It used to be that when job applicants were asked to name 3 strengths, the response “I’m a perfectionist” was seen as desirable. Not anymore.
Because in this frenzied world where managing complexity is the norm, perfectionists often:
- Slow down completion of assignments
- Set unrealistic goals
- Have difficulty delegating
- Berate themselves or others when they make mistakes
If you are a perfectionist, ask yourself 4 questions:
- In a 24/7 world, is an excellent piece of work better late than good work on time?
- What is the worst thing that would happen if you make an error?
- How many times in a day do you witness other people making mistakes and how serious were the consequences?
- What is the cost of reviewing your work multiple times (e.g. time, money, stress, work-life imbalance)?
Striving to be perfect in all aspects of your life fosters self-doubt and personal disappointment.
And as a leader, creating unrealistic expectations for others creates anxiety and disengagement.
3 strategies that will help:
- Be aware of your perfectionism and try to break the habit.
- Ask yourself about the task at hand: is “very good” good enough?
- View constructive feedback you’re given not as a sign of failure but as a learning opportunity.