Injecting Confidence and Humility in the Workplace

A peacock to demonstrate pride

We are all uniquely talented. We each have things that we excel at. Some of us have been able to use those strengths to build a successful career.

It’s an amazing feeling to be able to do something you’re good at and passionate about each and every day. However, when arrogance or an unhealthy competitive spirit replace confidence, we will have a problem. Arrogance can then lead to cultural toxicity in the workplace to the detriment of teamwork.

Let’s take a better look at this topic that specifically affects healthcare. Let me show how we can inject both confidence and humility in the workplace in order to foster well-being.

How Can Arrogance Affect a Workplace?

Arrogant behavior is almost a sure recipe for disruption within the workplace. Sometimes highly skilled people make another person feel threatened and unwilling to work or interact with them.

This circumstance forces individuals to protect their own feelings and skills from everyone else, as opposed to working together to solve problems and reach team goals.

This toxic environment in which nobody feels safe to be themselves or trust others hurts the company’s bottom line in the long run.

Arrogance and Confidence

The willingness to learn from others is one element that distinguishes someone who is arrogant from someone who is confident.

An arrogant person frequently is secretly insecure and may not be as willing to learn from another highly-skilled individual. They may feel threatened by them and compensate by thinking that they can’t learn anything from the other person and displaying a “know-it-all” mentality.

A confident, self-assured individual is open to the idea of learning from someone who is more skilled and experienced.

Confidence comes with a sense of inherently knowing who you are as an individual, including your strengths and weaknesses. An arrogant person is more likely to over-emphasize strengths while concealing weaknesses.

Shifting Arrogance into Confidence

Arrogance in the workplace can lead to uncomfortable work situations. In fact, low-self confidence that’s masked by arrogance can lead to more corrupt behaviors as a way of boosting confidence in other areas, according to the Journal of Behavioral Decision-Making.

If arrogance is something that people in your office struggle with, it may be time to open an honest conversation about how to manage it. Here are a few suggestions for doing that:

Check Your Own Arrogance First

Everybody has a little bit of arrogance within. However, it’s important to know if there’s anything that needs attention.

If you do ultimately decide that you need to work on minimizing your own arrogance, here are a few tips:

  • Don’t be afraid to admit when you’re wrong or have made a mistake.
  • Take constructive criticism with grace. It is an opportunity to learn and get better at something.
  • Try not to take yourself too seriously. It’s okay to laugh at yourself every now and then, while still treating yourself with kindness.
  • Little by little, accept the fact that you don’t have all of the answers, and that’s okay. Try to learn more about your insecurities and why they might be present when you go to work.

Have a Compassionate Conversation

Arrogance is often self-doubt or low-self esteem coming out of a person. If you can speak kindly to the arrogant person about what’s bothering you, they may be more likely to respond than if you went in accusing and yelling. Still, it’s important to be direct about how you’re feeling.

A neutral third party can help keep the conversation respectful and provide an outside perspective to help with a resolution.

If the other person is able to recognize their arrogance, it may be appropriate for you to suggest some resources for them to use in order to grow past this.

Be Ready to Set Boundaries

Know that, for your own well-being, you may have to set some boundaries with the other person in order to be effective at work, while also protecting your own mental health.

This might include limiting your meeting times, working on separate projects (if possible), or otherwise reaching an understanding about how you can work harmoniously while still remaining respectful.

Confidence and Humility in Healthcare

When working in healthcare, it’s normal to be surrounded by a group of highly-skilled individuals. By the sheer nature of the job, they have to be exceptional in order to practice. This can also lead to some toxic situations in which arrogance can rapidly take over.

However, if we are constantly surrounded by arrogant healthcare workers, what kind of care are we providing to patients? Medicine must be collaborative in that healthcare professionals need to truly listen to what patients are saying, as well as recognize that their colleagues may have certain insights that they don’t.

When we’re completely wrapped up in a game of “who knows more” and “who’s more skilled,” it begs the question of whose well-being we’re actually attending to: our patient’s or our bruised ego’s?

In Summary

We all have our own talents, but when we let insecurities creep in and arrogance take over, it can do some serious harm to the people involved. It’s important to keep those types of thoughts in check.

Could your workplace benefit from an open conversation regarding arrogance amongst employees? Or, perhaps you’re having trouble identifying how to open these conversations in a way that will bring about a cultural shift?

I would be happy to provide you with helpful resources to start that discussion. Reach out to me to schedule a meeting.