Money & Business

Friday Buzz: The Dangers of Expecting Perfection

By / Apr 15, 2016 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Changing your mindset could result in transforming workplace success from impossible to inevitable. Plus: A new internet browser for your association’s power users.

There’s no doubt that setting high goals for your work is important, but there’s a crucial difference between being ambitious and being unrealistic. Expecting perfection is a slippery slope, and it can be more harmful than helpful, Andrew Shatté, chief science officer at the training firm meQuilibrium, tells Fast Company contributor Gwen Moran.

“We often find that an iceberg—like ‘I should get everything done perfectly’—drives people to excel, so it really does have an upside. But unfortunately human beings, being what we are, we never get anything done perfectly,” Shatté says.

Finding a balance can be difficult, but there are steps you can take to encourage a productive, nondestructive mindset.

Reevaluating assumptions about work and productivity is a useful strategy for a healthy attitude. It can be easy to slip into a loop of how productive goals ought to look, and those assumptions can get in the way of actually achieving anything.

“They’re very broad-based, general statements about how the world should be, so the more we clear them up, the more we gain control in very broad areas of our lives,” Shatté advises.

But changing assumptions can take time, so in the meantime try thinking about the words you use when approaching a task. According to Andrew D. Wittman, author of Ground Zero Leadership: CEO of You, using phrases like “that’s impossible” can be detrimental to moving past a mental barrier.

At the end of the day, whether you’re trying to maximize the potential of a service program or creating an innovative member engagement strategy, it’s crucial to celebrate small wins and keep looking ahead, even if your goal seems out of reach.

Problem-Solving Solution of the Day

Teams are bound to run into obstacles, but it’s important for project managers to think carefully about how best to approach roadblocks. This post on association tech consulting company DelCor’s blog gives insight into how “design thinking” can lead to stellar solutions.

Other Good Reads

A new browser for power users. Lifehacker‘s Thorin Klosowski explores the internet browser Vivaldi, which provides a customizable way to surf the web.

Having trouble creating good content? Maybe it’s time to start playing detective. Content Standard contributor Keith MacKenzie explains how investigative journalism can become effective branded content.

Tesla’s push for innovation isn’t limited to cars. Slate contributor Daniel Gross explains how Tesla’s business model is shocking multiple industries.

Eli Zimmerman

Eli is studying Journalism at the University of Maryland. When not studying, he likes to relax with a nice book or a couple rounds at the local boxing gym. More »

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