Don’t Let “Perfect” Be the Enemy of “Good”

We should all strive to do our best, but if we always aim for perfection, we may blow deadlines, annoy colleagues, and miss out on opportunities.

Instead of never being satisfied with “good enough,” talk to others about their standards. What does a good job look like to boss, peers, or client? Let’s seek their feedback on expected results, costs, and timelines rather than trying to meet extremely high standards. Then check in regularly with these colleagues. Don’t wait until the project is finished, build in checkpoints where you share your progress at 50% or 80% done. Your boss or client just might tell you that the work is good enough at that point.

You can also try small experiments where you relax your standards slightly. What happened? Were your worst fears realized? Finally, consider how perfectionism impacts your relationships. Are you setting unrealistic standards for those around you? The need to have it “perfect” will often annoy others, and in extreme cases, drive them away. For their sake — and yours — let’s learn to be satisfied with good enough.

Criticism or Praise…

If you have to criticize someone, then don’t criticize the person, criticize the general approach or criticize that class of activities.

If you have to praise someone, then always try and find the person who is the best example of what you’re praising and then praise that person, specifically.

That way people’s egos and identities, which we all have, don’t work against you, they work for you.

Should You Disagree in a Job Interview?

When you express your honest opinion during an interview, you present yourself as you are, not as who you think the employer wants you to be. But disagreeing with an interviewer isn’t always easy because of the imbalance of power. Navigate the potential downsides by doing a few things before and during the interview.

First, research the company. Is the culture one where people are receptive to new ideas? Are the organization and its founders are known for inclusion and open-mindedness or do they have a slow-moving, legacy mindset? During the meeting, if the interviewer asks a question that gives you pause, resist the urge to answer immediately.

Take time to formulate a thoughtful response. And ask for permission to provide a different viewpoint. Say something like: “I see this differently. May I share my perspective with you?” Of course, follow your gut. If you think disagreeing won’t be well-received, then bite your tongue.

If the interviewer made you uncomfortable — if you felt dismissed or unheard — trust your instincts. When expressing differing opinions isn’t welcomed in an interview, it probably won’t be encouraged once you’re part of the company.

Busy is a choice, productive is a skill…

Anyone can be busy. All you need to do to feel busy is to try to get two things done at once–or seek to beat a deadline that is stressing you out.

Productivity, on the other hand, has little to do with busy. Productivity requires bringing soft skills (real skills) to the table in service of the generous work you seek to do. Productivity is learned. And productivity takes guts.

Manage expectations…

Delegating work to other people?

The people you are asking to do the work don’t own the business, blog, album, book, piece of art.

They can never love it as much as you because you own it, not them. Their upside is less, so expect a little less.

You will be more successful and productive if you manage expectations better!

Righteousness…

Do you want to grow in your career or do you want to be right? The two are mutually exclusive. The need to be proven right in arguments and discussions shuts you out to learning and course correction while you come across as arrogant.

The opposite is your need to grow which makes you open to suggestions, different ideas, and criticism. Some of which will add to your learning while leading to better results.

So, remind yourself each time that you are better off being wrong and learning something new for the future instead of being perceived to be right temporarily.

Inspect what you expect…

As a leader or manager, it’s puzzling and sometimes frustrating “why people do not do as expected”.
Even though we define clear goals and target numbers, it’s still not achieved.
Let’s look at some of the possible reasons & solutions.

#Miss-Communication:- Are we sure that goals and targets are clear to the individual. You should confirm that let’s ask the individual to repeat it in writing if possible. Not that you don’t trust, its just that it’s imperative to understand their clarity.

#How to Achieve? :- “What to Achieve” is clear, but what about the “How part”? Both the manager and the individual should have a fair understanding of how to reach the goal. This should give some confidence level on the achievement of the goal.

#Inspect what you expect:- This is the most critical step, to inspect what you are expecting at regular intervals. Check the status of the plan, where its reached, what are the bottlenecks etc and any glaring problems. Discuss with the individual to understand and help her if possible.

#Postmortem of past failures to learn:- Let’s learn from failures to ensure that in future we do not repeat the mistakes. Ask the individual to do the analysis and comeback with recommendations.

Overall “Inspect what you expect” at regular intervals to guide your team to achieve their goals.