Nobody likes to make mistakes. That’s especially true of people who have perfectionist traits and take their work very seriously. These are wonderful qualities, but when they become distorted, it can lead to a very uncomfortable and unproductive condition.
What’s your number one thought when a mistake is uncovered? Do you immediately wonder if it was your fault, or do you first think of how the situation can be corrected? Do you attempt to prove that you did everything right, or do you forego that – at least for the time being – and make the necessary modifications? Do you primarily justify, or do you take responsibility and apologize? And when the dust settles, do you build a case for why you couldn’t have been expected to do anything differently, or do you look for ways to change your process and avoid the error next time, then commit to that new course of action?
While self-preservation is human nature, it’s clear which answers are more beneficial. It’s important to focus on solutions, improvements, and raising the bar – even if it means admitting our own shortcomings.
Everyone is imperfect. That’s not a problem. Extremely dangerous, however, are imperfect people who try to convince others that they’re perfect.
Collaborate with reasonable, honest people who care about creating the best output possible. When they sometimes miss the mark, they’ll handle the situation appropriately and get even better.
The above is used by permission from the book Three Years Of Tuesday Mornings: 156 e-mails about business and life by Steve Fales.