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A Friend's Evaluation By Chris Widener

Evaluations are a tremendous resource to help us know where we have been and how to get where we want to be. One very overlooked person who would give us a very insightful evaluation is our friend. Our friend? Yes! Think about it: They know you better than anyone. They see you in the greatest amount of diversity. They know about all areas of your life. They could possibly give you the best evaluation you have ever had.

So why do we need to do something formal like this? Why don't they just give us their thoughts throughout the relationship? Primarily because most friends won't, in the routine of our friendships, volunteer their true feelings, especially the ones they think we may perceive as negative. Most people simply keep their thoughts to themselves in order to keep the relationship "safe."

So there is a warning here. This is not for someone who would be offended by their friend's remarks. You need to go into this understanding that they care for you and have your best interests at heart and that you asked for the input! If you decide to go for it, here are some good questions to ask your friend. (Note: if you want some anonymity for your friends, give the evaluation to three or four friends and let them do it anonymously. You will still get their insight and they can feel a little less awkward.)

What is my greatest strength as a person? What is my greatest strength as a professional?

What are three issues you think I need to address in my life?

What is my greatest weakness?

On a scale of 1-10, how do you feel I handle my money, given my desire for long-term financial health?

On a scale of 1-10, how do you feel I handle my health, given my desire for long-term physical health?

On a scale of 1-10, how do you feel I handle my emotions, given my desire for long-term financial health?

On a scale of 1-10, how do you feel I handle my spirituality, given my desire for long-term spiritual health?

On a scale of 1-10, how do you feel I handle my relationships, given my desire for long-term relational health?

In the preceding 5 questions, why did you answer as you did?

What one thing do you think I could start doing today that would most drastically increase the quality of my life?

What one thing do you think I could stop doing today that would most drastically increase the quality of my life?

What is the biggest obstacle you think I will need to overcome in order to see my dreams come true?

When your friend has given you the questionnaire back, take him or her out for a cup of coffee and spend some time talking about it. Remember, you are there to understand and learn from someone who cares about you, so ask questions and listen - don't defend yourself!

This will not only help you in your life and work, it will probably deepen your friendship!

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