A Perfectionist is determined to be successful, while working relentlessly, and always determined to improve. Perfectionists usually have a deep-seated work ethic and are very driven to succeed.
Yet it can really be a challenge to manage an employee who needs everything to be perfect.
The disadvantage can be that they sometimes get caught up in their own devices and end up with inadequate results…working hard, but just spinning their wheels.
Having a perfectionist on your team can also be an asset.
We know perfectionists possess many qualities that make them quite a talent for any organization. However, the same characteristics that can be assets under general conditions can be troublesome when a person is feeling overwhelmed with increased stress.
So as the leader, if you find yourself with a "perfectionist" on your team…
How do you manage them?
- Value all that’s positive about this person. They may see features and particulars that you don’t.
- Make sure your feedback is well thought-out. Sometimes criticism can trigger something in a perfectionist that makes them even more inflexible and headstrong.
- Don't give them very multifaceted, painstaking responsibilities, especially ones that call for managing others. Give them tasks that need a thorough and fussy eye, the more planned the better.
- Designate and agree upon deadlines clearly with your perfectionist because it's one more facet they will need to get right.
- Make sure you emphasize often the actions and behaviors you want to see more of.
- Help your perfectionist employee to see how a propensity to nitpick and a failure to see the big picture might limit their professional growth.
Perfectionists can be extremely difficult to deal with because they are controlled by a fear of failure. They can spend so much time on a project’s details that they could miss a deadline as a result. They can tend to be less productive because they check and re-check their work.
Then again, many projects often need to be as close to perfect as possible, so in those situations a perfectionist’s attention to detail can actually be a plus.
Helping these personality types develop self-awareness is sometimes all it takes to turn things around.
Remember, not all challenging workers are hopeless. A good system for all leaders is to acknowledge a team member when they begin to adjust well, commit to a task and prioritize. Certain employees just need a little extra guidance and everyone could use a little admiration every now and then!
How do you help manage the perfectionist on your team?
Dave Baney is the founder and CEO of 55 Questions, LLC. We work with successful top executives with a driving ambition to crush their competition. We help CEOs and Entrepreneurs improve alignment, communication and accountability throughout their organization. www.55Questions.com
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