Thursday, April 17, 2014

Who Likes Pies?

When you see the word pies, what comes to your mind? Is it the most tempting slice of pie that is made at the best bakery in your local town? Does math come to your mind? If you cannot recall what I mean, does 3.14 ring a bell? How about whoopie pies and other manufactured snack goods? Heck, I could go for an ice cream pie right about now.

Each time I see the word pies, I think of something different from many people. I can't take the credit for how I think of PIES. I learned about PIES from my involvement in Toastmasters International. I think of PIES as a way to evaluate myself. Before I learned about PIES, I used to be overly critical and would only focus on areas of improvement. If you're like me and are hard on yourself, then you know being your own worst critic can be your enemy. However, I have learned, through PIES, that there is a different way to approach evaluating myself. 

What is PIES? PIES stands for positives, improvements, encouragement, and summary. Essentially, it is the Oreo cookie method. Here's how it works:
(P)ositives: This is when you start with praise. Most people I've met in my life want to hear good things about themslves. Plus, if you will be critiquing yourself, you want to be kind to you. 
(I)mprovements: I like to call improvements "points of growth." This is how a person can become better. If you are evaluating yourself, don't criticize yourself, feel bad about it, and then go about your day. Recognize where you can improve and develop a plan of action as to how you can become better. Without a plan of action, it is difficult to become a better person. 
(E)ncouragement: After you have provided yourself with points of growth, make yourself feel better again and lift yourself up. 
(S)ummary: Wrap up your personal evaluation. End your personal evaluation on a positive note. 

Part of becoming the best version of yourself is having the ability to look at yourself critically. No one is perfect. Mistakes are inevitable. After the mistakes happen, will you take the opportunity to mend the wrong doings? If so, PIES can provide you a safe, yet challenging platform to foster growth and good will. If you can be honest with yourself, then you are already on the path to becoming a happy, confident, and self-sufficient person.

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