A collective groan came from the women in my office – myself included – when we recently found out we had to write a self-evaluation for our annual performance review. Meanwhile, the guys seemed unfazed. Why were the men so comfortable when it came to tooting their own horns, while we women struggled to recognize our talents and quantify our skills – let alone engage in anything resembling self-promotion?
So, as the guys retreated to their respective offices to write their evaluations, the women did what women do – we came together – to talk and share, and basically buoy each other up.
We put aside basic competencies and all the long hours we logged in at our desks. Instead, we thought about who the three of us are when we’re not at the office: a mother to a ‘tween and a teen; a preacher; and a writer. We looked at all the “life stuff” each of us brings to the table.
Hearing my co-workers’ observations reminded me of the way my mother would often compliment me when I was a girl. When I dismissed her praise, insisting that she couldn’t possibly be objective, she would reinforce it saying, “I wish you could see yourself the way other people see you.”
In the end, I wrote about my challenges and accomplishments. We all did. Because when we saw ourselves as our peers see us, we looked pretty damn good.