“There’s always room for improvement.” It is a phrase that is usually taken as a form of criticism because it tends to be preceded by a high praise or recognition. For example, when a supervisor states that an employee is the best at his or her job, a manager may follow that praise with “there is always room for improvement” which has the immediate impact of lessening the significance of the initial praise and placing doubt on the employee’s worthiness.
However, let’s examine the phrase. Is it a negative, positive, or neutral phrase that may be negative or positive depending on the circumstances?
I propose that it is a positive phrase that should not be taken as demeaning or offensive when expressed. The phrase acknowledges by implication that there is an ability to improve which is a positive. The phrase should inspire because it inherently presents a challenge for the individual to rise to greater heights than his/her current state. The phrase provides permission for you to try something different because what you’ve been doing brought you to your current state of being and something new may be necessary to advance your current circumstances. The phrase presents an opportunity for introspection — are you doing the best you can possibly do? The phrase is empowering because by implication it allows for expansion of self that can only be attained from thinking outside of the box from which you currently operate.
It’s 2020, what areas of your life could benefit from a little improvement? It is never too soon, too late, or too expensive to invest in improving yourself and your outlook on life. Be 20/20 inside and out so that you can realize your future and claim your destiny.
Disclaimer: This post is not intended to encourage or condone the overuse and/or misuse of the phrase in performance reviews to curtail the percentage of a salary increase that an employee may have earned during the 12-month period. Give the guy or girl what he or she truly deserves in that performance review! 🧐