Stop being perfect!

    Business Spotlight 4/2020
    Von Lois Hoyal

    Do you permanently set the bar high? Are you never satisfied with mediocrityMittelmaß, Mittel- mäßigkeitmediocrity? Is only the best good enough for you? If your answers to these questions are yes, then you might well be a perfectionist. The problem is, that’s not quite as perfect as you might think.

    Dealing with perfectionism

    Annabel Demoitié, founder of the organization Anthusiast! in Belgium, which provides coaching to individuals and groups on how to manage perfectionism, says that you should look out for the following characteristics of perfectionism in your colleagues:

    • They have high standards. They can’t to not be able to abide sth.etw. nicht ertragen/aushalten könnenabide mediocrity and always want to come first. To them, second place means “first loser”.
    • They have a great sense of responsibility and to take a lot onsich viel aufladentake a lot on.
    • They like to be in control and want things done their way — and their way only.
    • They aim to please people. They want to be liked and accepted and are afraid of confrontation. This desire for approval can lead perfectionists to focus more on what other people say about their efforts than on the work itself — and then to forget about their own needs.
    • They don’t know how to be assertivedurchsetzungsfähigassertive. They tend either to be overlyübermäßigoverly aggressive or to to suck it all up (US, ifml.)hier: etw. durchstehensuck it all up.

    Once you have identified your colleague, manager or, indeed, yourself as a perfectionist, the next step is to work out what to do about it. To start with, try to learn to take the good with the bad. Working for a perfectionist boss who is hypercritical and no good at delegating can be both difficult and demoralizing. On the other hand, their high standards can push you and your team to achieve your very best.

    To prevent perfectionists from to procrastinateDinge aufschiebenprocrastinating, offer them projects that they can easily complete. And ensure that they’re in the right role — for example, not in managerial roles, where they might demand too much of others. Unless, that is, their positive qualities are likely to to outweigh sth.etw. übersteigenoutweigh the costs. Also, give feedback cautiously and in small measures when dealing with perfectionists. Tip: Why not ask the individual’s advice on how best to give them feedback?

    Perfect your imperfection

    And what if you recognize more and more perfectionistic traitCharakter-, Wesenszugtraits in yourself? Well, there is no need to panic. Remember that the right level of perfectionism can to spell sth. outetw. verdeutlichen; hier: bedeutenspell out certain success. You can proudly to flaunt sth.etw. zeigen, zur Schau stellenflaunt the perfectionist label as long as you have the right attitude and your perfectionism is of the healthy sort.

    It’s not a disaster if you get something wrong. Learn to forgive yourself and others

    And what if you can feel that healthy perfectionism to flip over into sth. (ifml.)in etw. umschlagenflipping over into the unhealthy kind? First, relax. Recognition that change is needed is the first step towards self-improvement. Second, relax again. Learn to accept that real success comes from to appreciate sth.etw. würdigenappreciating a job well done, even if it’s not perfect in every respect.

    Set priorities, set deadlines, make a plan and then try to let go of control, advises Annabel Demoitié. Most importantly, tell your employees and yourself that it’s OK to make mistakes. It’s not a disaster if you get something wrong. Learn to forgive yourself and others.

    Finally, try to redefine your own definition of success. Praise yourself for making someone happy or doing a good deedTatdeed, for example. “A lot of people attach their self-worth to what they do and not to who they are as a person. We have to reach a state of self-acceptance and self-love,” says Demoitié.

    So, if you didn’t put in a perfect performance at work today, but you’ve done your best,  to pat oneself on the backsich auf die Schulter klopfenpat yourself on the back. In itself, such an admissionEin-, Zugeständnisadmission is part of being perfect — perfectly candidoffen, aufrichtigcandid and balanced. And tomorrow, if you to shoot for the moon (US)nach den Sternen greifen; hier etwa: sich etw. Großes vornehmenshoot for the moon but land among the stars, to sit backsich zurücklehnensit back, take it easy and enjoy the view.

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