Don’t lower the standard

People don’t measure up. We don’t measure up. Faced with the disappointment in others and ourselves, we either discard people who don’t measure up or decide the standard is too high.

“My good opinion once lost is lost forever.

– Mr Darcy

The trouble is, we rarely produce amazing by lowering the standard. You hope that your surgeon doesn’t lower their standard. You don’t want substandard pilots, smart phones, or Kindergarten teachers.

What should we do?

We shouldn’t lower the standard, we should raise it. Specifically, we should raise our standard for how we communicate and how quickly we forgive.

Double your communicate (and divide your critique)

Clarify expectations. However clear you are being about what you expect, double it. You’ll spend less time editing on the back end if you clarify expectations on the front end. Happiness, after all, is the difference between expectations and experience.

Give prompt feedback. When you fail to give feedback, you communicate “I don’t believe you can do better.”

Cheer! Don’t see cheering for them and challenging them as mutually exclusive.

Forgive quickly

Forgive fast. The more quickly you forgive, the more quickly they’ll tell you when they mess up. The more consistently you forgive, the less they’ll hide their mistakes.

Make scoreboards public. A hidden mistake can’t be forgiven. A public scoreboard gives everybody the opportunity to cheer when things go well, evaluate when they go poorly, and forgive one another.

Wherever you have influence, tell people how to win and then coach them when they fall short. Don’t lower the standard, raise your communication and forgive rapidly.

One thought on “Don’t lower the standard

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  1. good words.
    forgive quickly is good.
    a good way to do it.” i was wrong, i am sorry for…., will you forgive me for….

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