Narcissist bosses are common. To get to the top many strive and push others out of the way (many don’t though too) however a narcissist within a team can cause disruptions and divisions, splintering into factions and conflict.
Throughout February I will be talking about this personality type and how to manage them and you.
Narcissism occurs in the workplace at almost every organization. The narcissistic personality comprises of a defence that works incessantly to prevent others reminding the narcissist of his feelings of inferiority, inadequacy and worthlessness, which lower their self-esteem.
Their defence mechanism includes an addiction to power and control, without which they feel exposed to their real feelings of inferiority, inadequacy and worthlessness. When threatened the narcissistic person will go into survival mode.
Over time, a narcissist will create an emotionally hazardous work environment for the non-narcissist. He (or she) will surround himself with followers (recruit if you like, people to make thing happen for them). The narcissist will eventually end up surrounded by individuals who play into their hands, enabling them to continue their behaviour – manipulating them.
If the followers fail to recognise what they are doing, they then inadvertedly subscribe to the narcissist point of view therefore allowing inappropriate behaviour to continue. But non narcissists in the workplace who are committed to being fair and nice to others may further compound the problem. They are naturally unwilling or unprepared to hold the narcissist accountable for their behaviour. Confrontation is not part of their personality, so their failure to confront the narcissist only serves to reinforce the narcissist’s belief in his dominance, thereby strengthening his position.
Next Sunday … can you recognise a narcissist around you.