Had a great moment in a hoozyu workshop in London a couple of weeks ago – we had just started going through the Areas of Interest data (what matters most to you and energizes you). This particular participant had a high 90s score for Artistic, meaning that “visual impact” and “how things look” was going to be really very important to her.

It was actually slightly more dramatic than that. “My whole life I have seen myself as a perfectionist, but this makes so much more sense – I just can’t bear it when things look wrong!”

Perfectionist is one of those rather punishing (self-punishing, in this case) terms, that sounds like it ought to mean something positive but actually has quite a negative spin to it. Label someone – or yourself – as a perfectionist and you have given them half a beating already. After all, they will never be happy with anything you – or they – do and that is pretty hard to live with.

“It really matters to me how things look – and that they look right” is a different kettle of bananas altogether. Now we have someone who is very sensitive to the visual and therefore can help us ensure that things look right. She knows – and we do too – that function matters as well as form, so look isn’t everything; but when she tells us there is an issue with how something looks, we take notice.

Which is not always the first thought that passes though our heads when a perfectionist comments on our work…