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The Problem with our Pursuit for Perfection and the Life-Changing Practice of Good Enough’


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    Entries in sensemaking (30)


    Comparing against others to an unhealthy degree.

    I'm posting on ‘maximising’ this week; the unhelpful activity associated with perfectionism, making us overthink, stress, doubt and be paralysed with inaction, stuck (of course) in comparison.

    You know that quote: ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ ... well, it does indeed make us miserable. The perfectionist (the maximiser) keeps comparing everything, thinking it's the way to a better solution or more perfect answer. We even try and use comparison as a kind of 'evil motivation'.

    Comparison itself isn't bad. We are taught to compare and contrast as part of growing and learning. It's how we know an apple is an apple, not an orange. This is identification and sensemaking. So we can't really 'kill comparison' as some less than helpful inspo quotes suggest.

    The problem then is not the comparison ... it's the not stopping, the endless and ongoing nature of the act. Enough with berating and being unkind to yourself!

    Compare, sure. But then decide to move in to action; action that's in your world, on your stuff, for you. Not them.

    Are you in unhelpful comparison on something right now? Like or comment below. 


    Oh the waste of unnecessary work

    Oh, the waste of unnecessary work! We can be head down, diligently working away on a project or task and yet not know when it’s time to be done with it, to test it or share it or press 'go', launch or go live.

    That's because it takes hindsight for us to make sense of things.

    It could be that some of what we have done may have been a waste. Some of our time and effort may have been wasted. When we are deep in it we are too close and connected, too attached to it. We can be attached to the expectations we have or the standards we think we need to reach or the end results we think we are reaching for.

    So how do we get hindsight sooner? How do you get yourself in a position where you can look back on what you’ve done ... sooner?

    Put it out there, pilot, test and trial it. Even if it's not done yet. Then you’ll get feedback and insights and you’ll make sense of that. That’s hindsight.

    Most people can press 'go' sooner on a project or task or piece of work. Sooner than they think. Are you holding back from pressing 'go'?

    >> Where could you ‘go live’ with something today so the power of valuable hindsight arrives sooner?


    The thing about experience is: itโ€™s different for everyone. 

    The thing about experience is: it’s different for everyone. Even the same event is experienced differently by people. How do you make the most of experience in an organisation or team?  I’ve shared some advice and suggestions like:

    ๐Ÿ—บ Use experience maps

    ๐Ÿ•˜ Schedule an experience share meeting

    ๐Ÿ“Œ Put experience on the agenda of regular meetings

    โฃ๏ธ Protect people while they’re presenting their experience maps.

    And it’s helpful to remember the power of ideas. Any two ideas can be connected, creating an incredible third idea. Their experience plus your experience, plus the situation you’re all in now, it can be combined to solve what you're working on.

    Bringing the experience of your team together, to be used together, tapped together and understood together is better than information sitting in a spreadsheet cell or filed away in an enterprise people system. Make experience something of the ’now’, talked about and acknowledged in the now, not just of the past - when it happened - and you’ll bring your team into a strong position able to cope with the future.

    >>What experience do you have that you just know will set you up for the future?


    Put experience on the agenda

    I’ve been writing about the untapped expertise that lives in your team and business. It’s vital you uncover it because there’s much to be gained.

    Be sure to allow some time for it, like at your next meeting. Just put some time on the agenda. You could hold an entire meeting to go through everyone’s expertise, but there are other ways too.

    A couple of people could present at each meeting, sharing their ‘experience maps’ as I explained a couple of days ago.

    Set the time aside, and then provide some protection of the people while they’re sharing their experience. Why protection? I know some organisations where this meeting would be the most wonderfully respectful experience. I also know other teams and organisations where some people will be rude, impatient, checking their device, agitated that things are moving too 'slowly'. So you may need to chill a little. Allow time, knowing that what you’ll uncover will build connections and trust and help you know more about the people you lead. Let people share their experience - then watch what happens in the team.

    >> How might sharing your experience in a team you're part of help enhance and change culture? 


    Hidden experience is a huge cause of productivity loss

    This week I’m writing about experience people have that you might be ignoring. A barrier to hearing people’s experience is often the leader’s resistance to it.

    - Why wouldn’t you want to know about expertise that exists in your team?

    - Why wouldn't you want to know this information?

    - Why wouldn’t you want to hear it?

    ‘Why don’t people listen?’ author, Hugh Mackay says we don’t want to listen due to the fear that what we hear will change us.

    Australian Olympic athlete Cathy Freeman says 'when I'm in a bad mood, I don't listen.'

    Oscar Trimboli, author of ‘Deep Listening' says by not listening ’the same issues keep occurring therefore people are blamed.’ Excuses like: No time Too much to do Too hard Too many people to get through ...are excuses with simple answers.

    It takes effort and empathy to pay attention to people, especially when they're sharing their story, and it’s not about you. New ways of working require us to change what we do so we can make progress through these tricky times. To listen and learn from others is a key part of this. And for many people this indeed is a 'new way of working'.