Some performance improvements can be easily measured.
- For sales people, it is certainly easy to compare before and after training sales results to see if sales increased.
- Customer Service performance can be assessed from client surveys.
- Top management performance can be determined by increased revenue, profits or stock prices.
An example of measuring sales performance improvements –
In the year 2000, after the book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, by Daniel Goleman was published, a study was done at American Express in which 50 Financial Planners took a basic emotional intelligence training. Their sales results for before and after the training were compared with a control group of 50 financial planners who did not take the EI training. The group that did take the training had a 2% increase in sales compared to the control group. Although 2% doesn’t sound like much, in financial planning this resulted in millions of dollars in sales so AMEX instituted the EI training for all financial planners throughout the company.
Some Positions Are Less Easy to Reliably Measure
In many cases, however, job performance improvement may be less easy to objectively measure. Sometimes it is done by having colleagues, superiors and subordinates give evaluations in what is called 360 degree feedback. However, this is, of course highly subjective. Having input from many of the people most closely associated with the person being evaluated is an attempt to at least get some consensus.
People in the business world tend to want measurements that are as objective as possible. This is because of the scientific principle that values objective data. Objective data, gathered by scientific procedures is considered to be reliable. This is based on the idea that when something produces repeatable results that this is can be trusted and is useful.
In the Extraordinary Performance and Extraordinary Leadership Programs we are not looking for everyone to be the same or to get the same results. We have a deep respect for the individual nature of people’s talents and their ability to utilize their talents optimally. Because people are different and have both different talents and different capacities to utilize their talents, it is more important for us to have ways to assess the specific individualized improvement they make by participating in our unique programs.
A New Method of Evaluating Improvement
A new method of making evaluations that has certain advantages is to use someone well trained in a system called Intuition Testing to do the assessing of the person being tested. The Intuition testing method is a way of getting a sequence of “yes” or “no” answers, not by asking questions of the person and getting their verbal or written answers. Instead, Intuition Testing is a method of accessing the experiential wisdom that is held in the body rather than in the information from mind which is highly subject to being biased.
We can understand the reason that Intuition Testing is a valuable new resource by understanding the difference between intellectual understanding and direct experience.
The Difference Between Experiential and Cognitive Data
There’s an important distinction between Experiential and Cognitive data. Experiential data is gained through direct experience via the body and senses. Cognitive data is gained via the mind and intellect.
Intellectual understanding is easily biased. In our description of the Freedom Practice we point out that there are 4 kinds of thoughts that influence our decisions. They are Practical, Intuitive, Ego Based and Emotional Pain Based thoughts. Seeing a sample Decision Influences Assessment on the previous web page, it is clear that there is enormous potential for people’s decisions and opinions to be substantially biased.
Subjective evaluations such as are done in a 360 assessment or simply by a supervisor are highly susceptible to being influenced by ego and emotional pain based thoughts of the evaluator(s). Maybe there’s something that the evaluator doesn’t like about the person they are evaluating. Perhaps they fear that the person may be after their job. Or maybe they are biased about the sex, age or race or other factors about the person that they are evaluating. These factors and many more can and very likely often do effect the assessments that are done in this way. The person doing the evaluating will often not fully realize that their evaluation is being influenced by their ego and emotional pain based thoughts. And they can easily justify their biased assessment with judgments or rationalizations.
The Reliability of Experiential Data
Here’s an example of the difference between experiential and cognitive data. If you had never tasted a strawberry ever before, and someone tried to describe what a strawberry tastes like to you, no matter how much they described it, you wouldn’t know what a strawberry tastes like until you actually take a bite and experience the taste directly.
Consider if you have a virus corrupting files on your computer. If you intellectually understand everything about the virus, what it’s called, how you got it, how it is corrupting your files, how many files it has corrupted, what the eventual potential damage might be, etc., all of this information about the virus doesn’t get it off of your hard drive. To get the virus off of your hard drive you have to run the appropriate antivirus software. The antivirus software erases the actual code that IS the virus.
So What are the Advantages of the Intuition Testing Process?
Intuition testing, done by a well-trained tester who doesn’t have a relationship with the person being tested, is in a sense much more objective. A series of inquiries are made by the tester and the response from the person’s body is measured. A properly trained Intuition Tester can test for the person being evaluated in person or remotely. It’s a bit similar to the distinction of having a conversation in person versus having it by phone or wifi video conferencing.
The results of this form of testing provide access to the experiential data of the person being evaluated. In a very real sense, it is a method of bypassing and avoiding the shortcomings of potentially biased assessments done with just the mind that are so subject to distortion from the ego an emotional pain based thoughts.
The mind can lie and in fact does lie frequently, whether the person doing the lying is aware of it or not. The body, on the other hand, doesn’t lie. It can’t afford to lie. It has the critical job of keeping all of the body’s functions and life systems working properly. Testing the body simply provides access to the “knowing” that has resulted from direct experiences.
With Intuition Testing, the person doing the testing uses a series of statements and checks the body’s response to get either an indication of agreement or disagreement with each statement. Each resulting response from the body guides the next inquiry. When done by a skilled tester, this provides access to the experiential wisdom of the body.
Another advantage of intuition testing is that it can be done very quickly, much more quickly than any cognitive evaluation. It provides an efficient and accurate way of determining the capability of improved performance of the person being evaluated.
In the Extraordinary Performance and Extraordinary Leadership Programs we use Intuition Testing to determine the levels that the four kinds of thoughts are influencing the person’s decisions. We also use it to determine the extent to which the person being assessed is able to utilize their personal capacity to express each of the 21 attributes of Extraordinary Performance and for in the 27 additional attributes of Extraordinary Leadership through individualized assessments.