Is Everyone a 5 or a 10?

We seem to be in a place where everyone is rated, everything is surveyed and everyone expects a rating of 5 (or when a 10 point scale, a rating of 10).

It began with the car dealer who tells us, “You will be getting a survey and if your rating will be anything less than 10, please let me know now so I can fix it”. They make it sound like they will lose their job if they get anything less than a 10, and perhaps that is so. Then came Uber and Lyft and customer service surveys every time we call anyone for anything. And the message is the same, the results of a rating less than 5 (or 10) will be disastrous for the person being rated. Frankly we have a similar system in Vistage with our resource speakers.

I want to believe the intent of all these surveys is to solicit feedback for continuous improvement. Somehow we moved away from feedback to scoring; and from scoring to ranking; and from ranking to “everyone gets a 5”; kinda like the stereotype we hear about the millennial generation where everyone gets a trophy.

So what to do?

  • Do we all just play along?
  • Is it worth it to give a fair rating, and what we believe to be a true rating, knowing that most everyone else is giving a 5 or a 10?
  • Is it worth it if the person on the receiving end may actually lose their job for a 4 or an 8, or lose their opportunity to get more gigs?
  • What happens when we encounter that rare person who truly is a 5 or a 10, what then? How do we reward them, communicate to them that they are a star?
  • Or is finding stars not the point? Is the goal simply to differentiate between acceptable and unacceptable, pass/fail?

What do you do in these situations?

Why Vistage Works

Elisa K. Spain