Let’s Talk Quality

Let’s Talk Quality

By: Nisreen Musleh

Having casual conversations on different topics, we tend to shed light on the generally low quality. It is linked with the “it looks ok” culture, where people do not necessarily perfect what they do assuming that what they provide is enough. Moreover, some give themselves a pat on the back and congratulate themselves on what they have done instead of pushing themselves to broaden their knowledge. For the said knowledge, if utilized, could open their eyes to the better ways of achieving their desired success.

This school of thought is spreading among people, and it looks into fulfilling the purpose, away from paying attention to the performance quality. However, a fast brainstorming session with the staff of the company I manage about what the word “quality” correlates with for them was enough to see the different aspects that define quality, and the way we define it through the techniques that help us take the satisfaction with our performance.

Though our society suffers from abandoning the value of quality in business, this is not permeated as we might think it is. Moreover, the effort of putting forward the amendments might bear its fruit if we choose  to improve our concept on quality, regardless of the task in hand.

We always tend to call for quality and for perfecting one’s work, associating this kind of quality with the quality of the productive works of the factories and laboratories. As for these entities, there are specialized departments for quality assessment and control. This seven-character word goes farther to include the quality of our lifestyle, while the works we do can either help grow people’s confidence, or rock it, in the quality of our work. In the same vein, quality can be assessed through the following features:

While quality stems from the satisfaction of the clients, relatives, or one’s children, satisfaction also is the fruit of quality. The level of satisfaction is the factor that raises people’s expectations and simultaneously encourages us to keep assessing ourselves to move ahead.

With quality, one should gain the comprehensive knowledge on a variety of topics instead of acquiring the A to Z knowledge on one topic. This confusion often takes place when distinguishing between the specialization and the comprehensive knowledge in various fields. Specialty is a must, lawyers, programmers, translators and others must have the specialized knowledge on what they do. However, there are other factors that play a massive role in improving the quality like learning about the management approaches, communication skills, work management skills, and knowing about all that happens prior to the task and post it. For instance, when the translator is aware that his/her translation work will be sent directly to be the publisher, they put in more effort to do research and to communicate with the author of the source text, instead of only relying on their own outstanding translation skills.

Quality is about doing it only once! It is deeply linked with time management as we tend to conduct tasks in a fast manner, using only fast and shallow solution to approach the problems we face. However, doing it only once uproots such problems and saves effort of thinking of new approaches to come about solving problems that have already been solved in the past. The said solutions stimulate the work procedures, and documenting these procedures helps do the task only once.

Quality is born once we start thinking outside the box. If we were able to avoid limiting our thoughts and ourselves, we would be able to view quality from a newer perspective that helps improve it. The phrase “You outdid yourself” describes those who perfect their work and develop the skills they already excel. The role of free thinking in improving the quality crystallizes here. Hence, what we excel now can be perfected in the future; so long we follow the self quality standards instead of the general ones. As soon as the concept of quality is engraved in our lives, we will start to witness how it applies not only to the tasks we do, but also to our skills, knowledge, and professional and social relationships. Later, the concept of perfecting what we do becomes automatically embodied in all of our life’s aspects.

There are many features that are equivalent to the concept of quality and work-perfecting like assessing time and comparing it with the effort put in, and assessing the desired outcomes, precision, and hard work. Then, quality would not only be a word, for it embodies all of the supporting features that allow us to be distinguished in what we do.

One might ask: How to achieve quality? It is not hard to do so. You can approach it through a series of four stages: the first is to have the intention to learn, so to employ everything you go through to grow your knowledge. The second stage is taking notice and benefiting from your surroundings to extend your know-how. The third is raising questions and inquiries instead of independently making assumptions on how things work. Finally, you can achieve quality when you direct your knowledge towards perfectly implementing tasks and producing finely polished products.

Quality is not linked to a specific group of people only, it rather describes workers from all fields of work, starting with the worker that excels establishing the sewer system, to the traffic officer who successfully protects us from car crashes, to the elected officials who take the lead in making the change, reaching to the special time parents make to spend with their children. It is everyone’s responsibility to live by the culture of achieving quality, spreading it, and perfecting one’s work to improve our society and its thought.

*Founder and managing director of Ritaj Managerial Solutions in Ramallah, and Board Member of Trainers Pta.

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