Striving for excellence

Most of us want to do a good job, don’t we? In school we work hard to get good grades, so that we can get into good universities so that we can get good jobs. And when working, we strive for a good bonus and a good yearly raise and a good next job. And even if we haven’t worked hard at school, most people in most professions have a drive to do a good job so that we get pleased customers so that we get more work or praise in some form. And yet, sometimes this drive for excellence can work against us..

I’m a coach in certification, which means I am participating in a programme that leads to two international “degrees” in coaching this spring (one of them ICF) after successfully passing the oral and written exam. My driver is to become a professional (read: know what I am doing) coach and get two recognized international certifications so that I have a “stamp of approval” that is acknowledged around the world. Simply speaking, I want to be a good coach. And guess what, that’s in my way!! I’m trying too hard! Isn’t it a paradox..

While thinking about how to become more « zen » about my drive and strive for excellence, I thought of other situations where one could benefit from a more relaxed attitude and not trying so hard;

–        Giving presentations and trainings (be yourself/use your strengths, “playing” with the script).

–        Interviewing (really “see” the candidate instead of having the face down in the questions you are supposed to ask).

–        Consulting and advicing (be interested in the customer and what is important to her/him instead of proving how good your company’s techniques are).

–        Leading a team (trusting your intuition about people).

–        Allowing space for others in meetings (knowing your opinion matters and you can give others an opportunity to shine).

–        And the list goes on..

Women especially tend to drive themselves hard, never being pleased with what they do – even having difficulty to accept a compliment. We would benefit from taking a “chill pill” and believing in the value we add and the knowledge we have acquired. Maybe then would we get to a different level of professionalism, still delivering excellence – with wisdom and emotional intelligence.

To be tested out, what do you think?

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