When is Perfectionism Too Much of a Good Thing?
There is a fine line between wanting to do a good job and displaying obsessive-compulsive tendencies. If you think you have an employee who might be a victim of obsessiveness, ask yourself if he or she exhibits these behaviors:
- becomes anxious and preoccupied with a need to check over items or to verify that he has performed tasks properly
- feels the urge to repeatedly check if he or she has neglected an item that could cause harm or damage, such as failing to lock a door, leaving equipment on, or not using the parking brake
- feels the urge to repeatedly check if he or she has made a mistake such as a typographical error or misplaced numbers on a spreadsheet
- feels the urge to repeatedly check if she has missed or forgotten something important, such as notes in a briefcase or slides for a presentation
- becomes distracted by checking behavior, causing difficulty concentrating and affecting productivity at work
- seeks out others to reassure him or her that he or she has performed tasks correctly
- checks even though he or she knows the checking behavior is excessive; he can’t stop himself from doing it
Source: Stop Obsessing! How to Overcome Your Obsessions and Compulsions, Edna B. Foa, PhD, and Reid Wilson, PhD.