EGO – A War in Corporate

Many of us spend a majority of our time at the workplace and are in constant touch with the colleagues, bosses and others. In a demanding and competitive work environment, tempers can rise and small issues can get blown out of proportion. When ego problems crop up at our place of work, we cannot focus on the task at hand, and this could hinder the entire functioning of an organization.

Further on, ego tussles develop when employees are of the mindset that “I” and not “We” contribute more towards the organization. Organizations with leaders or managers or even individuals who have ego issues experience low employee morale, limited creativity and high employee turnover. All these affect the employee productivity.

Egoistic leaders often engage in employee favoritism, thus leading to internal strife and low morale. Leaders, as a catalyst, should bring the affected parties together and can be an enabler to break the deadlock, and provides a forum for open discussion of ‘intent’ versus ‘Impact’ of ego issues. While individual leadership styles may be different, leaders who provide a clear vision, set high standards and are role models can energize everyone.

Leaders and managers must invest more time in coaching. They must also indulge in team building activities such as experiential learning workshops. They should also strive to shape a transparent and performance-driven culture within the organization. The first thing to remember is that the success of any project involves teamwork. In many cases, one sees projects getting delayed because of ego hassles among team members. This can be very detrimental to an organization. A leader should try to identify the strength of the person and then help the person solve their ego problem. For instance, if the person’s strength lies in a particular area, the leader should praise the person for that and also ask to share tips with other employees in the team. This, in turn, will boost the self-confidence of that person.

It is imperative for a manager to foster open communication, resolve or manage conflicts and disagreements and ensure equitable and fair treatment among employees. Having systems in place to accomplish work and employees relations is important; often it is an ombudsman’s role to manage behavioral issues at the workplace. A manager’s ability to stay centered in the midst of chaos can also enhance the employee-manager relationship.

Five ways to keep your ego in check at workplace

There are simple steps that one can follow at the workplace to prevent ego-related tussles.

1. Be a Team Player

The successful completion of a project should be your only focus and this can be achieved only when there is the environment of a “team”. We should remember the difference between a Boss and a Leader.

Playing the game of making someone look bad will benefit no one. Sink the differences and learn to be a team player. This is a key component of keeping ones ego in check.

2. Reflect On Performance

Take time out to reflect on professional life regularly, but be honest with oneself while doing so. While it is necessary to be proud of achievements, one should not let it inflate the ego. At the same time, be honest with if things go wrong in an assignment the person is handling due to a mistake he has made.

It is a good lesson for anyone who has earned success, and he needs to remind himself that success is earned and not bestowed.

3. Don’t Get Obsessed

Most of these opinions do not matter. Rather focus on relationships and opinions of people with who we share mutual respect and friendship. This will enhance efficiency and guide ones ego in the right direction.

4. Ask For Help

Do not let the ego come in the way of asking a junior colleague for help. Some of the most successful businessmen in the world openly admit to hiring people who are better than they are, when asked about the secret of their organization’s success.

5. Be Humble

Hard work, single-minded focus and sincerity can make a successful professional. But always being humble about the achievements. Ego affirms one’s ability to take charge and keeping a check on it is critical to developing strong organizations, which can achieve sustainable results.

It is tough going to work everyday when you have to deal with your boss or colleagues ‘Big Ego’. But if, handled tactfully, it is not a big deal at all.

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