(SHORT NOTES FROM TEAM MANAGEMENT:
Managing Different Groups of Workers at http://www.mindtools.com)
Perfectionists often produce excellent work, but their excessive attention to detail and frequent reworking of projects can cause a lot of problems within a team. Perfectionism is attributed to people who pursue flawless work and set unrealistically high standards and goals for themselves. Perfectionists tend to be very critical of the work that they do – even when it's done well, they always manage to find a fault.
A small amount of perfectionism, or "adaptive perfectionism," is a good thing. Adaptive perfectionists have high standards, work with optimism and pleasure, and consistently desire to improve their knowledge and skills. They know when to stop work and "ship" the finished product.
· often have a fear of failure
· never completely satisfied with the work that they do
· often unhappy or anxious,
· obsessed with producing perfect work, even when it takes too long to deliver
· the most damaging effects of maladaptive perfectionism is its impact on health and well-being
· also negatively affect the morale and effectiveness of a team
· often find it difficult to
o meet deadlines
o delegate work,
o accept constructive criticism
· often micromanage teammates when they do succeed in delegating a task,
· can be less productive than others, simply because they spend so much time checking and rechecking their work
Maladaptive perfectionists mean well. They're committed to their work, as well as to the organization's success. Perfectionists can be assets in these situations, so it's important to find a good balance.
Maladaptive perfectionists often don't realize how their behavior affects others. This includes underestimating the importance of the deadlines that they miss, as well as not realizing how much they're upsetting their colleagues. Perfectionist team members care a great deal about the quality of their work.
Maladaptive perfectionists often struggle to sign off on a project, regardless of whether they miss a deadline or run over budget. Missed deadlines can cause the team embarrassment, can result in a loss of reputation, and can delay important projects or undermine their business case. Maladaptive perfectionists often find it difficult to delegate tasks, even when they're snowed under with work.
Maladaptive perfectionists can be unsuccessful when they're put in charge of large projects, or when they're in a varied role. This is not because of a lack of skill or ability, but rather because their attention to detail works against them.
Maladaptive perfectionism occurs when someone pursues unrealistically high standards in his or her work. Maladaptive perfectionists are often very self-critical, and are rarely satisfied with a finished task. More importantly, they often miss deadlines, they can fail to delegate, and they can upset the people they work with.