How to Coach a Prima Donna

Salesforce for Sales
2 min readJul 30, 2018


Kevin F. Davis, Award-winning author and President of TopLine Leadership

While some don’t have a problem getting along with those with big egos, others may feel discouraged, annoyed, or intimidated by their more abrasive personalities. Prima donnas may be great with customers, but turn around and act insolent with co-workers. How can you successfully coach a prima donna into being a more positive, friendly, role model sales team member?

The trick lies in using his or her own sense of entitlement to bring out positive traits. Here’s how to make that happen.

Don’t ignore their behavior, no matter how great they are at sales.

As a sales coach, you’re great at coaching for numbers, right? And that’s what prima donnas are giving you. So, you just sort of leave them be, rather than step in to address the negative aspects of their personalities, since number-wise they have great results. After all, it’s so much harder to tell someone you don’t like their personality. It’s just an uncomfortable situation for anyone. Right?

Hit the brakes on undesirable behavior. You need to set the standards for your team and hold your team members (all of them) accountable.

A great way to start this is this: Use your prima donna’s sense of entitlement to get him or her to help you.

Identify improvements to your team’s culture and involve your prima donna in implementing them.

The thing about people with big egos and inflated, self-important behavior problems is they usually can’t see this behavior in themselves. So, if you work to involve them in your overall sales team culture improvements, they’ll think you’re asking because they’re the most important member of the team — not because they’re the one that needs to change.

By implementing changes in your team and asking your prima donna to help you with putting them into action, chances are, he or she will be compelled to first make those changes himself.

To read the complete article, How to Coach a Prima Donna, visit