, or any similar identifier of value in the human experience.
How do we tell when we undervalue a person? When they perform in a way contrary to how we would expect them to perform.
I have two examples in my own life, from two people I would be nothing without: my parents.
I always tell people I could not ask for better parents, and I mean that. Yes, I Wholeheartedly mean that!
Yes, they are human and have flaws, but their energy and compassion is genuine, and anyone who knows them well would agree. However, I don’t always give my parents the credit they deserve, and they know this (at least I think they have an inkling).
For both of my parents, I strongly question one part of them, and each time I do I am left feeling amazed, because when it matters, I am just plum wrong.
For my father, I question his empathy. For my mother, I question her intelligence.
My father is a seventh grade social studies teacher. His pay and benefits have been cut multiple times over the years, but his passion and enthusiasm for his job never wanes. He grows tired of the bureaucracy and red tape, and still shows up every day for the kids. There is nothing I’ve seen that tears my dad up more than having lost several of his students to cancer. He talks to his mother every day since my grandfather passed. He has a huge garden in the summer, and gives much of what he grows away to family and friends. He sacrifices daily and asks for little in return. Yet here I have the nerve to question his empathy.
My mother has worked with various ages and levels of physically, mentally, and emotionally disabled people, including her brother with Down Syndrome. She has served as a Combat Medic in the Army National Guard. She has two associates degrees and has attended multiple different classes outside of college to better her health, start a business, and the list goes on. She has also been the caretaker of her father, and many other friends and family members who have called upon her for different things, and without thinking twice she is there to lend a helping hand. Yet here I have the nerve to question her intelligence.
These are just two examples in my life, and I’m sure you can conjure up some examples in your life as well. So the question left is: How do we engage in Wholehearted Human Evaluation?
Part of being a serviceman is to genuinely care about those you are working with, whether for a day or for years at a time. A good way to start caring is to talk to them, and once you believe you have a good idea of who they are, start your Wholehearted Human Evaluation.
I just proved that assumptions I make about my parents are wrong. Sometimes I think it’s because I compare them and see their strengths, but instead focus on their weaknesses compared to the other.
In order for us to engage in Wholehearted Human Evaluation, we must stop comparing one to another.
While I believe my mother is more empathetic and my father is more intelligent, those are based on social constructs that take into account some of my parents knowledge, skills, and abilities, but neglect other aspects.
I think another key aspect of Wholehearted Human Evaluation is to stop comparing others to ourselves. We are each uniquely gifted, and bring special power to this earth, and comparison again takes away from all that our loved ones are and could be.
We must then take inventory of their strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, question why we believe certain aspects of that person are strengths and certain aspects are weaknesses. Could a strength also be seen as a weakness? Could a weakness double as a strength?
This is all subjective evaluation. So the final step is, turn your subjective evaluation into an objective evaluation. Bring in outside thought and opinion. Whether that is an expert on these topics (Think Brené Brown), or other people who are close to the person you are evaluating, these outside sources will surely give you a full scope of your subject.
Salesmen may utilize similar tactics, if only to make a sale through a false connection to the customer. Servicemen will take care and remember these facts; salesmen will quickly lose and forget these facts once the sale is over.
To recap, Wholehearted Human Evaluation takes time, patience, and understanding. First you must take the time to get to know your new friend. Then, comparison to others or self is the first thing that must be eliminated. Next, weigh their strengths and weaknesses, being careful to ensure each aspect belongs as a strength, weakness, or both. Finally, take your subjective knowledge and turn it into objective knowledge by utilizing others close to your new friend, as well as experts on the subject.