How can I work with someone with obsessive compulsive personality disorder?
The biggest challenge when working with OCPD co-workers is remaining professional.
Most people with personality-disorders such as OCPD consider the symptoms of the disorder as their strengths, and as such changing such behavior is very difficult. The best way to approach co-workers with OCPD is to change the way of dealing with them.
Perfectionism, when not carried to extremes, can be a good trait in certain jobs such as accounting, engineering, and others. The key is to place the co-worker with OCPD in such jobs, which are independent in nature, and does not require much interaction with others.
Trying to help the person with OCPD relax and encouraging them to see the bigger picture or other perspective may help at times. Therapy sometimes reduces the symptoms, and making the person with OCPD agree to visit the therapist is a big progress.
The biggest difficulty is when the co-worker with the OCPD is the supervisor or boss. Meeting the demands of perfection raised by people with OCPD is next to impossible. The solution is to negotiate with such superiors on the little space they allow, and constantly seek the guidance and follow-up of them when performing tasks. Seek a deadline from them and remind them of such deadlines.
The underlying approach when working with OCPD co-workers needs to be the understanding that it is not possible to control another person's behavior, and that the only thing possible is to establish and communicate clear boundaries with consequences and allow the person with OCPD to make a choice of whether to respect the boundary.