Drama Sparks: The Perfectionist

This is a six-part series about the almost invisible behaviors that spark negative drama and attention. 

This blog would be great. Let me just edit it one more time. Maybe I should add a few links for further research. That sentence needs to be reworked again. Wow, this got really long somehow?

If any of those thoughts have ever run through your head....you might be a perfectionist!

For instance. I was at a meeting recently and we had ten minutes to make a decision. The person in charge started by handing out a four-page handout and he had about twenty slides. There was NO WAY that we could cover all the details he had prepared and it was clear the meeting was going waaaaay over time. Here is what it sounds like...

"Before I clarify the points we are making, um, let me explain some information, that will give you a more exact idea, um, of what is before us."

The irony of their intention is they do this to promote understanding of self and others, but in reality, they end up going over peoples head. Then when people don't get their point, they feel disrespected because their work is unappreciated. 

The best way to approach folks who are trying to be perfect is to gently interrupt them with a question that cut's through the detail to the main point. 

Instead of politely listening to stuff that makes no sense you might say; "I can tell you put a lot of time into this, What is the main point you hope we understand?" 

This will give them a chance to use their natural skills of analyzing and synthesizing information.

If you ARE the perfectionist remember that other people are smart and capable too. One of my favorite mantras, when I'm stuck in a perfectionist loop, is, "Done is better than perfect."

Next up in the series: The Judgy McJudgerton

These concepts are all part of Process Communication Model. Take a course to find out more about PCM.