December 2nd, 2008

canoeing

Perfectionism

What is a blog for if not to put things into that you wanted to shout at the radio...?

So, I caught part of a short article about perfectionists and working with them.  To my mind it left out the most important thing about the majority of perfectionists (or, as I like to think of them, 'sodding perfectionists'.)

This is that in order to be an *effective* perfectionist, you need to a) know what you are doing and either b) be able to do it really well OR c) have a clear vision of what you consider perfection to be and how it is to be achieved and be able to communicate that, and preferably, measure it.

If you don't know what you are doing or how to do it or what effect it will have, then demanding endless change is not the pursuit of perfection.  It is random flailing without a clear objective or measure.   Also, the idea that one must 'get it right' assumes that there is only one 'right' available, and only one measure by which it can be judged.  This is rarely the case.

I reckon at least half the people who say 'can we just change this - I'm afraid I am a bit of a perfectionist' are misguided.  They are not perfectionists, not even a bit.  They are flailers.  They have mistaken random movement for progress.