Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Bless Your (Judging) Heart
In my current position, I sit on many interview panels for both my facility and peer facilities throughout our region. Judging others has become my life’s work. If those readers with whom I attended school can kindly refrain from smirking and just say, “bless his heart” and move on with your day, it would be much appreciated.
Everyone has skills. Some skills are awesome, some are not; some used for good, some for evil, but we all have them. Most times, people use skills learned at work only at work and those learned outside of work only outside of work. I think we are selling ourselves short by not finding new, creative uses of our skills. For example, I use Lean processes at home to make my shopping trips as efficient as possible. In preparation for the grocery store, I list the needed items in the order I will come across them in the store, saving myself steps and time. I am Lean like Toyota, people.
As much as I try to be a good executive and always make the best hiring decisions, I know there are those who don’t seem equipped to make good choices. I say this only as I see people making bad choices and I feel as if they simply don’t know the best way. With this information, I thought I would share some of my expertise and the interesting genesis of this different way of thinking.
As you know I began working with the Miss America system when I was in college at MUW. I began as Assistant Student Director and have since served as a Local Director, State Judge and State Trainer. When I was still in Mississippi, I attended Miss America Judge’s Training with a multitude of fantastic people with gravity-defying hairdos and exceptional outfits. To clarify, Miss America is not, I repeat NOT, Miss USA which Donald Trump used to own. I feel the need to distance this blog and my reputation from anything as gaudy and gold-plated as The Donald.
Miss America Judge’s Training teaches you not to compare the contestants to each other. Instead you compare each contestant to the ideal contestant, whatever it may be for you; speaking ability, critical thinking skills, musical talent, ability to levitate, etc. This way each contestant is judged according to how well they measure up to the ideal. This is important.
For example, if you wanted someone on your trivia team who would help compel you to the winner’s circle, you would choose someone with significant knowledge of useless information, wouldn't you? However, if you were to compare The Dad to my sister, she would know more than he about trivia, so you’d pick her. The Dad’s answer to any and all trivia questions are “Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood or Leave me alone!” My sister would seem to be the best of that particular group, right?
Let’s look at the facts: my sister thinks Chevy Chase and Bill Murray look so much alike she can’t remember which one is which, just that she likes neither. She calls Jack Black, “That ugly, greasy, not funny guy. What’s his name? Adam something?” When describing most movies she says “You know that guy? The one with the face? No, not him, the other one. The one with the hair I don’t like. You know the one who looks like the other one in that movie that I thought I liked but remembered I didn’t?” She will not help you win trivia. By the way, she was talking about Hugh Grant.
You should always pick the best; not just the best of the bunch, because your bunch might be a big ol’ mess. I’m just saying. Judge not lest ye be judged are definitely words to live by, however, since you were judged in order to get your job, feel free to judge others from the perspective of selecting a candidate for a job. I feel sure Jesus is okay with it, in this context.
I use the Miss America training to help me pick the best candidate. If I am looking for someone who is skilled at critical thinking, I will choose the person most similar to my ideal critical thinker. If no one in a group of applicants comes close to the ideal, I simply choose no one and re-advertise for the position. I would rather be alone than regretful.
Of course, I realize there are situations where you don’t have the luxury of time, but it doesn’t mean you still can’t look at your options more critically to ensure you are getting the best people on your team. No one is perfect, except Jesus, but He’s not applying to work at your business. He should already be there, in your heart. If He’s not in your heart, we can help you, heathen, but not in that judgy, interviewy, pageanty way. Bless your heart.