Is it a good thing to be petty?

Pedantic: Why so fussy-meticulous-precise?

Pedantic - that sounds like preprogrammed difficulties. Do you know someone like that too? Who still has to retighten the carpet fringes with a comb? Who can never be five even at work? who more papal than the Pope often does not make friends. The work is done incorrectly, but other colleagues often feel that they are rather sloppy in the way they work. Nobody likes to be said, and pedantry can lead to some problems ...

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Pedantic - what is it exactly?

Someone who is pedantic always does everything very precisely thousand percent. Synonyms like ...

  • accurate
  • dogmatic
  • doctrinaire
  • narrow-minded
  • exactly
  • thoroughly
  • small minded
  • petty
  • meticulous
  • perfectionist
  • picky
  • overly accurate
  • doggedly

already show that it is with such colleagues not easy becomes. In a work context, a pedantic way of working can mean that someone never ends because of sheer precision - a list of the most important customers should be created, but that never happens because every little detail has to be included.

Even more extreme would be the fact that certain work cannot even be started because there is no beginning and no end - from the perspective of a pedant, some can Task seem unsolvable, because it would have to be carried out incorrectly, but this means an almost infinite amount of work.

For example, the attic would have to be cleared out. After the merger of two households, it swelled into a real shop and shop. With pedants there is often only an either - or: The entire attic would have to be completely tidied up in one day, the unusable sorted out and thrown away and the floor swept. At least.

Someone who is not pedantic would much more relaxed, looser approach the whole thing: We take two boxes in a corner and see how far we can get ... At least that would be a possibility.

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Pedantic: Psychology sees health risks

Pedantic (English = pedantic) There are quite a few difficulties involved in being. Depending on their characteristics, such people suffer from their own demands. Social contacts must be behind a corset of rigid rules and stand back (for other strange) behavior patterns.

Some pedants are like that convinced of their principlesthat they try to impose their rules on others. This can be observed when, for example, a colleague at work absolutely wants to stick to his way of things because only this is "healing" - even if your approach would bring the same result (and perhaps even faster).

Psychology refers to someone with an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder as anankastic. And these Anankastic people stand out for their overly precise, principled, but also headstrong manner. They are very careful not to make mistakes because they fear rejection. To ensure that control yourself himself constantly. At the same time, you often control others and are of course offensive.

People with compulsive personalities develop one strong sense of order, they also have a great aversion to clutter and filth. Their sense of duty is sometimes so great that social contacts and leisure activities have to take a back seat.

It's incredibly nerve-wracking in the long run, because everything is going to be great high demands subject. However, pedantry is not unique to people with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. Narcissists and workaholics also tend to do this, although they show it differently:

Narcissists are looking for them Confirmation through work, combined with great ambition. They always try to be better than others, but at the same time they keep setting new goals as soon as one has been achieved. Workaholics, on the other hand, have been driving them since childhood inner fearto be able to do nothing in reality. To cover this up, they often go beyond their limits, to the point of burnout.

As studies from the Universities of Florida and British Columbia have shown, pedantic people run the risk of Anxiety disorders or develop depression. A Canadian study (PDF) comes to the conclusion that chronic headaches can also be the result of excessive perfectionism.

Dealing with pedantic people - as colleagues

Are pedants not necessarily popular. This is less because of the way they work and more because of their know-it-all: only the way they do it is right.

How you deal with such people depends a little on their "degree of hardness" as well as on your personality. So if your colleague is annoying again because something wasn't done the way he thought it should be, there are the following options:

  • They take it with a sense of humor.

    Perhaps you are one of those people who can see things a little more relaxed - in reality, the pedant may even envy your relaxed posture and your relaxed manner in many situations. There may even be something to his reasoning. If you can distance yourself internally from the criticism and take your colleagues with their weaknesses in this way, you will gain a lot.

  • You avoid him.

    If it's not the colleague in the same office, a physical distance would be a way to avoid trouble.

  • You show edge.

    However, some people do not give up - it is important to set yourself apart. To say clearly: This is my area of ​​responsibility, I do things that way. If his path were the ultimate path in all matters, he would probably be your supervisor. If he is not - so he has no authority to issue instructions. Point.

  • You are looking for the conversation.

    First, of course, with the pedantic colleague himself - there may even be a mistake that you can hold right under his nose. This is not the best way, but maybe he can understand how annoying his behavior is. If that doesn't help either, you should consult your supervisor.

Dealing with pedantic people - for managers

Managers who have pedantic employees face certain challenges. He may have to mediate between angry employees and the pedant who decided his approach for the only correct one holds.

On the other hand, of course, someone who kneels down to work can be worth gold; Often someone like this has extensive specialist knowledge and his conscientious approach gives you the security that the work is going on.

However, it may be necessary to have a conversation with this employee. The following points can help you:

  • Limit: Pedantic people often have a great deal of specialist knowledge and are absolutely competent in the field - at the same time they can get lost in their work. It is therefore important to clearly delimit your work and also to state what does not belong to it.
  • Show appreciation: At the same time, empathy is required, because if a pedant has the feeling that his work is not recognized, he sometimes reacts sensitively.
  • Emphasize the goal: Using the Pareto Principle, explain to him that his job will be good and satisfactory even if he does not spend another two working days on it. Under certain circumstances, the person to whom the employee is working cannot estimate the cost of the work because he or she lacks the necessary specialist knowledge. In addition, it is often about an overview, that is, details hold up unnecessarily at this point.

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