Nov 10th 2007 By Asylum Staff
Surprised you're on the list? It's a lot more fun to talk about other people's egos, but the fact is we all have moments when we're no better.
Because many of the stories in this article are so extreme, rarely do they make us ask, "Is any part of their behavior true of me?" That's when we tune out and miss the behaviors that undercut our performance.
For example, here's a real exchange between two colleagues on a design team Dave was managing:
Sam: Sarah, can I give you some feedback about this design?
Sarah: Um, [pause] yeah, go ahead.
Sam: I'm not trying to brag, but I've been doing this for longer than I like to admit, and I think I have an eye for what looks good and what doesn't. To me this design is sloppy, boring and ... well ... too predictable.
Sarah: Why do you say that? I've worked hard on this and I think it looks pretty good.
Sam: Well, for starters, how hard you work on a design isn't the point. Even though what you've done is creative, the visual elements aren't balanced very well and distract rather than help.
Sarah (interrupting): Everyone's entitled to an opinion. This has already been shown to the client, and they loved it. Thanks for your ideas, but I think it's just fine the way it is.
Get Over It: As a result of this conversation, Sarah felt like Sam was talking down to her. Sam later said he didn't like working with Sarah because she was defensive.
If you're getting feedback on something, what are you afraid of -- imperfection? If you're giving feedback, make sure your intent is really to add value and not just prove to yourself (because you're unlikely to impress anyone else) that you're smart. Don't make it personal, and don't take it personally.