Enough About Me; What Do You Think of Me?
The Greek Myth of Narcissis depicts the tale of a young man that fell in love with his image so much so that when he got carried away looking at his reflection in a pool of water, he drowned.
Now, have you ever heard the term narcissistic leadership? I hadn’t before stumbling upon a CNN article assigning this style of leadership to Donald Trump. Narcissistic leaders have been peppered throughout history. In the United States we can find one in each generation from Franklin Roosevelt to Steve Jobs. Although the term narcissism immediately conjures up a negative response, there is such a thing as a “productive narcissist”; the type of person utilizes their self-confidence for the greater good.
In uncertain times, the narcissistic leaders provide much needed vision and charisma; leading the charge with their magnetism and unwavering drive to get things done. The problem, however, arises when the narcissistic leader experiences success after success and begins to associate the success with their own infallibility; tossing aside the judgement of others. In the workplace, this type of behavior can turn the office upside down!
Actually, It’s Not You, It’s Me
When dealing with strong, confident/narcissistic personalities in the workplace, it’s easy to get rubbed the wrong way. The key to effectively dealing with these types of personalities is to control your emotions first. This involves invoking specific problem solving activities or behaviors on your part.
There are strategies you can adopt to when dealing with these kinds of narcissistic/irrational behaviors in your fellow coworkers according Fast Company.
An Irrational Employee
- Focus on what they did or said, not why; stick to the facts and keep it professional
- Ask open-ended questions and listen to their answers
- If there is something you can agree on, mention it
An Irrational Team Member
- Speak to them in private and use “I” statements
- Record and incidents that occur; keep your boss in the loop
- Sometimes let it go; it’s better to walk away than add fuel to the fire
An Irrational Boss
- Avoid unnecessary interaction; encourage group activities where coworkers are involved
- Do not complain to coworkers
- If it becomes unbearable, assess what’s best for you; is it time to move on?
In a perfect world the irrational/narcissistic coworker would have a sidekick, providing them the much needed reality check from time to time; where humility and acquiescence is needed to save the day. Unfortunately, this may not be the case in your day-to-day work environment, so focus on what you do have control over, which is your own reactions to a situation.
Photo Credit: CNN
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