When you have an egotist on your team: how to manage overconfident subordinates

Team members often have very diverse personality traits. Some would need more self-confidence, while others have too much of it. But even egotistical and overconfident workers can sometimes be indispensable and their manager simply has to deal with them somehow. This article will show how.


Set some boundaries

As INSEAD Knowledge states, subordinates suffering from overinflated egos should not be given any more privileges than others. You need to set clear boundaries and clear rules that everyone must follow, including overconfident workers.

Bring the subordinate back down to earth

Do not be afraid to raise the subject of overconfidence in an individual meeting with the given subordinate. Acknowledge that the subordinate has some undeniable qualities, but in matters where they go too far, so to speak, remind them that you are the manager, that other colleagues may have more experience with the agenda, and that the subordinate should show some humility.

Do not be drawn into the games and world view of the subordinate

Egotistical subordinates may have a tendency to elevate themselves above others and play political, diplomatic and psychological games with colleagues and superiors. Do not get drawn into these games or allow an overconfident worker to draw other team members into them either.

Give the subordinate some (even if fake) space for their own initiative

To some extent, you can "get rid" of an overly ambitious and overconfident subordinate by giving them certain powers which satisfy their need to feel important, but have no real impact and do not allow them to decide on things they should have no say in.

Do not let things go too far

If the situation does not improve and the egotist in question is still stirring up trouble and making a fuss in your team, do not take the situation lightly. You should not hesitate to take up the issue with the HR department, company management or legal department if the person's behaviour exceeds acceptable limits.


Article source INSEAD Knowledge - INSEAD Business School knowledge portal
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