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    • pioneer22
    • By pioneer22 7th Feb 18, 8:20 PM
    • 428Posts
    • 159Thanks
    Managing someone with a big ego
    • #1
    • 7th Feb 18, 8:20 PM
    Managing someone with a big ego 7th Feb 18 at 8:20 PM

    I have someone in my team who is relatively new, and is good at their job. However they've been in a role which they worked solo for a significant period (10 years) I've found they have quite a big ego and quite arrogant. I have to work with them very closely and I find them quite difficult at times even though we share a lot in common in terms of attitude, political beliefs etc. This person had a go at our receptionist because putting confidential documents in the shredder "isn't in his job description" and they don't get paid to do that. We also share a 25 year age gap, I'm pretty well respected at work by my peers and my manager.

    Any tips on dealing with people like this? Suck it up? Deal with it? I've been here a number of years and fully appreciate another person taking some of the workload off but I find they go from calm to angry in minutes.

    Edit: I should add, I was on the interview panel and I did highlight this at the time that I thought being so long without working in a team could be a risk.
Page 2
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 10th Feb 18, 12:16 AM
    • 38,376 Posts
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    If there are things which your team are responsible for getting done (eg shredding) and one person doesn't see it as their job, I might look at other things which they could do while I'm shredding and see if they'd rather do them. So eg "well, the shredding's got to be done and I don't mind doing it, but if I'm doing that I can't archive this filing cabinet. Would you like to crack on with that, or shall I archive and you shred?"
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    • Detroit
    • By Detroit 10th Feb 18, 7:36 AM
    • 748 Posts
    • 2,329 Thanks
    It can be very difficult to accommodate to a role with lower status, and equally challenging to work with others after lone working. This doesn't mean it's impossible, but it sounds like fairly early days for your colleague, who may just need more time to adjust.

    The success of his integration will depend largely on whether his arrogant behaviour is based on genuine feelings of superiority, or whether it's a reaction to temporary discomfort in his new circumstances.

    Unfortunately, many people display this type of behaviour as a reaction to feeling a lack of confidence.

    If this is the case for your colleague, he may settle as he finds his feet and realises he is a valued part of the team for his input, not because he constantly tells people how great he is.

    If his arrogance is genuine, and this continues to impact on the workpiece, this is a bigger problem, and one management will need to address.

    Either way, I think your own approach should be the same. Treat him as you would everyone else.

    If everyone does their own shredding and he tries to get reception to do it, calmly point out 'we do our own shredding here'. Support your less assertive colleagues to do the same.

    If he dominates discussions, politely thank him for his input and say you would also like to hear from other people, then turn the attention away from him.

    I would be hesitant to adopt the idea of going out of your way to ask his view. If he is genuinely arrogant there is a danger you will reinforce his self view. 'Pioneer always comes to me, they'd not have a clue without me' etc.

    I would give him no more or less attention than you would anyone else. If he thinks he is special, the last thing you want to do is collude with that.

    However, do resist any urge to put to him down, however tempting. Unsurprisingly, people who behave disrespectfully to others are the first to complain at any hint of affront to themselves

    Your colleague is no more, or less, important than anyone else, and your behaviour towards him should demonstrate that.

    Put your hands up.
    • Ja7188
    • By Ja7188 10th Feb 18, 11:56 AM
    • 139 Posts
    • 148 Thanks
    Good point regarding the shredding - it's probably in his job description to safeguard the company's confidential information. It also takes less time to switch on a shredder than it would to engage in a dispute around whether or not it's his job to do so...
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