How To Work With Someone Suffering From An Inflated Ego
Have you identified one (or more) coworkers who may be suffering from an inflated ego? These are challenging individuals to work with, to say the least. The micromanaging, the tattling, the retaliation, the constant need for recognition, etc. can really get on a person’s nerves. But, if you’re not in the position to reprimand this individual, you’ll have to deal with the situation. But how? Here are a few tips to dealing with someone who is difficult and who is suffering from an inflated ego:
- Get and stay away from them. Okay, we’d all love to believe that this would be possible, but if we’ve already encountered them, then this may not be possible. The same can be said with ignoring them.
- Keep your cool. Make sure you are consistent in what you do and how you do it and if they confront you, keep your cool and stick to the facts of the situations. Don’t allow your emotions to enter the situation (although quite difficult), and don’t allow them to dominate the conversation by speaking about themselves.
- Never confide in them for personal or professional reasons. Keep it strictly professional and only speak with them about items related to a project or task you are working with them on.
- Document. Simple, right? If you are in a position to, document their behavior, their attitude, their work habits, and give them warnings and write-ups when necessary. Individuals with inflated egos will fight back (because they don’t think they are ever wrong), so be sure you have all of the documentation you can.
- Restrict their access to other levels of management. Have them work only through their direct supervisor. You don’t want them turning the whole company against each other.
- Boost their ego as needed, but no more than what is needed. The worst type of person (in my opinion) is someone with a huge ego who is pissed off. Give them recognition and compliments for completing a task or project or for offering their ideas. However, ensure that you set strict limits on what they can and cannot do. If they disagree, then show empathy for their feelings, but do not waver on what they need to do.
- Hire professionals to assess and assist with the situation. This, of course, would be the last resort, unless you have a high number of individuals in your company who fit into this ego category. In most cases, though, the individual will likely be let go instead of spending additional money to obtain professional help (which they really should seek out on their own, but won’t).
Eventually, people who have huge egos generally self-destruct. They usually piss off the wrong person (because of their ego) and get themselves into a jam that they will find it very difficult, if not impossible, to get out of. Let them dig their own grave, and lie in it.
We will all work with people whom we don’t like or care for; however, there are times when a person is just so difficult to work with that it interrupts the daily flow of the business, and ultimately ends up hurting the business. Don’t let it go that far.
Do you have someone you work with (or for) who is like this? Have you tried any of these tactics? Did they work in your situation?