Updates & Resources

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8 Steps to cope working with a Narcissist

Every workplace has a narcissist, you may not have recognised them as such maybe there’s someone you just find attention seeking, disruptive and just toxic to your working environment. It could be a co-worker, up line manager or even your boss.
Working alongside a narcissist can be challenging, but there are ways of dealing with these types of people, because if your not careful they can seriously damage your career ambitions.
Narcissists make up about 10% of the population, so the chances of you having to work with one in a large workplace are quite high.
The workplace narcissists prime objective is seek energy, its not important to them if its negative or positive energy, as long as they get it, the only way they can get that energy is from you or other work colleagues.
They will disrupt the workplace, cause chaos during important projects; they will try and get others to do their work, while giving the impression that they are the only productive ones, and if and when you point this out, they will play the victim. You must remember that the narcissist does not care about the success or failure of a project, as long as they can keep sucking energy from everyone around them. Narcissists will protect their own self-interest by whatever means possible, they don’t care if you lose your job, empathy is not part their thought process.
Any good manager or boss should be able to spot a workplace narcissist, if they have the inclination to watch and see what’s going on. Unfortunately this doesn’t always happen. I myself have worked in companies that have employed the most narcissistic people, yet for some reason I seem to be the only one who can see what’s happening around me, or maybe management just turn a blind eye and choose not to see it, effectively passing the buck and making it someone else’s problem. I’m sure some even enjoy the spectacle, and think that this type of conflict is good for the workplace. Well its not good for the business and sooner or later it will become their problem, resulting in failed projects, lost production and massive costs in training new staff to replace the staff that have left because of a toxic workplace.
8 Steps you can take to protect yourself from a workplace narcissist.
1. Always remain calm; the narcissist loves confrontation and chaos. Do not engage with them anymore than you have to.
2. Be very clear with any communication on what’s expected of you and what you expect of them on any task you are both involved with.
3. Be very clear of any expectations you have between the both of you, and who’s going to do what.
4. Any assignments and information you are giving them make sure it’s backed up by email. This is key if you are dealing with a co-worker or someone above you.
5. Only communicate what is absolutely necessary, and keep conversations as short as possible to complete any task or project. Again be crystal clear on what is expected from both sides.
6. Keep any conversations narrowly defined and never get caught up in chitchat and anything personal. This is an absolute must; never give your opinions on things that are happening round the workplace, or any goings on within your personal life. This sort of information is absolute gold for a narcissist, they will remember every word you have said and use it against you when the time is right.
7. Keep records of anything that is said between you regarding work tasks that have been completed or not completed, and let them know you are doing this. This includes all meetings whether just the two of you, or in a group situation. Let them see you are keeping track of all communication and progress.
8. Structure all your group meetings with a strict narrative, and don’t let any conversations go off track.
If you follow these few simple rules you will be able to co-exist until they move on, or you get a chance to move on.
By David Oakley
Conflict Resolution Consultant
#conflictresolution #leadership #workplace #management #careofduty #coaching #training

Business Meeting

Understanding that people have different life filters.

Many conflict situations come about due to the fact people think different to one another, and there’s a simple reason for this. We all think a certain way because of the things we have experienced in life, especially if trauma or mistrust is involved. Take for instance my experience working in the gaming and security industry, I spent many hours each day dealing with people who were dishonest or were being violent.
If I had not been careful that would have become my normal view of 99% of the population and I would have treated people accordingly, simply because this was the map, I had drawn of the world to survive.
This was my life filter, so it was important to self-check myself and understand that this was a false and distorted perspective.
My map of the world was drawn from my experiences, whereas someone else who had a totally different working environment would have an entirely different view of the world and would be reading it from a different map.
The world from a reality point of view would be the same but we would have created two completely different maps of it trying to survive our own working or personal environment and negotiating the world we live in.
Our perception of the world is not the reality and that includes the judgement we have on our colleagues in the workplace.