I was delivering a training course recently, where we were talking about the importance of training evaluation.  A delegate on the course then said: “My boss won't let me do any evaluation”. I said “Why”, and she answered, “Well he said if you don’t ask them and we won't get anything negative”.

Yes, I know its incredible, the fact that this manager wasn’t prepared to ask the question because they feared something negative is unbelievable.  Sadly it's true, and I know there will be more people out there like that. They fear feedback because they see it as negative.

Of course, we ask the question to improve, we want to get better, and we can only get better if we ask for feedback.  Of course, that’s not the only thing we do, but it is undoubtedly an essential aspect of the evaluation process that all managers need to buy into.

As a manager, we should evaluate all main projects which would include asking a series of reaction questions to clients on how they felt it went.  This should then be followed up 3-months later asking how things have changed since the project, which would include behaviour and results.

Evaluation is essential for all managers, and we should self-evaluate as well as having a formal process to record and ensure what we were doing is correct. Burying your head in the sand is hiding from reality, and we should look for every feedback opportunity.

Ralph Moody is the founder of Target Training and specialises in trainer and management development.  You can read more about him here.