There is a phrase we use in our office all the time. It’s a very powerful phrase that really relieves stress and pressure and brings such a glorious freedom. “Everyone needs an editor.”
If you have ever felt an expectation of perfection in your work, you know the kind of stress that comes with that. The reality is, mistakes happen. And speaking from the perspective of a boss, we know that! We expect that. We do not expect you to be perfect – we just expect you to give it your best shot.
But for some reason, most people have gotten it in their heads that they have to be perfect and get everything right the first time, every time. That expectation of perfection causes you to get stressed out and to actually make more mistakes. It creates pressure, and that pressure causes you to manage your time poorly. Excellence, efficiency, and creativity absolutely do NOT flow out of pressure.
This is where an editor comes in. To edit, by definition, means to prepare for public presentation.
When I finish writing this letter to you today, there will be not one, but TWO editors who will go line-by-line to find any spelling errors, formatting mistakes, and inconsistencies. But imagine what would happen if I got offended when they pointed out the mistakes I have made? Imagine if I refused the help of these two amazing editors. You would be reading a letter that is FULL of mistakes right now
We need each other in order to succeed. We need other people to pull the best out in us – we cannot do that on our own! We cover each other’s weaknesses. Have you heard the phrase, “Two heads are better than one”? It’s so true!
So instead of getting defensive when I get this letter back after it’s been edited and coming up with excuses for why I made those mistakes, I say, “Oh, thank you for pointing that out!”
This is exactly what we have to do in life – at work, at home, in our families and communities. Everyone needs an editor!
What does an editor do? They correct mistakes. Yes, they correct you! They point out errors and help you to adjust, adapt, or change. And why? To help you get better.
How do you respond to correction? What do you say to your “editors” at work? (That may be your boss or your manager, or even your colleagues, who correct you in order to help you and the whole team grow.) Do you get defensive, and say, “Yeah, I know!” or “You know what I meant!”? When your faults are called out, do you rebel against the one who pointed them out? Do you refuse to hear what they have to say? This is total rebellion, insubordination, and dishonor. Rebellious and insubordinate people try to hide their faults, and they are not teachable.
So do not respond to correction with dishonor. Respond with honour and gratitude, because you NEED correction in order to grow, learn, and mature. You need correction in order to get promotions, raises, and bonuses. If you want to advance in your business or career, correction must be part of your life. So welcome correction! It is the only way you will get where you want to go!
Remember that pressure of perfection I told you about earlier? Correction – having an “editor” – relieves that pressure. Perfection can only come through correction.
In order to receive correction, you must be teachable. Teachability is the key to long-lasting success, no matter what you do. When – not if – we make mistakes, whether or not we are teachable will determine if we learn from those mistakes or if we continue making the same mistakes again and again. Teachability requires you to put your ego aside and be willing to learn from the “editors” in your life.
EVERYONE needs an editor! We all make mistakes. Editors help us to correct those mistakes and to learn from them. Then, and only then, we can mature and grow to the next level, whether that is in your job, your business, your home, or your community.
Who do you know that needs to be relieved of the pressure of perfection today? Who do you know that is struggling with feeling like they always just make too many mistakes? This would be a great way to encourage those people. I know this phrase has relieved pressure here in our own office, and it has impacted me in a big way as well. So just go ahead and forward this email to your friends, family, and colleagues, or post this link on Facebook and Twitter.
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