Perfectionism is the Kiss of Death

One of the hallmarks of inauthentic communication is perfectionism.

Perfectionism leads to overly complicated and mechanical communication techniques. These techniques feel inauthentic and fake, damaging trust and turning people off.

It could be a trite sales line that we’ve heard a million time before. It could be a fake smile, or a fake laugh.

It could be an unnaturally excited person at a networking event. Or it could be an attempt to look earnest during a presentation that falls flat.

Many of these fake behaviors are rooted in a need to “get it right.” We want to impress others, we want them to like us. We want to come across as smart, happy, competent, and like we have our shit together.

But we just end up making things even more awkward and uncomfortable for the audience.

The shortest solution to this is to accept your flaws. Accept the fact that you’re not perfect, and that you might mess things up or say the wrong thing.

If you accept a mistake and own it fully, you can laugh it off. The audience will see that to you, it’s no big deal.

The subconscious mind says: “If he doesn’t think it’s a big deal, it must not be.”

Putting pressure on yourself to be an amazing speaker, networker or salesperson is ineffective and pointless.

Other people can sense when we are putting pressure on ourselves and it makes them uncomfortable. Usually, they start to feel pressure too.

You can watch speeches or interviews with any “important” person you want (politicians, celebrities, business leaders). Look closely and you will be able to pick apart their presentation. You can identify cases of filler words, moments of odd body language, and plenty more errors.

But guess what? It doesn’t matter. People don’t care about those minor details. They care about the real message of what this person is trying to communicate.

Lastly, get rid of the belief that you are not good enough.

Lacking in a certain skill is one thing. But you should absolutely feel worthy and entitled to be in this situation.

Sales skills, conversation skills, and presentation skills, can be learned and enhanced. But without the inner conviction that you are actually “supposed to be here” they are just empty tools.

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