OCPD in the Workplace
Monday, August 13, 2012
In yesterday's Disability Focus, we talked about Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD), the symptoms associated with OCPD, and also compared the differences between it and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Today we would are going to discuss how OCPD manifests itself in the workplace and open up a discussion on how to manage it on the job.
Obsessive compulsive personality disorder, on the surface at least, often leads to success in work environments. People with OCPD require routine and need to know where they stand in the social hierarchy, and nowhere is that hierarchy more obvious than in the workplace. People with OCPD are also generally reliable, honest, have a great attention to detail and excellent self-discipline.
People with obsessive compulsive personality disorder are often deferential and polite to those in authority, whether that person is a police officer or their work supervisor. This characteristic, coupled with their compliance with rules and tendency to devote themselves to their careers often earns OCPD workers the praise of their supervisors. However, to those seen as beneath them on the social or work hierarchy, people with OCPD can give harsh criticism and seem to exhibit self-righteousness.
When OCPD creates problems in the workplace, it is often due to a few causes. First off, perfectionism and a need to repetitively check minor details for errors can prevent OCPD employees from finishing projects by their deadlines. Secondly, an insistence on observing even the most insignificant regulations, the need to micromanage projects, and obvious criticism and contempt for subordinates, can lead to conflict with fellow employees. Finally, as mentioned earlier, people with OCPD require a measure of stability and routine to feel comfortable and they may react negatively to change in the workplace. For example, a new boss with new expectations or new ways of doing things may create a large amount of stress for someone with OCPD.
Do you have or know some with OCPD? How do you manage the symptoms in the workplace?