A perfectionist is someone who is never satisfied with themselves or others. The bar is set so high, they drive themselves and others crazy because they are never satisfied.
A moderate amount of perfectionistic tendency is okay. When we do assessments on managers, we compare them to thousands of other managers in the database. If they are around the middle of the pack, it indicates that they believe in excellence and competence.
It is when they are extreme that it becomes a problem for themselves and their employees.
Perfectionism tends to lower the self esteem of employees because no matter how hard they try, they cannot please the extreme perfectionist. Ultimately it can cause people to quit.
The first shift when we coach managers is to have them focus on achievement of excellence instead of perfection. The manager needs to pause and acknowledge and celebrate their own accomplishments. They need to set achievable goals for themselves and others. Then they need to grow their employees by becoming more of a coach – encouraging the person to achieve their full potential. See the good things people are doing and tell them.
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