The latest episode in our Resilience Unravelled series has now been released – Resilience Unravelled, Perfectionism – what is good enough?
In this episode, Dr. Russell Thackeray talks about perfectionism, perfectionists, and how a lack of understanding of ‘what is good enough,’ can lead to lengthy procrastination and end with unsatisfactory results.
Whilst an acceptable level of perfectionism is a really good thing, perfectionists can be seen as difficult to manage, particularly when working in a team – they never meet their own expectations, get stressed by small mistakes, can be seen as defensive when other peoples suggestions and ideas are put to them and use up unnecessary time and effort on small details but lose sight of the bigger picture. They often feel that ‘if you can’t do it perfectly then why bother?’ and this can also lead to a lack of satisfaction because they think things can always be done better or improved on.
Dr. Thackeray also talks about how perfectionists often have low self esteem, are self critical and exhausted, anxious and stressed simply because of their fear of ‘not getting it right’. The management challenge is work with perfectionists so they know what your expectations are, that they know what is good enough and understand what perfect looks like to someone else.
Unchecked, perfectionism can lead to loneliness, stress and burnout but putting regular, positive, reinforcing feedback in place or simply telling your perfectionist that what they’ve done is ‘perfect’ can really help.
The fact is we need perfectionists. Without them we wouldn’t get far but too many or them mean we simply wouldn’t get anywhere.
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