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Ethan Evans Podcast

Dec 24, 2019

Ego is more than just arrogance. Yes, one workplace problem comes from people who cannot hear other opinions or admit mistakes due to classic ego. This EZ Coach discussion will go beyond simple egotism, to the broader challenges that arise any time someone’s self-worth or self-identity, their ego, is threatened. All human beings have a pain and distress threshold. When you exceed this tolerance, the person will act to relieve the distress. The more painful the circumstance, the less discretion the person will show in trying to eliminate the perceived problem. And often you either are that problem or you get caught up in reaction. Often when someone says no to us, criticizes our work, or even attacks us personally, the underlying cause can be their own internal distress. One way or another, something is threatening their ego, defined as their self worth or image. The person is lashing out to reduce their own pain and catching us as they do it. Saying yes to us may make more work for them than saying no. Our work may threaten their own projects, priorities, or personality. In the worst case, they may depart from even a semblance of the business rationale and simply attack to drive us away or vent their own rage. What can we do in such circumstances? Come join the EZ Coach and let’s talk about it! NOTES:- 1. What is ego? • "Ego is the part of us that is judged by others" • The ego develops to protect you • Selective Reasoning • To rationalize something bad • "I've got a story for this" • Helps us feel good 2. Ego at work • When someone is judged • It's hard to tell your boss you screwed up • Moves from "responding to the problem" to "resisting work" • Hard to say "I can't do everything", so they push to someone else • Medicating the pain unknowingly 3. Understanding your own ego • Not all negative feedback is other's ego • The lesson one in dealing with ego is to "understand your own ego" 4. How to deal with ego? • Recognize and understand his pain • Look for- "Are they overworked?" "Is your request difficult for them?" • Empathize • Don't let your ego involved as well • "Would it be better if we discuss this another time?" • Take witness 5. Busy vs ego • Busy people- do they get a lot done? • Assume good intent • "Don't contribute to malice" • Most people just want an easy great life • People usually want to do a good job • Are they having something else going in their lives? 6. SBI rule • Don't jump straight to criticism- have a relation first • Ego gets threatened more in public • Praise in public, criticize in private • Situation-Behaviour-Impact feedback • Ask question Bad question- "the report was wrong. are dumb or did you rush it?" Good question- "I noticed some errors in the report that impacted my team. what can I do to prevent this?" • Keep your own ego out of it, be friendly and empathetic • People are good to understand the sincerity • Take a pause before replying. • Ask questions- "Is this a good time to keep discussing this?" "Is there something bigger going on here that you need help with?" "Is there something about this problem that I am not understanding?" • Help them solve their problems • "What would have to be true in order ....?" • "I am not doubting you, but how can I justify that?" • Figure out how to stop threatening their ego, Be an ally 7. How to deal with threatened superior • Talk to him when not giving feedback • Ask him- "I don't want you to feel threatened, but sometimes I have to give feedback. How can we do that?" • Being too direct can be threatening to some people • "What is your Myers Briggs type?" • "What is your style?" • Ask others about it • Try to let him know in advance- "I know you feel attacked, I am not attacking you" • Be positive • Understanding what kind of feedback can work for another person • Don't put introverts in a room full of strangers and ask to talk • Don't put extroverts in isolation either 8. confidence vs ego • Don't say- "I this..", "I that..." • Say more in interviews, especially if you are female • Most important in interview- appearance and enthusiasm • Don't "I am the best programmer" Do- "Let me tell you about some of the hard problems I was able to solve" • Don't- "It was because of me, we won this.." Do- "I had the privilege of working on a challenging project, can I show you the final results?" 9. When the ego is useful • To handle false criticism • "Hey, I appreciate your input. but my self worth is not solely based on your opinion"