News (Non-) Perfectionism with Miss Tallett-Williams 17.01.2020

On Thursday, as part of their on-going Self Evaluation Programme, the Lower Sixth attended an assembly on perfectionism.  Miss Tallett-Williams spoke to the students about her own struggle with perfectionism and outlined the challenges perfectionism can cause for efficient work while at school.  Despite often being considered an admirable quality, perfectionism can lead to students setting unattainable standards and feeling overly self-critical when responding to feedback.  Miss Tallett-Williams encouraged students to identify the signs of being a perfectionist.  She also highlighted the problems perfectionism might eventually cause such as low confidence, exhaustion and burnout, none of which is productive when preparing for A Level and IB exams.

Instead, Miss Tallett-Williams offered help from the Google Innovator Course she attended in November 2018.  On the course, the innovators were encouraged to see feedback not as a criticism, which showed them to be failure, but instead to welcome feedback as an opportunity to grow. They were also taught to ‘be more dog’ by pivoting to see work from a different perspective; was good, good enough?  Finally, and most radically, Miss Tallett-Williams encouraged the girls to combat perfectionism by giving themselves less rather than more time. The students completed a ‘Crazy Innov-eights’ task where they had 15 second intervals to draw a series of eight strategies to help their friends recover from perfectionist traits.  The tight timescale showed students that, even under pressure, they were capable of producing good ideas.  Getting ideas on paper quickly allowed productive time for improvement later in a more efficient manner than the crippling procrastination that perfectionism causes. The Lower Sixth will be given more time to reflect and implement on this strategies in form time activities in the coming weeks.