If you’ve been in the workplace for any period of time, you’ve probably encountered someone who fits the description of a Productive Narcissist. In fact, you might have even hired the person yourself, unaware that certain personality traits would turn your star performer into a costly management “black hole.”
Bill Gates observed, “You have to be careful, if you’re good at something, to make sure you don’t think you’re good at other things that you aren’t necessarily so good at.”
How do you confirm your sense of what you’re good at? Feedback, of course.
We all feel great when others – colleagues, bosses, friends, and competitors too – remark on our intelligence, skills, or performance. But as Gates noted, therein lies a trap, for we can overestimate or over-generalize our capabilities.
How do we get honest, balanced feedback about areas where we’re not as good as we think we are? Or where we might need to improve or change?
Ten Deadly Manager Mistakes and Solutions
I speak to thousands of executives and managers every year. When the topic of giving performance feedback comes up, as it frequently does, I hear the truth from managers about their uncertainties and anxieties in doing this critical task effectively.
This is especially the case when sensitive or negative feedback needs to be conveyed. The all-too-human temptation in these cases is either to avoid the issue, hoping it will go away, or to spend as little time as possible on the unpleasant matter. However, neither approach typically works well in achieving sustained on-the-job performance improvement.