Saturday, November 1, 2008

Doing a Good Job...What Does That Mean, Anyway?

O.K. What constitutes the definition of "doing a good job"?

Does it mean doing something to the highest level of perfection you can get or simply doing it well enough so it's better than it was?

Being a perfectionist, I always seem to see what was overlooked.

That can be a good thing if your job is quality control, but what if someone cleaned your car (for a reasonable price) but there are a couple of places he missed when cleaning the interior, or someone cleaned your ring for free but you can still see a little gunk in the crevices? How picky is a person "allowed" to be?

Why does it aggravate me so when something isn't done as well as I would do it?

My husband and I go around about this sometimes. He wants me to tell him what he did right before I tell him what's wrong about it. I get that backwards most of the time. But it's teaching me a great lesson. First to be grateful for a person's effort to do something for me so I don't have to do it myself. Second, not to speak impulsively. Third, let things go. Things don't have to be done perfectly to be acceptable.

That's something I need to internalize: things don't have to be done perfectly to be acceptable. Whether it's my employee, my husband, my child or even myself. I'm not talking about an excuse to do things half a**ed. I'm talking about my personal struggle in expecting others to match my perfectionistic expectations and failing because it's an unreasonable standard.

If I conquer that, will I be doing a good job?


hepsmom said...

Car situation: big spots or little spots? Ring: Let it go. You get what you pay for.

Maybe a general thanks for trying would be appropriate, but what you did right before what you did wrong? Hopefully this would take a good amount of time. That's why grown-ups only want to know what to fix.

I say what would you want for someone to do if you messed up in the same situation? Basically, for most things when you're a paying customer, what's the problem and what needs to be done to fix it? I think these are the important questions to ask and answer.

Sounds as if y'all had a fun Saturday!

ksw_rootswriter said...

Sounds like some beneficial self-analysis. Last year my pastor did a sermon on this topic. Several members of my team at work shared that they were struggling with perfectionism (as I have at times), so I asked my pastor for his resources. He pointed me to this link:
I shared it with the team on an all-day offsite meeting, and several of them mentioned that it had been very helpful. A lot of people are unaware by how much this impacts stress of the person with perfectionism and the stress of others around them.

HeyJules said...

AJ, I think many MANY women go through this. It is very important that you learn this lesson as it constantly holds people up to standards they might not be accountable for.

One should never accept half-a**ed and be pleased with it but...there are times when half is better than none and there are times when the effort itself just needs to be recognized cheerfully and without pause.

I gave up being a perfectionist (in everything but my art) and I'm SO much happier now. I learned the all important lesson of "Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?"

I (finally!) chose to be happy.