At its core, narcissism is a tendency to be centered on oneself, to want to be valued, to feel entitled and to lack empathy towards others. Let’s be honest: we can all be a little narcissistic from time to time. While there are moments in a person’s development where narcissism surfaces – like during the teenage years – some situations can exacerbate this trait even in adults. If we don’t feel recognized, for example, we may have a tendency to behave in all sorts of ways to feel fully valued.
In certain people, however, there is a constant need for recognition and validation. When combined with a lack of concern for others, this trait can impair collaboration and performance.
While healthy narcissism can have its place in a confident and visionary leader, unhealthy narcissism can have dire personal and business consequences. Most of us haven’t learned how to differentiate the two, which means that our strategies to counter narcissism are ineffective at best, and often leave us feeling powerless, discouraged or distressed.
Be careful: the goal of this tool isn’t to label individuals! The key is to better understand what’s going on in order to adjust our approach as needed.
- You struggle working with a particular person.
- You suspect that this person is a narcissist.
- You don’t know if you should be worried and adapt your strategies in response to a colleague, an employee or a manager’s behaviour.
- Fill out the diagnosis sheet.
- If results suggest that you work with someone who regularly engages in unhealthy narcissistic behaviour, use the tool 10 Strategies to Work With a Narcissist to develop efficient strategies.
TO LEARN MORE
- DSM-IV: https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/narcissistic-personality-disorder
- Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arJLy3hX1E8
- Disarming the Narcissist : Surviving & Thriving with the Self-Absorbed, second edition, Wendy T. Behary, 2013
- The Object of my Affection is in my Reflection : Coping with Narcissists, Rokelle Lerner, 2009.
- Snakes in Suits : When Psychopaths Go to Work, Paul Babiak et Robert D. Hare, 2007