Perfection is actually a way the mind has of stopping us moving forward. “I can’t take the next step because I haven’t done this one perfectly yet”. Of course, one never will do it perfectly; one can always find a flaw, and that’s the point.
emotional intelligence at work had a client, a senior consultant in an NHS trust, whose tenacious attachment to writing perfect follow up letters to the parents of seriously ill children meant these parents waited months, completely unnecessarily, while he got the letters right. Imagine the cost, in parents’ anguish, that the consultant levied for the opportunity to write perfect follow up letters.
(There were issues around being right in this case; as in, “I am right to insist on doing a perfect job for these patients”.)
Many people in business, however, feel they have to deliver perfect service—and then beat themselves up when it’s pointed out that they aren’t doing this. I have to say that, in some cases, the opportunity to beat themselves up is the purpose of the whole exercise, however sad that is.
Some coaches, unfortunately, promote themselves as being able to help their clients become “awesome” or in some way exceptional. This strikes me as setting their client up to fail, and cannot be a good business idea either for the client—or the coach.
Of course, some business people just want to deliver the best possible service and it may seem harsh to say that that is misguided. The issue, though, is that delivering the best possible service (at any price) may be a good for the individual (it may make him/her feel they’re doing a great job), but it isn’t a good for the business. And, if they want their business to thrive, they need to focus on what is best for the business, not them.
What is needed is to be good enough.
by Jeremy Marchant . © 2014 Jeremy Marchant Limited . uploaded 18 april 2016 . image: Free images
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