Five signs that you aren’t getting proper validation in your work and how to manage narcissism behaviour in the office.
1. Your boss or leader constantly corrects, criticizes or dismisses your work.
Leaders are beacons of advice and guidance. But if you feel like your staring up a wall of disappointment after submitting that report or PowerPoint, you could be dealing with Narcissism. Try to discuss expectations and requirements up front, document understanding and get agreement before proceeding on the task.
If there are disputes, point back to the documented understanding.
2. Your choices are not good enough?
If you sense that your team lunch ideas keep getting dismissed? Or your approach on solving the latest problem is rejected?
Take the individual out for coffee and frame your concerns in a open third party conversation, “How would you feel if your colleague did this to you?”
Presenting it like advice seeking, may inspire the Narcissist. Once they fully understand your dilemma, indicate when they did it to you and how you’d like to get past it in a more productive working relationship. It’s a non-threatening approach to the other party and will allow you to gauge immediately any sense of empathy/course correction.
3. Too many personal stories shared and emotional draining discussion?
It’s great to have an open and trusting relationship with your colleagues, but there is a discretionary limit. How much information is too much information?
If your meetings constantly head into personal whining and sympathetic tunnelling, you need to ask them to finish the task at hand. Tell them that you are aware they have a lot on the go and there are services to support then if they need them (many companies have employee assistance programs). This deflection reminds them that they need to exhaust their emotions with a professional in their personal life and not during on work time. Strike a balance.
4. Are your talents being diminished? Diminishing language or behaviour can be tricky to identify sometimes, especially if you are looking up to the other person as a mentor.
Constructive feedback is key.
Leaders who support typically share knowledge and best practices as an investment in you.
After a collaborative effort you should feel like your next version or action will be your best! If your facing a wall of disappointment after your meetings, take some time to reflect on the mentor relationship and what you need from it. Attempt to relay that message to your mentor and ask them for guidances that fills your productivity bank. Not empties it.
5. Fear of pitching that great idea?
Do you ever try to convey a concept and you can never seem to finish your sentence before correction and opinion is provided to you? Narcissistic individuals can impose their opinions rapidly and with little regard to your thought process. Don’t be afraid to practice your assertive voice, remind them to wait until your are finished your presentation to ask questions or give feedback. Its more effective to demonstrate your idea to supporters and other leaders to gain buy-in and demonstrate that they should jump on board! This will also speak to their (FOMO) self fears and desire to get on the train that is heading to success station!