Perfectionism in the business world can, at first glance, seem like a positive phenomenon. Who would not want everything to be done with incredible accuracy and achieve the best possible results?
In the long term, long hours dedicated to delivering tasks no matter how small or large can actually lead to much less work being completed overall. It can lead to becoming “stuck” often, and an overall lower level of productivity.
Marino Sussich is a business expert who has mastered many fields over the years and has played an integral role in the success of several businesses. He is well-versed in the concept of productivity and the secrets of a successful mindset.
Find out more about the positive and negative aspects of perfectionism and some tips to aid in finding a balance between perfection and productivity.
The positive impact
Those who identify as perfectionists are generally found to be highly motivated and engaged individuals who are willing to work long hours. They are often people who, though they may take longer to complete tasks, are also willing to put in extra time and effort to ensure tasks are accomplished.
Perfectionism can be a great tool to drive high-quality work and success. These tendencies to strive for perfection can push people to always go the extra mile.
The negative impact
Ultimately, perfectionism can be extremely time-consuming and draining for the person experiencing it. These tendencies lead to less work produced or results achieved as well as an overall low mood and negative outlook on the self.
At the root of perfectionism is a fear or anxiety that puts great pressure on the tasks at hand. According to an article by the University of Michigan, perfectionist thinking and behaviour can come from fear of failure, fear of mistakes, and fear of disapproval or not being good enough. The thought processes, stress and pressure can lead to excessive checking or reassurance seeking, excessive organising, procrastination and avoidance that delays task completion and heightens feelings of frustration and worthlessness rather than combating them.
CPA Australia explains perfectionism is thought to be linked with characteristics that impact work relationships. This occurs due to excessive negativity, competitive streaks, and a preoccupation with personal achievement. It has been observed that managers who demand perfection can begin to encourage behaviours in staff such as hiding mistakes for fear of criticism, lack of communication and cooperation that leads to missed deadlines or failed goals.
Those who strive for perfection can also avoid risk-taking or new approaches for fear of failure, and be closed to alternative viewpoints or opposition in a way that suppresses progress.
Finding a balance
To prevent perfectionism from taking a hold and leading to poor performance and impacting workplace relationships, it is helpful for managers to develop a supportive and collaborative culture. As a leader in the workplace, it is also important to be aware of the characteristics and signs of perfectionism and refrain from rewarding it.
If it is noticed, rather than being celebrated or criticised, room for discussion and openness should be created. Those with perfectionist tendencies should be encouraged to share their experience and receive constructive feedback. In a functioning workspace perfection is flexible, and best completed by collaboration and openness to new ideas or methods rather than strict rules and micromanagement.
Those with perfectionism can believe that what they are doing is either perfect or terrible, with no in-between, and their efforts are very rarely seen by them as perfect. If you are a business leader with perfectionist tendencies, adopting the mantra “good enough” can be a productive phenomenon.
The Harvard Business Review explains that it is important to recalibrate your standards. Learning that imperfect work can still be excellent is very important, and making mistakes can be a positive experience as you could receive useful feedback that helps your work to reach new levels in the long-term.
Recognising perfectionism within yourself is a great first step to overcoming these qualities that may not be serving you or those around you in the workplace. Taking the pressure off yourself is the ultimate goal, and will allow you to be comfortable with imperfection in a way that leads to better and more bountiful results.
Business advice with Marino Sussich
Marino Sussich has many years of experience in the business world, having led a variety of successful endeavours. With innovative approaches and expert techniques that assist businesses to achieve their goals, he provides truly excellent business strategy consulting.
Managing a business can be extremely challenging without the guidance of an expert in the field. Contact Marino Robert Sussich to receive business advice that will guide you to success.