Did you ever complete something and get sent back to the drawing board? You thought you were finished, but someone thought you could do better. Maybe they found an error, saw something missing, or thought you didn’t do your best. In any case, it’s frustrating. Right? The fact remains — in most cases, the final product turns out better than the original. So, even though it’s hard to admit it, they did you a favor.
Why do other folks give you a pass? (They say you did a good job, even though they know better.) Some people want to be liked, and they’re afraid you might snap at them. Others are tight-lipped out of convenience. They know your work is flawed, but it’s easier to say, “Well done” than to be the bearer of bad news. And still others have lowered the bar for so long they can’t recognize the difference between good and bad. Ouch!
People aren’t doing you a favor by giving you a passing score if it’s not deserved. Instead of working hard to raise your game, you’ll be lulled into thinking you’re making the grade. Moreover, if enough people shield you from reality, you’ll be living a lie — and forced to face the consequences down the road.
It’s for Your Own Good
It’s not a weakness to have shortcomings. The true failing comes from having a lousy attitude — evading feedback, discarding suggestions out-of-hand, or thinking that you know it all because you let your ego get in the way. You should always want to do your best and to be your best. If other people are signaling that they want to help you, don’t turn them away. Listen attentively, implement their suggestions, and apply that lesson the next time you’re faced with a similar situation. Moreover, when you do your best in one area, you’re more likely to adopt that approach in other areas.
Don’t submit unfinished work as complete.
In addition, you may be signaling that you don’t want feedback. As far as you’re concerned, you’re finished and want to move on. If you don’t know your shortcomings, you’ll repeat mistakes over and over. Furthermore, you may start settling for less than your best. While you can’t see mediocre work, I assure you others can. Next time you’re passed over for a promotion or fail to get a raise, you’ll know why.
Feedback is a gift that keeps on giving.
You’re Better Than That
You may think that folks who send you back to the drawing board are critical or mean-spirited. What gives them the right to judge your work? The truth is, they have your best interests at heart. They’re the ones with the courage, honesty, and compassion to tell you like it is. It would be a lot easier for them to relax their standards and give you a pass.
One day, you’ll look back and thank all the folks who pushed you beyond your limits. Although you didn’t see it at the time, they did you a huge favor. They took the time and made the effort to make the investment in you. They helped bring out the best in you and make you who you are today. So rather than mumble under your breath the next time someone says you can do better, send them a note of appreciation and thank them for caring. The truth is, they went out of their way for you. The least you can do is go out of your way for them.
Can You Do Better?
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