The perfection dogma
To err is human. Says, but acts differently. Making mistakes is still embarrassing, perfect and avoiding mistakes at all costs as a proof of professionalism. Just stupid that mistakes just happen. Shit happens. Even the most beautiful zero-error-dogma does not help.
Dealing with mistakes is what counts. Because if there is no open discussion about mistakes, nobody can learn what should be done better in the future. I explain exactly these aspects in my book “The 110% Lie” - and in my accompanying essay at changeX, which I use for journalists to research for their Article on request also happy to send.
Causes and consequences of the exaggerated entitlement to benefits
The long-running topic "Perfectionism" has generated a lot of media interest in the past - see my interviews in the Süddeutschen, ZEIT, in Sonntag and at Karrierebibel as well as the cover story in the magazine managerSeminare. So this week my new eponymous series starts here Berufebilder:
It deals with the causes and consequences that exaggerated job demands may have on the individual's career, but also on the productivity of the entire company. Of course, the series not only shows where the rabbit is in the pepper, but also ways out of the perfection trap.
Because: Perfectionism is expensive for German companies: As the productivity study by the American management consultancy Proudfoot-Consulting shows again and again, excessive zeal is anything but productive. In Germany alone, an average of 26 working days per year and employee are wasted.
Namely, by unnecessary waiting and duplication - blind actionism that could be avoided by more prudent action and the German company 135 costs billions of euros a year, because the employees do superfluous or even wrong things.
Above all perfectionism, ie the tendency of perfectionists to avoid mistakes at all costs, is responsible for this: After all, executives who should actually regulate the work processes of their employees are responsible for the defective work organization.
Decisions that solve themselves?
It is also part of staff management, however, to make decisions about who does which work, what budget is available and when a project should be finished. And that's exactly where the hare is in the air: instead of tackling the matter actively and energetically, many decision-makers in the executive floors would rather hope that the problem will solve itself on its own.
"Suffering from perfectionism" also means suffering from unwillingness to make decisions. Because every decision bears the risk of betting on the wrong horse. Perfectionists, on the other hand, prefer to keep all options open. Because deciding also means to commit yourself and to forego other possibilities.
Not to think about when they would later receive information that would allow them to make a better, correct, even more perfect decision instead of making themselves unpopular with a wrong decision.
Fearing to make the wrong choice, they therefore prefer to delay the decision for as long as possible, to circumvent it or even to shift it to others - sometimes with absurd results:
It's not the head of the marketing department who decides on a copy, but the accountant has the last word. And when placing an order, the head of the company-owned kindergarten (as a works council member) must not be missing, because the boss does not want to ignore anyone.
This may seem sympathetic and democratic at first glance, but in reality this is evidence of a deep insecurity of the decision maker.
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