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Can perfectionists, non-perfectionists get along at work?

The world has figured out how to get artists to work just fine with architects, but do you know how to get perfectionists and non-perfectionists to work well together at work?



Perfectionists vs. non-perfectionists

Can a perfectionist and a non-perfectionist get along in the work place? You have to work together, so you may as well try to make your work day as peaceful as possible, and, perfectionists, you can start with this: Stop calling the rest of us non-perfectionists. It has a bad connotation. What you really mean is that we are different than you in the way we process our work, structure our days, and tend to our stuff.

What we hear is, “You’re a slob unworthy of my presence. But since I have to work with you, you should do it my way.” In short, you are saying that we aren’t you, and to that we say, “Phew!”

Now that we have established that the issues between us could just be our own self-image shortcomings, let’s figure out how to work together.

Pointers for perfectionists

Perfectionists have trouble looking outside their carefully assembled boxes. When working on projects with others, they tend to think that their suggestions are merely suggestions to help the group along. And, your organizational skills and ability to adhere to plan and order are an asset to the group, but work on your approach.

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Listen to the suggestions from everyone in the group, get a sense for the direction the group is going, and then try saying, “I think I’m hearing that we agree on these ideas. Here is an outlined plan for how we might make each of those happen.” That, we can appreciate.

Being told from the beginning every step to take, we cannot appreciate. We will dig our heels and turn back flips just to avoid your suggestions. We really aren’t non-perfectionists; we are self-centered, non-grounded, and non-receptive to rules. Let’s try to understand these things about each other.

Something to know about non-perfectionists

Non-perfectionists are needed in a group, too. It may seem that we are talking randomly, not getting through an entire idea before going on to another, and that we aren’t stressed at all about the fact that the project doesn’t seem to be progressing. That drives the perfectionist crazy, but let me let you in on secret – I sleep at night. I can turn things off in my head so I can concentrate on other stuff. I can only assume you are taking the stress home with you because the “undone” drives you insane.

We need to merge

I need to be reigned in at times, and you, perfectionist, need to let loose. I have some great ideas that you could organize to fruition. You have some awesome ideas that I could run amuck with and get noticed. Together, we can rule the world.

Put down your planner, perfectionist. We don’t need a schedule for world domination.

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Written By

Kristyl Barron holds a BA in English Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and an MHR in Counseling/Organizational Management from the University of Oklahoma. Barron has been writing professionally since 2008, and projects include a memoir entitled Give Your Brother Back His Barbie and an in progress motivational book called Aspies Among Us.

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