60. The 3 Questions You Need to Evaluate Anything
Welcome to coaching for Latina leaders, the only podcast dedicated to the advancement of Latinas at every level of life with your host, Dr. Vanessa Calderon, a Latina with over 20 years of leadership experience, Harvard grad physician, and mother of two.
So when I was applying to medical school, I had to visit every medical school and interview with the core faculty as part of the admissions process. I ended up getting accepted to med school. And later I joined the admissions committee, and I got to be the person that interviewed the candidates that were coming in. And I learned that one of the things that we assessed for, all incoming medical students or future physicians, is their capacity to be a life long learner.
This means, to me anyway, it means their ability to be curious, have a yearning for knowledge, and a drive for self-improvement. Now, my sense is that almost every one of you listening is also a lifelong learner. I don't think you'd be listening to this podcast if you didn't have a drive for self-improvement. I know for me, that's one of my core values is to always be a lifelong learner. So today, I'm going to introduce you to these three simple questions that you can use to evaluate almost anything so that you can learn from every opportunity, every relationship, and every experience that you have, and learn how to make it better next time.
Now, the three questions are very simple, I'm going to introduce them to you, and then I'm going to share with you how to use them. The three questions are, what worked, what didn't work, and what would I do differently? Simple, right? And let me just tell you how profound they can be. So when you're actually using these to evaluate anything, you want to use them immediately after what you're evaluating has been complete. Let's say you just finished a complex program you want to evaluate immediately after you just finished a webinar, evaluating me immediately after the webinar. I actually plan to give myself if I'm delivering a webinar, I give myself 20 minutes at the end of every webinar that I just schedule to do a self-evaluation. Because for me, I want to evaluate when everything is really still fresh in my mind.
So you want to always start with what worked. And you want to be really diligent about this because our brains want to always flip to what didn't work first. Because again, if you've been listening to this podcast for a while, you understand that the brain physiologically has a negativity bias. So it wants to go to the negative first. And it can probably come up with a million examples of the stuff that didn't work. But you want to start with what worked. And the reason why you want to start with the positive is that there's data to support that when you tilt your brain towards positivity first, you have an increase in your ability to be innovative and creative. This means as you're evaluating the rest of this, what didn't work, but specifically, what would I do differently, you can come from a place of creativity and innovation, it
allows the rest of the evaluation to be much more successful when you first start with what worked. So start with what worked, the stuff, everything, and be really specific. And be nice to yourself. If what worked is your audio start with that
I delivered a webinar, and my audio and the tech worked. That seems kind of obvious, but why not? celebrate everything that worked. And then you get down to what didn't work. Now, when you do what didn't work, you again want to be really specific about what didn't work, and you want to check yourself because a lot of us don't want to be honest about what didn't work because of self-criticism can be really hard for ourselves. And the way you want to shift your brain is you want to ground yourself by reminding yourself, that this is not about a place of criticism. This is about genuinely wanting to improve. So what didn't work be honest, because if you're not honest, the exercise won't work and you won't get to learn from yourself and how to make it better next time. Okay, so you answer what worked, start with the positive, you go to what didn't work, and you're super specific. And then you spend a lot of time and what I would do differently. And this one, you want it to be really good because these are the lessons that you're going to learn. What would I do differently and how? not I would just be on time but I wouldn't schedule anything before this. So I make sure that I'm always on time and I'm ready, I'm ready to be prepared. Or I'd give myself an extra three minutes ahead of time to just sit quietly and do some breathing exercises before my webinar. So you want to get through really specific on what you would do differently.
And let me just share with you a few examples of how you can use this. I sort of shared with you my Webinar Example. So I started using this about two and a half years ago. And before that, I would try other evaluations where I would, I would just be like, Okay, what didn't work, what would I would do differently. And I never started with what worked first. And it was really easy for me to be hard on me, just like a lot of you, it's easy for us to be hard on ourselves. But it really takes a muscle and it takes a more mature brain to start with what worked. So start there, talk about what didn't work. So in my webinar example, I talked about everything, I got X number of registrants, they all showed up, everybody's audio worked, and everyone was able to access the chat. My slides were solid, I didn't have any issues with tech, and I was able to practice ahead of time, what didn't work, what didn't work was the audio got scratchy in the middle, I think there was an issue with the internet, I should have connected. And then what I would do differently there is I would have connected my Ethernet cord instead of trying to be on wireless, for example. And then I just keep going on what didn't work. And when I think about what I would do differently, I go back to what didn't work and really try to come up with a solution of how I would fix that problem next time. And that's it.
That's simple, how you can evaluate anything, you can use this to evaluate a program, a project, a webinar, I use it for all of that and I also use it to evaluate my goals. So I set my goals up at the very beginning of the year, and I set them up for the entire year. And every quarter, every three months, I go back and review my goals. And I asked myself these three questions. Okay, so what's working, what's not working? What am I going to do differently this next quarter to make sure I'm in line and achieving the goals I want to set. So you can really do it for anything. So again, three simple questions to help you evaluate anything, and help you continue on your journey of self-improvement to be a lifelong learner. And again, it's a journey. I've been on it my whole entire life. And my plan is to never get off this journey because I always want to be a better version of myself. Alright, I hope you use these questions also to continue on your journey to be a better version of yourself.
Hasta la proxima.
Hey, if you love what you're learning, then you've got to check out my free Ultimate Guide to stop people pleasing, where I teach you a simple five-step process to stop saying yes. When you really want to say No, you'll be so glad that you did. There's a link to the guide in the show notes. I'll see you next time.