Everyone Is Special, In Every Way

Posted by Hogan News on Wed, Jan 16, 2013

We are fast becoming a nation of narcissists, at least according to a recent study by psychologists Jean Twenge and W. Keith Campbell. In their book “Living in the Age of Entitlement,” the two present findings from a survey of more than 37,000 college students showing that narcissistic personality traits rose as fast as obesity from the 1980s to the present.


The driving force behind narcissistic behavior is an individual’s belief that he or she is unique or exceptional in some way. 

The origins of this attitude can often be traced to adult caretakers providing a child continuous positive feedback without the boundaries and discipline necessary for learning their own and others’ limits.

Sometimes an individual’s history of exclusion, rejection, and/or illness can create a belief in his or her own exceptionality – in other words, the individual is exceptional by the virtue of having experienced challenging circumstances. These individuals’ public self-confidence masks private self-doubt; however, their negative feelings may be so deeply buried that they are inaccessible.

Although some criticize Twenge and Campbell’s study as little more than kids-these-days moralizing, just the thought of an influx of arrogant, self-promoting members of generations Y (Millennials) and Z (Digital Natives) keeps many managers and HR practitioners up at night.

But what if narcissism wasn’t necessarily a bad thing? To find out more, download our ebook The Upside of Narcissism in the Workplace


Topics: Hogan Development Survey, HDS, narcissism, Bold

Dealing with Narcissism in the Workplace

Posted by Hogan News on Thu, Jan 10, 2013

Every office has a resident narcissist – that guy who never seems afraid to toot his own horn. But what if that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing?

Narcissistic individuals believe their own superior talent and typically resist developmental feedback. If personal development is presented as a strategy for advancing their personal agenda, however, narcissistic individuals can be persuaded to:

  • Lower their expectations for special treatment, and try to accept responsibility for their occasional mistakes
  • Recognize that they ignore negative feedback, and seek feedback from family, and friends who are not competitors and whose feedback is usually well-meaning
  • Stop regarding team interactions as opportunities for competition in which only one person can win; remember that they real competition is outside the organization, not within it
  • Realize that subordinates are most likely to be productive when they feel respected; learn how to offer positive feedback to others when they contribute
  • Use their confidence, energy, and determination to motivate rather than intimidate others

It comes down to self-awareness. If you provide your employees with a realistic understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, and behavioral tendencies, they can harness the positive outcomes associated with narcissism and avoid taking it overboard.

To find out more, download our ebook The Upside of Narcissism in the Workplace

Topics: Hogan Development Survey, HDS, narcissism, Bold

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