How to Temper Your Perfectionism

by Cody Martin on November 15, 2012

Being a perfectionist has always been seen as a strong quality by a lot of companies. It means that you have a very high level of standard when it comes to everything. From the quality of the work to the quality of the output, perfectionists always demand that everything should be top notch.

However, as with everything else, being a perfectionist has its disadvantages. For one thing, you never seem to know when something is good enough. When you set absurdly unrealistic standards, any output, no matter how good it is, feels like it is always lacking. There are even people that raise their standards higher if their current output has met their already high expectations. Because of that, you always feel like you are chasing something unattainable.

Being a perfectionist is not a bad thing; but if it takes over and you are setting unrealistic goals, you are not the only one who will suffer but your team as well.

To help you temper your perfectionist tendencies, here are some tips that you can follow:

Be aware that you are a perfectionist  

The first step towards solving any problem is by accepting that there is a problem. A lot of perfectionists only see this trait as a positive trait and fail to see the other side of the coin. As a result, they see it as others’ problem, not theirs. If you refuse to see that there are disadvantages to being a perfectionist, then you will continue rubbing the people who can’t meet your high expectations the wrong way.

Take inputs from others How to Temper Your Perfectionism

Perfectionists are known to have very high expectations; but they are usually not aware of when their high expectations cross the line to absurd and impossible. For them to realize it, they would need to be informed about it. So if you are a perfectionist with high expectations, always consult your team for inputs. Gather them for a meeting, invite them to a conference call, or talk to them one-on-one personally or through their business phone.  Ask them if the goal you have in mind is attainable. If they feel that your expectations are too high, ask them (politely, not in a raised voice) why they feel it cannot be reached.  You can also give your own reasons for setting your expectations too high so that you and your team can negotiate a middle ground.

Keep your focus 

Being a perfectionist is only a positive quality if it is focused and organized. If you let this trait go unchecked, it will apply to everything.  This means you will be paying too much attention even to the trivial things that have little impact on the overall goal of the project and the company. Make a priority list so that you have an idea of which tasks require your utmost attention. This way, your attention is not scattered and your perfectionism is directed towards something.

Look at your perfectionism as another tool to further improve the quality of work in the company; but have the open-mind to realize that like any tool, it has to be used the proper way for it to work.

 

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