Dealing with Narcissism in the Workplace

Every office has a resident narcissist – that guy who never seems afraid to toot his own horn. But what if that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing?

Narcissistic individuals believe their own superior talent and typically resist developmental feedback. If personal development is presented as a strategy for advancing their personal agenda, however, narcissistic individuals can be persuaded to:

  • Lower their expectations for special treatment, and try to accept responsibility for their occasional mistakes
  • Recognize that they ignore negative feedback, and seek feedback from family, and friends who are not competitors and whose feedback is usually well-meaning
  • Stop regarding team interactions as opportunities for competition in which only one person can win; remember that they real competition is outside the organization, not within it
  • Realize that subordinates are most likely to be productive when they feel respected; learn how to offer positive feedback to others when they contribute
  • Use their confidence, energy, and determination to motivate rather than intimidate others

It comes down to self-awareness. If you provide your employees with a realistic understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, and behavioral tendencies, they can harness the positive outcomes associated with narcissism and avoid taking it overboard.

To find out more, download our ebook The Upside of Narcissism in the Workplace