In No Ego: How Leaders Can Cut the Cost of Workplace Drama, End Entitlement, and Drive Big Results, Cy Wakeman says that ego-driven behaviors are one of the biggest causes of drama. Ego-driven behaviors include:
- Feeling hurt or becoming angry over perceived slights
- Speculating or assuming
- Becoming defensive over feedback
- Venting or complaining
- Judging or tattling on others
- Failing to empathize with others because “my situation is worse.”
So how can you keep your own big ego from causing drama at work? When a potential conflict arises, ask yourself the following questions:
Would I rather be right or resolve the issue quickly? Most drama is caused because one or both people refuse to admit they were wrong or one won’t forgive the other. Asking the question is usually enough to show you that you’re being a little stubborn.
What do I know for sure? Don’t make assumptions. Instead, focus only on what you have observed yourself and know to be true.
Is my opinion or expertise needed? You don’t need to weigh in or offer your input on everything. Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing at all.
Remember that you don’t want a strained work relationship, so don’t do anything in the moment that will cause irreparable damage.
— Adapted from “How to Bypass Ego-Driven Drama,” Now, www.leadershipnow.com.