Are You Too Focused on Perfection at Work?

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by Marti MacGibbon, CADC II, ACRPS

Heather, a manager at a technology marketing company, prides herself in her extremely high standards, often jokingly referring to herself as a perfectionist – but the truth is that she has difficulty meeting deadlines. During brainstorming sessions with her staff, Heather”s intention is to unearth new discoveries and innovations, but she dreads making even the smallest mistakes, which puts a damper on her team”s creativity. She takes on only familiar challenges in order to guarantee that she will excel. Recently, Heather noticed she has difficulty relating to and encouraging her staff members. She wants to be able to inspire them, but finds she can see only flaws in their work.# Since Heather is also self-critical, she is tense and rigid when embarking on new projects, putting a clamp on her own productivity.

Tyler”s office is down the hall from Heather”s, and she”s noticed how he and his staff consistently come up with innovative new concepts and complete projects before deadline. Whenever a groundbreaking new project comes up, Tyler confidently volunteers to take it on. In meetings, Tyler”s subordinates demonstrate self-assurance and an easy rapport with him. When Tyler”s staff turns in reports, the mood is upbeat, almost celebratory, even when they are only halfway to their project”s completion. Heather sees people leave Tyler”s office looking focused, empowered and energized. She wonders how Tyler can appear to be so relaxed and happy and still be so productive?

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