Sometimes we get very invested in things. So invested in things that we want to move them along before their time. I’m dealing with a fair amount of this today. This often happens for one of two reasons (or at least, so I’ve found):
1. We have either been working on something for a very long time and feel that we just need a bit more to get it completed. In short, we fall into the “large time investment” bucket, and believe that if we’ve spent that much time on something, then it must be ready for “prime-time.”
2. We also sometimes find ourselves in situations where we have so much on our plates that we are just looking to move things around, or move them off. In this case, we’re in the “large workload” bucket, and we desperately want to cross a “To Do” off of our list.
We need to recognize these types of scenarios, because they can impact our ability to lead and learn effectively. In these situations, our minds and actions can be clouded by the need to move on, whether it is due to what we deem as too much time spent, or too much else on which to spend our time.
There are a few ways we can deal with thinking things are ready, when in actuality, they might not be. Here are three action steps we can take, to make sure that our “pilot shows” become “seasonal favorites.”
1. Before we hit the “Play” button, run it by at least one trusted pairs of eyes (other than your own). If it is going to a new audience, and/or one in which you don’t have a lot of experience working with, then multiply the eye pairs to two, or three. Because we often get blinded to where our work is in the grand scheme of “readiness,” it makes tremendous sense to have it validated (or not) by those whose feedback we can rely on (rather than those whose feedback always echoes what we want to hear.
2. Set realistic deadlines. Sometimes the pace of work is what propels us to wrap the gift, before we even have it. By considering the deadlines we set, and reworking them to be both forward-thinking and true to our needs, we can make sure that we have the structures in place to give all our work its due time.
3. See nothing as final, and welcome all feedback. While there is something scary about seeing work as never fully being done, if we want to be open to the fact that we might sometimes release something before it is at its best, we have to also be willing to accept feedback and ideas for revisions from everyone, regardless of role, responsibility, and regard. Since it is unlikely that we will ever do everything “perfectly” then it makes sense to welcome mistakes (without necessary aiming for them) and see the truth in each piece of feedback we receive.
Some might see “ready” and “willing” as cut from the same cloth. But, in my eyes, “willing” is so much more necessary to our work than whether or not something (or someone) is “ready to go.”