Monday, March 17, 2014

Habits of the Mind: Striving for Accuracy

Although making a mistake is not the end of the world in most cases, striving for accuracy is an important habit of the mind.  Notice that it doesn’t say striving for perfection, rather striving for accuracy which could also be translated into excellence.  Certainly we care about how other perceive the work we do, but striving for perfection can move you further from rather than toward your desired goals.  Perfection means that you are never finished and can never contain an error.  Striving for the “error-free” state can also take an inordinate amount of time and instead of moving forward you continually go back and review your work to ensure that there are no mistakes.  Have you noticed in the Olympics how important it is that the Olympian is relaxed and focused, but not worried about a perfect performance.  When we get hung up on being “perfect” in reality we often do not do as well because we are focused on the wrong things. 

When we focus on accuracy and excellence we know that our work and performance is meeting the deliverables for this time and situation—we can always improve on the next iteration of our work.  Accuracy is about doing work that people can count on—it requires you to do your “due diligence”, consider contingencies and thinking about options to ensure the solution.  According to Scott Herrick, “We always strive for accuracy in our work — think of a nurse or a doctor administering medication to a patient, for example. But accuracy is different than perfection. Someone who focuses on excellence is proud of their 100% accuracy in delivering medication to patients.
 Someone who focuses on perfectionism delivers the same 100% accuracy in delivering medications — but wonders if they really did it right.  You build confidence from excellence; you will cover mistakes if you are a perfectionist.”Strive for accuracy and excellence—we will all be better off.  Let C4K help you build the accuracy and excellence of your staff.  Contact us at or by calling (661) 322-4347.  

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