How Your Ego Can Get in The Way of Advancing

In some ways, having an ego is a necessity for owning your own business or leading a team. If you don’t have the confidence that you’ll succeed, then no one else will believe in you either. But at what point does the ego actually, hinder your professional development and get in the way of your success? That point can come sooner than you might realize, so read on to learn how to recognize the signs and rectify the damage before it’s too late.

Is it your way or the highway?

As a leader, you may find yourself tempted to veto suggestions you disagree with. After all, you’re the one in charge, so you know best, right? Well…not exactly. In fact, this egotistic attitude can lead you to disregard the advice of those who may be more knowledgeable than you are in certain areas. Another way this attitude manifests? By expecting your team to accomplish the impossible in an unrealistic timeframe. This leads to burnout, poor quality work, and negative morale. And along those lines…

Are you soliciting ideas and feedback from others?

When you’re the one calling the shots most of the time, it’s easy to get in a groove where you know more than anyone. It is your company or your team, after all. But this confidence can also lead you into trouble if you begin to disregard the knowledge and advice of others. Even those who are talented and experienced can benefit from an outside perspective. If you’re not actively seeking out ideas from those around you, then you’re missing out on valuable resources. Brainstorming sessions are wonderful opportunities to come up with exciting ideas. Make use of them or solicit ideas during your regular one-on-one meetings with your team.

Do you bristle at constructive criticism?

Whether you’re the head honcho or several rungs down the ladder, it’s a necessity to maintain professional, respectful relationships with the people you work with. This includes respecting their ideas and feedback, even if you disagree with them. Really think about that disagreement: is it your ego talking? Is it possible that the critique may be valid? If you can’t accept feedback, you won’t be able to grow – and your boss may decide to pass you over for a promotion precisely because of this.

Your negative attitude speaks volumes

All right, so maybe you do incorporate suggestions and critiques into your work. That doesn’t mean you have to be happy about it, right? Well, on the contrary, your body language sometimes says more than your words can. Don’t speak one thing and then have your body language convey an entirely different message.

If, upon reflection, you realize you’ve committed one or more of these mistakes, don’t fret (too much). The best way forward is to acknowledge your errors to yourself and take key steps to rectify them. Ask your boss or colleague for a brief meeting and explain to them that you’ve considered their suggestions or feedback and you’re committed to incorporating them moving forward. And then make sure you do just that – don’t promise something you don’t intend to fulfill.