Are you trying too hard?

I’m coaching a leader right now who is probably the smartest person in every room she walks into. She is so dedicated, she feels that if she doesn’t offer some edit, suggestion, of change to the work presented, she is not adding any value.


Sounds like someone you want on your team, right? Flip it – is it someone you want to work for? How would you feel if every time you presented work to your boss, they proposed something to make it “better”?


My client has a need to contribute and as a result may be over-contributing.


As leaders, we need to recognize that sometimes adding value is actually eroding it.


When we feel like we constantly must add value, what we’re really saying to the people who are bringing us their work is, “it’s not good enough.”


Whether true or not, your people are going to start to feel like nothing they do is ever good enough. As a result, they may be thinking, “Why bother trying, they’re going to change it anyway.”


If you find yourself always trying to add value, maybe switch it up and add a compliment or recognition for a piece of work well done. Remember, done is sometimes better than perfect. 


The best way to engage and empower those around you is to allow for differences in how they accomplish the task at hand. It doesn’t always have to have your twist on it. Enjoy their twist, recognize it, appreciate it, and you’re going to start seeing people step up and give you even more!


Engagement is often driven by the impact itself.  Research shows it is not things like money and benefits (above a reasonable salary). Feeling like your work matters and that it’s being recognized and appreciated – that’s what truly motivates people.


Find that balance. Perfectionism is often a tight grip that is going to really need to be loosened if you want to get the best out of your people.


Check out my video on The Perfectionism Trap.

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