Advertising
Advertising

10 Things That Are So True To All Perfectionists

10 Things That Are So True To All Perfectionists

Most people think that perfectionists have life figured out: They set high standards, they work hard, and they reap the rewards. However, perfectionists know that life with strict, self-imposed goals is far from easy. Still, no matter how many times we hear that perfection is unattainable, we will never stop chasing excellence — even if that means we have to endure a lifetime of the following issues too familiar to perfectionists.

1. We Are Not the Same as Overachievers

Perfectionists and overachievers share a lot of the same symptoms, but they truly aren’t the same neurosis. Both groups set similarly high goals, but overachievers generally are satisfied with any degree of success, while perfectionists must attain perfection, or we experience the regret, guilt, and unending stress of failure. As a result, we often procrastinate, trying to delay inevitable disappointment even as we are pushed forward due to fear of inaction.

Advertising

2. We Won’t Be Caught Dead in Asymmetrical Clothing

One-sleeves, one-slits, high-low skirts, and other lopsided fashion trends aren’t daring — they are dreadful. Designers should know by now that symmetry is the essence of beauty. Striving to be asymmetrical is like trying to be ugly, and we perfectionists simply cannot stand being less than flawless.

3. We Can’t Watch Movies Without Pointing Out Errors

Just try to take one of us to the movie theater, and you’ll be thrown out 30 minutes later for all the talking we do. Even though directors tend to be perfectionists themselves, most movies contain a heaping handful of continuity mistakes and other issues that always make us cringe. Movies shot on-location tend to be worst of all because weather issues can cause obvious delays and differences, and sometimes location landmarks in the wrong city can be totally visible. Still, we’ll go to the movies as long as you don’t mind us gasping and pointing — and if you buy us popcorn with precisely distributed butter topping.

Advertising

4. We Always Arrive Precisely When We Mean To

We might drag our feet when we have projects to turn in, but if an invitation says 9 p.m., you can expect us to be there at 8:30 at the latest. Perfectionists do not know the meaning of “fashionably late,” and to us, “on time” is definitely “absurdly early” to other people. As an aside, if ever you have the fortune of being invited to a perfectionist’s party — a rare occurrence, considering the energy and expense of excellent extravaganzas — your host will be affronted if you appear any later than she would.

5. We Have to Apologize for Saying We’re Sorry

Because we are plagued by guilt and feelings of inadequacy, perfectionists have a bad habit of apologizing for anything and everything. Even worse, we usually don’t feel that our apologies are perfect, so we have to apologize for that, too. It’s a never-ending cycle, and we’re sorry about it.

Advertising

6. We Will Always Miss Being in School

Whenever someone says they hated school, we whimper. School is a perfectionist’s playground, with all sorts of authority figures just waiting to provide praise. The structure of school makes sense to perfectionists: Work hard, get rewarded. Unfortunately, success in the real world is not as obvious or easy to achieve.

7. We Don’t Take Teasing Lightly

Criticism is hard for perfectionists to take, even when it is well-intentioned. Most perfectionists see negative reviews as personal attacks, and instead of rising to the challenge, we get beaten down and depressed. Thus, when friends or allies tease us or make fun in any way, we have a hard time reacting properly to the joke. Instead of witty repartee, we perfectionists prefer artful puns, which usually do not send us into self-loathing.

Advertising

8. We Hate Opening Up

Perfectionists hate flaws — especially their own. We have a hard time being vulnerable because it forces us to expose our flaws to other people. Many of our closest loved ones might assume they know us, but usually, we have only shown them our strongest face, revealing nothing of the insecurities below.

9. We Don’t See Our Own Success

Despite perfectionists’ appearance of control and confidence, we are usually absolutely crippled by uncertainty and self-doubt. Though you may think we found success, our low self-esteem tells us that what we have now will never be enough.

10. We Need You to Stick Around

For all of these reasons and more, perfectionists need loved ones in our lives to tell us when we are being crazy. When we screech at your unbalanced outfits, when we squeal in the middle of movies, and when we cry for days after coming in second place, we need you by our sides for comfort and support.

Featured photo credit: VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com

More by this author

Who’s at the Wheel? Technology Causing Distracted Driving and Other Stories of Multi-Tasking Is Your Website Costing You Sales? Staying Afloat: Why Kids Should Learn to Swim If You’re a Burned Out Entrepreneur There’s a Solution Common Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Parents

Trending in Communication

1 15 Inspiring Ideas to Boost Your Motivation for Success 2 How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success 3 How to Turn Your Fear of Missing Out into a Joy of Missing Out 4 What Is Resilience and Why Is It Important? 5 Positive Motivation vs Negative Motivation: Which One Is Better?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

Advertising

Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

Advertising

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

Advertising

3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

Advertising

5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

Read Next