HUMAN RESOURCES / AUG. 17, 2014
version 6, draft 6

How to Tame Misplaced Egos In the Workplace

The workplace can be a vast jungle of divergent personalities with different egos. On one hand, we’ve got humble employees in the workplace with healthy egos. However, we’ve also got haughty individuals with misplaced egos that are quite annoying to say the least. For instance, consider a workmate who brags on the ’rooftop’ about being an academic super achiever and yet the income itself leaves nothing to desire. Or lets say an arrogant supervisor that uses rogue tactics on you simply because they feel threatened by your qualifications and wealth of experience. These are just but a few examples of misplaced egos that some of us have to grapple with in the workplace everyday. But first things first...

What Exactly Triggers Misplaced Egos in the Workplace?

As we consider this query, I want you to have an analytical picture of your workplace in mind. Just think about workmates and supervisors that tend to depict symptoms of misplaced egos. That’s the easy part of course because everyone these days has an uncanny expertise at being judgemental. Anyway, that’s besides the point. The real question is, what really triggers such people to have misplaced egos?<

  • The need to overcompensate for a fragile and insecure self-esteem especially if one feels threatened. For instance, as I reiterated earlier, arrogant bosses that threaten employees who are potential replacements.
  • A self-centered urge to step on other people’s toes in a bid to get to the top.
  • An insatiable appetite for dominance and control especially when the particular subject uses manipulation to take advantage of people and get things done.
  • A desire to be constantly pampered with attention that’s not rightfully earned.
  • A dangerous habit of always breaking the rules and getting away with it.


How then Should we Tame Misplaced Egos in the Workplace?

Even as you work on your intentions, you don’t want them to seem obvious and direct to such people. Otherwise, you’ll end up making them angry and vengeful by hurting their precious egos. So essentially you’ll have to find ways of circumventing such a potentially detrimental situation on your part by subliminally dealing with the disease without necessarily notifying the patient. And so, in a bid to discreetly tame misplaced egos in the workplace, you should:

 

#1 Influence Normal Conversations with Examples of Humility and Selflessness

When having normal conversations with a haughty colleague at the workplace, you can bring in discussions of humility without igniting any suspicions. Talk of some characters that have recently showcased exemplary humility. These characters can be at the workplace or people around the world. You’ve just got to keep yourself informed via internet sources, tv programmes, radio talk shows, magazines and so forth.

#2 Expose the Egotistical Subject to Situations of Giving and Servitude

Maybe this egotistical colleague doesn’t understand the joy that comes from giving back to the community. So, advise your company to organize charitable events that will expose the egotistical subject to situations that will require humble servitude and giving. This can range from visiting the sick in hospital to volunteering in children’s’ homes. And from my experience, when the heart is touched, the ego is humbled by the happiness and satisfaction that comes from serving a random stranger in need.

#3 Lead By Example to Have a Positive Peer Effect

Besides rendering advice to an egotistical person, you should also avoid showing double standards by practising what you preach. Be disciplined enough to showcase humility through your actions and words. That way, when this person sees that you mean what you say, they’ll follow your lead without questioning your principles.

#4 Encourage them Through Appreciation Gestures for their Acts of Humility and Servitude

Since this person still has an egotistical weakness, you’ll have to feed it for a while by noticing their deeds. And just like a child that needs encouragement with every achievement, you’ve got to show them that you care through appreciation gestures such as gifts, praising their humility in the workplace or hosting random parties for them. That way, they’ll learn the virtue of earning meaningful reputation instead of being spoilt with undeserved attention for their misplaced egos.

Some of us might actually be victims of misplaced egos. And even as we examine ourselves, we tend to be biased with self- interests. But no man is an island and some of us actually need help from a humble colleague in the workplace that we truly admire. Otherwise, if we stick to our misplace egos, we might end up being humiliated when we least expect it. As the saying goes, the haughty shall be humbled and the humble shall be lifted up.

 

Sourced Images: Misplaced Ego & Arrogant Employee

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