It took me a long time to understand what a narcissist was. I wondered if I really had ever met one!
Then I owned my own businesses.
Interestingly this space brings in all kinds of people and personalities and nearly on all occasions people were great.
They came to work, joined in as active team player, cared for the clients amazingly and went home.
Then there is the but….which I share with you in my blog article.
Are you always “butting heads” with an employee?
Are they fearful, a little ego-centric, or are they an outright narcissist?
A narcissist is defined as “someone with an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others.” A narcissist in the workplace will be someone who knows your weak spots and exploits them.
They may at times be kind or understanding, but this is usually followed with an ulterior motive.
A narcissist loves attention and praise.
Whether you’re dealing with someone who is a bit ego-centric or a full-blown narcissist, here are three things you do when you’re dealing with their behaviour in the workplace.
Over 20 years owning my own salons, with over 100 therapists do you think I have seen a lot and experienced many different situations? Absolutely, so much so I studied HR and NLP to better learn how to manage these personalities and behaviours and not only at the workplace.
1) Keep your personal life private
Avoid oversharing with narcissists as they may use sensitive information against you later. Keep your relationship professional and always document unacceptable behaviour in writing. Protect yourself by maintaining healthy boundaries. At times, they may have an opinion that is opposite of what you believe. Rather than challenging their beliefs, accept you both have a difference in opinion and move on. A narcissist will never change their views, even if there is proof they are wrong.
2) Understand it’s not personal
Remember, their behaviour is about them- not you. When people are sporadic and unpredictable with their emotions, we may naturally try to avoid them. However, if you are avoiding speaking to the person, you tell their unconscious mind that they frightened you. Creating this fear can actually give power to that person. If their behaviour is affecting other people or yourself, document their actions in writing and continue to be professional. When we ignore the behaviour or just avoid the person, we are in fact, condoning the behaviour and teaching others what is acceptable or what you are willing to tolerate.
3) Be creative and constructive with your criticism.
Narcissists can feel threatened and even angry when they are critiqued at work. Instead, try to turn something wrong into a positive. If one of your employees is moody or irritable at their co-workers, see if you can put a positive swing on it. For example “Sam, you’ve been doing such a great job lately, and we appreciate everything you do. We really loved the work you did with last weeks project. Could you help some of the other staff by being a little more patient with them? When they ask you a question, try to understand it’s because they see you as a leader.” Narcissists love compliments and being admired.
While working with someone who is a narcissist can be incredibly draining in the workplace, it can be managed with the right approach.
Are you having challenges with a moody person or to the other end a narcissist in your workplace?
There are strategies which can help.
Schedule in for a FREE Discovery Call and see how we can help managing this in your workplace.