“How am I doing? How does my work compare to all the others you supervise?” After walking to the downtown ice-cream stand, chatting about the weather and other small talk, this is what I asked of my supervisor at my first or second annual performance review meeting. Sitting at a picnic bench in the sunshine as cars and trucks idled by, my supervisor said, “You are doing great, just keep doing what you are doing.”
Fall is for football and going back to school (well, normally). It is when the days get shorter, the dew gets heavier, and Linus waits patiently in the moonlit darkness for the Great Pumpkin. It is also when faculty promotion and tenure committees come together to review the accomplishments of their faculty peers.
Each of us are born with natural talents. When we practice them, remarkable things can happen, and we can truly inspire others. It is our deliberate focus on practice and knowing how to improve that makes us better. We can make Extension better when we invest in ourselves (through practice) and in others by helping them know how to improve with constructive, helpful feedback and coaching.