Are you a unhealthy perfectionist?

pcm teamwork Oct 25, 2017

Perfectionism is a condition whereby the individual sets high personal standards, either for themselves and their own behaviour and actions or they set the same expectations for others. They tend to want or expect things to be flawless with the personal drivers of 'Be Perfect' or 'Be Perfect for me'.  Research has shown that the behaviours and verbalisation associated with these drivers are predictable which means that something can be done to reduce the distress and negative emotion linked to unhealthy perfectionism.

Dimensions of Perfectionism

Research has shown that perfectionism has two dimensions Perfectionistic striving and Perfectionistic concerns and it is important to understand the differences.

  • Perfectionistic striving. Perfectionistic striving refers to the individual themselves, whereby the person attempts or endeavours not to make mistakes and does their best to be as good as possible at whatever activity is in hand.
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"All models are wrong, but some are useful" - how useful are the personality models you use?

communications pcm teamwork Oct 01, 2017


George Box was a British statistician who died in 2013 and wrote about this term in a number of his statistics articles and books in the latter part of the 20th century. However, whilst the phrase was developed during his work in statistics, his premise applies to all domains - a model is just a simplification of the real world to allow complicated or complex systems to be communicated. 

"Situational awareness is understanding what is going on around us."

Situational awareness is impacted by many factors such as previous experience (what is relevant to now), our task loading, our goals, our expectations (we often don't see what we aren't expecting to see) and many other factors. While it is easy to see what 'situational awareness' is, it isn't always easy to see how it works or the model's limitations when we use a simple description like this.

Something to consider with any model if it is to be widely used to explain complex problems.

  • The...
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NASA used PCM as part of their astronaut selection - why?

As part of the shuttle astronaut selection process in the late 1970s, candidate astronauts would face a number of assessments to ensure that they could deal with the mental and physical stresses involved in living and operating in high stress, close-proximity working conditions. The psychological assessments were managed by Dr Terry Maguire who was focused on the astronaut's ability to deal with their own and others' emotions and stresses and be able to communicate effectively. Miscommunication was known to lead to ineffective teamwork, and leadership and effective communication is adversely impacted by performance shaping factors such as stress and fatigue.  

One of these interviews was a revelation to Dr McGuire and occurred after he had invited Dr. Taibi Kahler to observe a number of assessments. Kahler, a psychologist from Hot Springs, Arkansas, had discovered a process to assess human interactions second by second and determine the productivity of the communication. The...

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Team building exercises...are they worth the investment?

leadership teamwork Sep 14, 2017

How many exercises have you attended where the event was a laugh, you had a fun time but the transference to the work place was limited?

Team building can be used to build relationships and trust within your team, both of which are essential components of a high performance team, but how of the much newly-developed trust and improved relationships actually get carried back into the workspace?

How much of the team building was about the team performance and how much of it was about self-awareness? The second point is crucial - we can't truly understand the world if we don't understand ourselves and the lens we are looking through.

If the team recognises the weaknesses of one or more of the team members but they themselves don't, there is likely to be an issue when they return to work! Identifying issues in a non-professional environment is a great way to reduce the emotion associated with failure. But the issues do need to be noted, identified and debriefed there and then if...

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