7 Ego Actions That Stifle Leadership Teamwork & Service | #peopleskills

7 Ego Actions That Stifle or Harm Others

As people interact in the workplace, egos sometimes clash. Other times the ego actions are one-way and the damaging results are hidden. In either case, low emotional intelligence has left a vacuum and ego actions filled it. The results can be disastrous for leadership, teamwork, and customer service.

Ego Actions: Image is the word EGO spelled out.

Ego Actions That Stifle Leadership, Teamwork, Service. Image by: Bexx Brown

Image by BexxBrown via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Ego Actions Checklist: Are Any of These 7 Damaging Your Workplace?

  1. Hoarding knowledge. When leaders or team members don’t share their knowledge, ego has become more important than anything. Tip: Leaders, assess what if anything in the culture or in your leadership may be feeding or tolerating this behavior.
  2. Exerting experience over input. In leadership, teamwork, and customer service, claiming your experience supersedes input from others is ego gone wild.
  3. Exerting goals over interaction. When people want to interact while achieving a goal and you refuse, your ego is screaming “I matter, you don’t.”
  4. Asserting dominance instead of collaborating. Example: A patient saw a surgeon about a lump they discovered on their own. The surgeon recommended an ultrasound. The radiologist who did the ultrasound told the patient it was inconclusive. When the patient requested to consult with the surgeon again, the radiologist blurted out: “The surgeon does what *I recommend.” The patient left that practice and found one where “ego wouldn’t get in the way of my survival.”
  5. Telling an upset customer, “I’m trying to help you.” Insight: Delivering superior customer service is about the customers emotional needs, not the reps. The “I am trying to help you” statement is a plea to customers to be nicer. Yet when reps become frustrated like this, their egos can sabotage success. Keep it simple. Make customers feel better, solve their problem, and their upset will disappear.
  6. Wrapping up in a label. Whether you are labeling yourself or others, ego actions are at play. Labels declare. They feel safe. They protect vulnerability from shining through. Examples: “I’m a techie, not a psychologist.” “You’re overly emotional.” “You always …”
  7. Needing to have the last word. Nothing screams needy ego more than always needing to have the last word. This need is one of the ego actions that drives people away. They feel it’s futile to interact with someone who has an insatiable ego.

Jump start great interaction with this list. Have your teams add to the list. Identify where the ego actions are stifling leadership, action, and customer service. From there everyone can discuss how to replace ego actions with more productive behaviors.

What harmful ego actions would you add to the list right now? Why?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Career Success: Are You Rocking w/ These 13 People Skills?
How to Survive Ego Driven Toxic Leaders
5 Steps to Develop Emotional Intelligence

©2016 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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4 Responses to “7 Ego Actions That Stifle Leadership Teamwork & Service | #peopleskills”

  1. Khalid says:

    Hi Kate,

    Nice post.

    Ego in a person who has something unique to brag about could be understandable but there are people with high ego only to show they are “The Boss” around and use such power to bully employees around which is totally unacceptable.

    Your surgeon vs radiologist example is something I also faced but with the orthopedic vs the physiotherapist 🙂

    When I broke my ankle few years ago, I was consulting an orthopedic for treatment and when my ankle started to heal, he gave me exercises to practice at home. When I went to the physiotherapist he disagreed with whatever the orthopedic gave me and advised me to follow certain program. Now both helped me out of my ankle problem but I truly felt the ego driven mentality each was having 🙂

    Thanks for opening up our creativity to relate to our surrounding.


  2. I would add the ego action where leader has no motivation to share his vision for the organization.

    Da Vinci once said: There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see when shown, and those that do not see.

    Leaders in the second and especially third groups easily
    lose confidence of those they are trying to lead. Their lack of vision cannot inspire teams, motivate performance, or create sustainable value. A leader’s job is to align the organization around a clear and achievable vision. This cannot occur when a blind ego leads the troops.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Very interesting addition Mike. There are also leaders who have a vision yet do not communicate it. Poor communicators stifle success.

      Many thanks for expanding this discussion.

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