It’s definitely easier in the moment to let it slide. Not every can be above average, right? To expect less and accept it when it happens. To say nothing and fill in around the edges. Everyone turns in an underwhelming piece of work every now and again. Either one of you can polish it up and move on. Simple.
When it becomes the norm though … someone has to do something about it, and your name is on the slate.
If you have plenty of time, you could just ask them to keep trying until things improve – and it might work, but it’s just as likely to confuse them and frustrate both of you. Far smarter, faster and long-run easier to explain what you see and don’t see, and what need to do to fix it.
And then keep nudging.
Skippy strategy: Set the bar clearly, then help them clear it.
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