Managing Narcissistic Behaviour in the Workplace

Staff demonstrating narcissistic behaviours can undermine a company’s culture and character. Our Advanced Conflict Resolution training sessions can be tailored to include discussions on narcissistic behaviour. Discussions about behaviours in a workplace that may be influenced by one or more personality trait disorders can only be general in nature. While the concept of ‘patterns of behaviour’ and typical types of behaviour can be discussed, specifically how the behaviour is revealed and therefore what strategies can be applied is most effectively explored in one of our Executive Coaching programs. In these programs we seek to understand (and ask appropriate questions to help uncover) the many subtle ways these behaviours are being demonstrated.

Managing Narcissistic Behaviour in the Workplace

The ‘fall out’ of these behaviours is only noticed by some, and because the worker is either exceptionally good at stakeholder management or consistently exceeds their KPIs, it appears as though others don’t want to notice. This can leave the direct manager of that worker feeling very pressured, anxious and isolated. If the direct manager is not properly supported, they are more likely to be disciplined from a display of inappropriate behaviour (driven by their extreme frustration) and they resign.

The business is not aware of their misplaced focus and the disruptive and undermining behaviour of the worker now escalates usually to a crisis point. The damage by this time is significant in both tangible and intangible costs. It is imperative that organisations listen to their managers, who may appear to be whinging, but really are very switched on to the issue but do not know how to articulate it and to get support from higher levels of management.

Resolving this situation requires the design of a clear and simple strategy then a coordinated approach by all levels of management at and above the level of the worker. Only a consistently steady approach to the implementation of the agreed strategy will lead to the desired outcome - being either the ‘containment’ of the effects of the inappropriate behaviours, or the worker fairly being exited from the organisation.

Workplace Harmony Solutions and Workplace Conflict Resolution can work with your business over this full cycle providing strategy design, continuous discussion, appropriate and constructive feedback and analysis using a 1-1 Executive Coaching model or a guided consultation process involving a number of Senior Managers.

In a Gallup 2017 survey, the cost to companies where culture is toxic showed disengaged workers had 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors and defects. Organisations with LOW employee engagement scores, experienced 18% lower productivity, 16% lower profitability, 37% lower job growth, and 65% lower share price over time. No business can sustain a toxic culture. Workplace Harmony Solutions can help your business decrease conflict, increase productivity, boost the bottom line and increase the company's professionalism with a tailored approach delivered by our qualified and highly competent consultants.

Share from here

About the Author

Catherine Gillespie brings a wealth of skill to her clients. With particular expertise in teaching communication and workplace conflict resolution skills, Catherine has made a marked difference to the organisations she has worked with. She empowers teams and managers to adopt constructive styles that support harmony, productivity and progress in the workplace.