Being a perfectionist doesn’t mean you’re doomed as a manager. Organizational research on perfectionism is starting to provide new insights and practical, evidence-based steps for managers, according to Anna Carmella G. Ocampo, Jun Gu and Mariano Heyden for Harvard Business Review.

The hallmark of perfectionism is not simply the irrational need for flawlessness, but the persistent sense of dissatisfaction even when success is achieved. Worse, it can even hinder success. For instance, university professors with high levels of perfectionism rarely outperform  their non-perfectionistic peers.

Growing evidence also suggests that perfectionism at work thwarts people’s ability to find meaning in their work, experience satisfaction with their jobs and cultivate work-life balance.

Research on perfectionism is starting to provide new insights and practical evidence-based steps for managers to break free from their perfectionistic compulsions. Try these strategies:

Design the right goals.

One of the most useful things perfectionists, and those who work with them, can do is to design goals to be attainable yet challenging. This can support employees’ efficiency and sustain their motivation to succeed. Keep in mind, however, that progress is more important than perfection.

Recognize failure as part of the process.

Managers should make a deliberate effort to recognize that failures and mistakes are ubiquitous aspects of the work process. Doing so would encourage them to grant their employees the flexibility to treat mistakes as learning opportunities.

Cultivating mindfulness.

Practicing mindfulness encourages self-compassion by preventing the formation of self-critical and catastrophic thinking when their perfectionistic standards are threatened. Mindfulness may help perfectionists to slow down and regulate emotions.

Using pep talks.

Counseling psychologists endorse positive self-talks to overcome hypercritical thoughts, and it can be worthwhile for people to develop a set of mantras to help themselves and others handle perfectionism.