There is nothing wrong with having an ego. The ego helps protect our self-image and self-worth. However, it is vital that we maintain a healthy, right-sized ego. The drama associated with ego can play a big part in what is getting in the way of your success. To be a leader and an example to your employees, you have to be able to know when the ego is taking over.
What happens when the ego takes over?
People in an egotistic state turn off their higher-level active listening and react rather than respond. Which usually ends up coming across in the wrong way. Being “in ego” hinders our ability to see the full picture of the circumstances. Our perception gets filtered through our high emotions, can be a difficult thing to overcome.
How the ego affects your relationships
The way we react in an egotistic state may end up causing unseen harm in the relationship we have with our counterparts. It becomes more challenging to have a productive, meaningful and healthy dialogue when everyone in the conversation is providing their opinion, instead of facts.
Improving the dialogue
In the book “Crucial Conversations” the authors provide tools to ensure there is a conversational environment that allows people to communicate better. To keep ego out of the conversation, the authors recommend leaving all opinions and overpowering emotions on the sidelines. Instead, they recommend engaging every person’s opinion by first acknowledging (come from a place of understanding and compassion) asking specific questions and use tools to open up dialogue without letting it get out of hand.
Leading with ego in the room
World-renowned speaker, trainer and author, Cy Wakeman, famously said: “your circumstances do not determine your success, it is the reality in which you must succeed.” It’s more about self-awareness and being able to acknowledge what triggers your ego, and that of others. Only then will you be able to manage it in times of conflict. Through the process of self-reflection, you hold the key to remove ego from your organization.
Work toward your success
As with any process, it takes time to master; therefore, you might find it beneficial to work with an outside consultant who is trained to recognize the ego and its counterparts with unnecessary drama and emotional expansiveness. Together we will engage your sixth sense and help you develop a positive dialogue with your team and clients. Over time, you will see how controlling the ego in the room makes you more successful in all areas of your life.
About the Author
Keith Freeman, MBA
A dynamic thinker with a great sense of humor, Keith Freeman, MBA, is a Strategic Consultant offering unique solutions to transform healthcare organizations such as hospitals, hospice/palliative, home health, and home care, RCFE/assisted living and skilled nursing facilities and professional healthcare staffing services that support them.