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Aiming for Excellence Instead of Perfection at Work
As a woman, do you find you have to work harder, fight harder, do more, and speak louder to be seen and heard at work? Who are you competing with? What are you trying to prove? Instead of sabotaging your potential wins and successes by striving to be perfect, how about you aim for excellence instead?
Let’s be real, nothing is perfect immediately. When you get to what you see as perfection in your work, you’ll end up wanting to elevate and do or be better to get to the next level. So, ultimately, striving for perfection at work could basically lead to delays in getting anywhere or getting anything done. There’s always something else.
Make a start on whatever it is; the plan, the project, the strategy, the design, and instead of waiting to deliver something in its final version, deliver it as a work in progress ahead of the deadline. Ensure that you’ve done the thinking, collaborated with the right teams, and are aligned with where you want to drive the final outputs, but stop waiting for it to be perfect and start getting something done.
Many women, more so than men, feel the need to ensure that their work is perfect. We often feel like we have to overcompensate for being a woman – to demonstrate that we are worthy of our titles and positions. It’s exhausting and can be debilitating to progress and get things done. The new way of thinking is to iterate, so learning to put work out that is excellent and can be continuously improved as you test and learn is better than spending months working on something that never sees the light of day because you wanted it to be perfect immediately. Iterate instead of debilitating.
Here are three things that will allow you to aim for excellence, instead of perfection:
- Have high standards for yourself first – having high standards for yourself means that anything you do, say, or deliver is likely to be excellent by default. It starts with your excellence.
- Ensure your team understands the expectations and level of output required – communicate well and clearly with your team to get input and to agree to the vision for the project together. This is not a solo venture, getting the right people involved at the right time will naturally lead to excellence, because you’ve tapped into a shared vision and have considered it across multiple disciplines.
- Be flexible – the ability to be flexible instead of fixed on a strategy or project approach will enable you to course correct if something doesn’t go as planned. Focusing on best practice, instead of perfection or delivering a perfect output at work will ensure excellence no matter what challenges you experience throughout the project.
If more of us spend time focusing on being excellent instead of perfect and leading by example, this will flow through to our teams. As we take the team and the stakeholders on the journey with us in a truly collaborative and meaningful way, excellence will become the default. You must remember that improvements can be made along the way or after initial delivery because there’s no such thing as perfection. When you think you’re there, you’ll aim for the next step or level up to improve.
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About the Author
Name: Divya Chandegra
Professional Title: Wellness Expert
Bio: Divya is a certified life coach, yoga, and reiki practitioner who is guiding parents and professionals to heal their limiting childhood beliefs and blocks.
Social Media Handle: https://www.instagram.com/divya.chandegra/