In every workplace, there exist principal guiding ethics which make such an environment a multicultural gathering of enlightened minds. Thus, relationships in such a place should be devoid of social barriers. If each of us has distinct personal characteristics, how do you manage a narcissist manager?
We seem to relate well with superiors who respect and help us to grow. But, it’s a thorn in our side to become subordinates to a boss who seems to be off the chart in his or her emotional reactions or lacks the self-awareness to bragging, disrespects, criticises, blames, rages at his subordinates without a sense of responsibility. And the world today seems to cultivating more of these A-holes.
If the above picture seems close to your experience under your boss, you are most likely working under a narcissist boss.
What Are The Signs Of A Narcissistic Boss?
According to Teri Hockett, the CEO of What’s For Work, working with a narcissistic boss is like riding a wild roller coaster with a blindfold. The implication of this experience is that at one moment you can be the most-loved staff member and the next moment, you are responsible for all the loss and mistakes in the organization.
Forbes in its wisdom described such as leader as being outwardly charming but inwardly a snake and went further to state that such a boss has the Narcissistic personality disorder. Seen many of these in the news lately?
In the same vein, the U.S. National Library of Medicine believes a narcissist boss is one with an enduring pattern of grandiose beliefs and arrogance together with an irresistible need for unearned admiration and lack of empathy for others.
Thus, a narcissist boss reacts to criticism with humiliation and rage, takes advantage of his or her subordinates, exaggerates his or her talents and accomplishments, disregards the feelings of others, and has obsessive self-interest with overt feelings of self-importance. I expect you are saying “I know someone just like that!”
How To Deal With A Narcissistic Boss
From the submission of the above authorities, a narcissistic boss lacks the fundamental ability to understand and respond to the feelings of others. He or she is exploitative, and obsessed with his ideas of limitless success with amplified self-importance. You may agree that working under such a boss is a wild roller coaster ride.
To remain under him or her, you need to understand how best to deal with him or her. Here are 5 knock-out tips for dealing with a narcissist manager, so that you can maintain your sanity.
1. Acknowledge His or Her Traits — the Moods and Behaviour Patterns
Working with someone who externalises blame and refuses to take responsibility for his or her own mistakes is baffling. The best way to deal with such boss is to recognise the positive traits they bring. And it also means understanding the moods and patterns of behaviour.
I do not deny that narcissist boss can easily win allies and friends, but he can be very vindictive when someone threatens his or her superiority. You need to understand that his or her mood, either good or bad, is ephemeral. The swing time is just fleeting and you may just believe you can influence his moods.
Behaviour patterns of narcissists tend towards self-absorption — arrogance and manipulative relationship with others. Here is a secret you need to know about your narcissist boss — he feels superior at the conscious level, but he’s insecure at the subconscious level. This is why he demands attention from his subordinates. Do your best to avoid direct confrontation with him because of vindictive tendencies.
2. Try the ERA Principle and Flatter His or Her Ego
The ERA principles recognise the need to Empathise, Respect and give him or her Attention. This might be a difficult principle to apply. But, while it takes nothing from you, and your boss feels accomplished when you apply the ERA principle.
How can the happen? Change your opinion about your boss might be difficult, but all you need is to get interested when he or she is talking to you. Occasionally provide a compliment. Make him or her feel in charge by asking his advice on something, thanking them for the contribution, don’t lie for be fake, look for the positive. And stay neutral or silent on any attacking behaviours.
Flattery can make the boss you are supportive of his or her agenda. Let the focus remain on him for some time. Avoid being defensive and show great strength in understanding the lack of competent social skills. Flatter and compliment him only where you are on the same page.
Where you cannot flatter him or her, be neutral and optimistic. Putting in commendable words for your manager and enabling him or her to take some credit for your work can you be viewed as a supporter.
3. What Naturalistic Options Do You Have?
While you are trying to remain optimistic with your narcissistic boss, it’s ideal to start evaluating the realistic options you have. Write down your experiences to help you with the true perspective of the work environment. This will help you remove your personality from the picture so that you can stay more objective.
The options might be seeking a new employment with an outside firm, applying for a different position in the same firm, or discussing with an understanding friend on how to deal with the boss. While doing this, you should also read and understand your company’s policy on bullying, if there is one. This may be a good defence tactic if you get backed into a corner.
Study and evaluate your options, and decide on a stronger and positive option. In the face of unceasing and heightened horrible experiences, avoid focusing on your challenges; rather, focus on the remaining days you have in the firm or department. Demonstrate your leadership prowess by carrying out your analysis and go with positive and stronger alternative.
4. Address misinformation and bad behaviour promptly
There is nothing as damaging as ignoring misinformation. A narcissist boss will ensure he or she maintains a superior office hierarchy by often making derogatory remarks about you or others.
Do not challenge him or her directly, simply provide correct information as quickly as possible to avoid letting your firm and other staff believe the falsehood. Staying positive will prove that you are more credible than the boss making the effort to tarnish your image.
In the event that your narcissist boss is violating your boundaries, you can stop his or her behaviour. Rather than dwell in his or her presence, create some checks and limits by excusing yourself from the situation. You could say something like, “I need to go now to complete my project,” without sounding belittling. Or if you anticipate a heated personal attack on you session, let the boss know that your time is limited due to a project or customer deadline.
5. Avoid Blabbing and Build Your Self-esteem
Gossiping is one of the common office indulgences. Be careful about what you say; walls have ears. Your narcissist boss is often collecting information and you never know who’s feeding him or her. Talking is acceptable, but stay objective, you can choose to discuss your challenges outside the office with a friend or spouse.
Rather than blabber, look for ways to build your self-esteem to build your strengths to avoid lost time on the bosses’weaknessess. Always keep yourself into a survival mood after working hours. Don’t put all your hope on your work. Build your sense of worth in new groups, team exercises, and new personal projects. Any of the above efforts will have a way of restoring your self-esteem.
Harvard Business Review summed the survival principle you need to deal with your narcissist:
Deepen your understanding of what makes your boss proud and observe his or her impression on others. With this in mind, learn what inspires him or her. Reconsider the option of remaining with your company; otherwise, plan your exit to a new organisation.
If you must make a change, do so based on what’s good for your career. Always remember to seek outlets outside your job to build your knowledge, value and self-esteem.
I hope you found this article useful in Dealing With A Narcissist. You can find more Management and Leadership knowledge on our website HTTPs://www.MagnaLeadership.com. We are trusted advisors for executives of small to mid-sized organizations who realize an investment in emerging leaders solves their growth and engagement challenges.
Dr. Kevin Gazzara — is a senior partner and founder of Magna Leadership Solutions, based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the author of “The Leader of OZ” www.leaderofoz.com. He is an international speaker and recognized as a Management & Leadership Expert and an Executive Coach. Kevin is a professor at 5 Universities developing and teaching programs to help others achieve their full potential. You can follow Kevin and Magna Leadership Solutions on our website: HTTPs://www.magnaleadership.com, on Twitter: https://twitter.com/doctorkevin or our Facebook Fan Page at: https://www.facebook.com/MagnaLeadership
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Dr. Kevin Gazzara
https://hbr.org/2016/04/how-to-work-for-a-narcissistic-bosshttps://www.inc.com/peter-economy/7-signs-your-boss-is-a-ragi https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0024871/ ng-narcissist.html