I fully understand the impulse to wait to do something until I can do it perfectly. I want to delay until I have figured the strongest argument and crafted it into the best imaginable wording. I'm writing today's post partly to remind myself to resist such urges for several reasons.
First, it's important to remember that no matter how many times I move my words around, they're never going to be perfect. Leaving aside the fact that there's no such thing as perfection, it's clear that what works best in a situation is context-dependent and our contexts offer, at best, a shifting target. More common, we can't know the best approach to a situation until we take a stab at a solution and evaluate the attempt's results. Since we can't be perfect, we can let go of that aim and hope to be better than nothing.
Second, it's okay to get things wrong. We can always come back to those offended or angered by our attempts, learn from their responses, and try again. Only with such an iterative process can we improve. Without any negative feedback on our efforts, we fail to grow. We don't learn. We stay stuck.
Third, others won't know we're concerned unless we speak or act. If we wait to address issues until we have the perfect solutions, what the other people involved experience is our lack of action. Bumbling ahead imperfectly, which is okay as we are all imperfect, sends the signal that we are not merely moled away in our safe burrows failing to notice or care.
Have you ever waiting to do or say anything in response to a crisis and been criticized for your lack of a response? Have you spoken or acted too quickly and had to revise? Please share your thoughts in the comments.