4 techniques to help you get over the “Perfection Syndrome”

“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good” – Mark and Mike (Manager Tools).

How many times have you hesitated to ship a project, verbalise an idea, start on a venture, make a phone call because you considered your preparation to be less than perfect?

This is a very common situation I like to call the Perfection Syndrome. It can be quite debilitating as it does not allow individuals and teams to be creative and effective in the workplace to their full potential.

Read this post if you want to find out 4 techniques that can make these dilemmas go away and put your mind at ease so you can press send, speak up or make a first step next time.



Let’s look at the four such techniques:

1. Treat everything as a DRAFT and declare them as such.

Simply watermark DRAFT as the background or mention it when you are presenting.

This simple technique communicates the fact that you are open to ideas and feedback and allows you to

i) start the conversation with those around you

ii) create the perfect environment for collaboration.

Now, the pressure is off as Drafts are meant to be imperfect and everyone understands this.

2. Have the important stuff CURATED.

Simply have another set of eyes go through the detail to pick any errors or enhance the presentation, content, style etc.

As an example, in our team we are using each other as an Email Curator. This means that, especially when the stakes are high, emails are scanned for content, purpose, readability by the writer and another team member.

In this way everyone has a better idea of what everyone else is working on and as a result of this process the important emails or projects look and feel much more professional upon submission.

3. Make a list of different versions of things that you previously considered good enough or “perfect” and use them selectively in the future.

For example, if you perceive contracts as jigsaw puzzles where the best elements for each need to be combined and fit for purpose, then having available variations of clauses or Ideas (variations that have been audited, approved and used previously), then you will be never “lost for words”.

These variations provide options so each Contract is fit for purpose.

The alternative would be to use a standardised template which will most likely NOT be the best fit for the purpose and confine our thinking. This is because the scope, quality, governance etc you aim for with each vendor is different.

Don’t get me wrong, some elements of a Contract can certainly be templated (e.g. Legal section including Insurance, Formal Disputes Resolution etc) but others are better not (e.g. SLAs, Governance, Relationship, Work Practices).

An even worse alternative to using a rigid standardised template would be to start each time from a blank page. This is simply counter-productive.

4. Have a Checklist to ensure everything gets covered.

For example, each contract should cover some key minimum sections e.g. the 3Ps – Parties, Price and Product and then a variety of others (e.g. SLA, Governance, Termination, Work Practices, Code of Conduct etc).

Having a checklist ensures that all aspects that need to be covered or discussed are covered one way or another.

These are just 4 techniques you can use as enablers to get over the “Perfection Syndrome”.

Do you use any others?


[Image courtesy of jpkwitter / http://mrg.bz/Y18YBz]


About Geovrakas
George Vrakas (MBA, CCMP, CMILT) is highly reputed in the field of services procurement and logistics and has presented on topics such as, Globalisation, Services Procurement, Leadership, Continuous Improvement and Personal Productivity at various venues and Universities in Melbourne. He has also been the host at industry events and published articles on Procurement and Contract Management at various online publications. George was a Board member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Australia (CILT Australia) from 2011 until 2016 and also a member of the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management (IACCM). George holds an MBA from Victoria University specializing in International Supply Chain Management and Applied Economics, he is also a certified Commercial Contract Management Practitioner (CCMP), a Green Belt Lean Six Sigma expert and holds a Lloyd's Maritime Academy certificate in KPIs for Ports and Terminals. He also holds certification on variety of topics primarily relating to Contract Management, Negotiations, International Regulations, Problem Solving and Change Management.

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