“I always strive for perfection”. If you see this on a candidate’s CV or hear it during their interview, take note that there could be something amiss because perfection is an illusion.
First of all, ‘Strive’ has two meanings.
1) To make great efforts to achieve something.
2) To struggle and battle against the odds in the pursuit of achievement.
When it comes to perfection, it’s the latter and here’s why…
It doesn’t exist.
Perfection is an illusion, a social and human construct which holds people back, keeping them trapped in a cycle of frustration and, at worst, despair.
Perfection is subjective, one person’s idea of perfect isn’t the same as the next person’s. This makes perfection a matter of perception rather than truth. Subsequently, striving for it will be a struggle, it’s like trying to find the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
Striving for perfection can leave people feeling, despondent, anxious and withdrawn. In extreme cases, depressed and hopeless. Perfectionists can put a lot of unnecessary pressure on themselves trying to attain the unrealistic standards they set. Unrealistic standards which stem from the universal lie that “practice makes perfect‘.
Practice doesn’t make perfect but it does make progess.
Some personalities, like the Compliant (High C-Style). lean towards perfectionism more than others. For this reason, it’s important to understand if your candidates and team have perfectionist traits which could impact their mental health at work and affect their productivity.
This is not say that everyone who likes to achieve high standards is a perfectionist. However, if the words ‘strive’ and ‘perfection’ enter their language, there is usually a reason.
It’s something to be mindful of in terms of how to best support them whilst keeping aware of potential mental health concerns further down the line.
Want to know if your candidates or current team have perfectionist traits? Using DISC as part of your hiring process will reveal all. You can access your DISC Profile sample using the form below…it’s FREE.
I help business owners & hiring managers streamline candidate interviews to make right-first-time hires for the long-term.