Fans of the old NBC show “The Office” know that the workplace comedy is not only chock full of unintentional wisdom, but also full of unintentional motivation.
When I asked my client Braden how his relationship with his manager was going since we’d last spoken, there was a long pause.
“Braden, what happened?” I asked.
“He ripped apart a presentation I put together,” he told me, detailing an intense round of criticism. “He said I needed to start over from scratch because it totally missed the mark. I couldn’t stop thinking about our conversation all weekend!”
How criticism affects us
Maybe you’ve found yourself in Braden’s shoes, feeling angry, insecure, or demoralized after getting bad feedback. When someone criticizes your work, it can feel like a confirmation of your inner critic saying you’re not good enough. Other times, a single off-handed comment (“you look tired”) launches you into an existential crisis about how you’re too old and have accomplished nothing with your life.
But if you want to do anything important in the world, you’ll inevitably get negative
On the fourteenth round of edits, I sat befuddled when she asked if we could return to the original edit of her document. As a freelance writer, I tend to encounter a perfectionist every once in a while.
But there are perfectionists and there are picky people. This client, she was the latter.
The difference between perfectionists and picky people
Perfectionists have a standard, are usually decisive, and often can express to you exactly what they want. Once you have an understanding of that person’s needs, you simply just deliver their vision of perfection as best you can. But picky people don’t really know what they want. Therefore, they can take you on a long, frustrating, journey of guesswork until they do.
At about the four-month mark for a project that should have taken one month, I decided to switch tactics and hopefully put the project to bed. The constant return of minuscule requests