Is there anything more frustrating? Anything more de-motivating? Anything more demeaning? No doubt there is – but when you see what I am talking about – I think you will see my point – exaggerated as it may be.
You are asked to do something. The request sounds mundane. You know you can do better. And you do!
But then all hell breaks loose.
“You didn’t do what was asked”….we protest…”what we did was better”…”But not what I asked”…”This is much better”…”Not what I wanted”…
See my point? Ever been there?
In my experience – it happens at home and work; between friends and clients – in fact across all types of relationships – no matter what the core of the bond.
Seems to me there is a simple dynamic at work here – balancing the need to listen…carefully…with the desire to show that we can do more; we know better; we are ready to work harder.
And here is the simple insight – LISTEN. Answer the question. Once you have fulfilled the need you can do more. But first prove that you can do the basics.
If I was searching for a book on home vegetable gardening in an urban apartment environment from Amazon and they served me the best, most comprehensive tome on agricultural science and trends for large scale corporate combine farming – what would I think? Do you imagine that I would buy the book or be impressed with their ability to understand me?
Listen to one of the great leaders of the last century who was famed for going the last mile:
It’s not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what’s required.
~Sir Winston Churchill
And there you have it.
Sometimes we just have to suck it up and answer the question – no matter how simplistic we think it is. That, I believe, earns you the right to go the next step.
Doing our best doesn’t prove that we can do what’s required. But like in any good quiz show, if you answer the question right, you get to go to the next round.
What do you think?