"If you talk to people about themselves, they'll listen for hours."—Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister, 1868 and 1874-1880
Ever notice how flattered you get when someone pays you unfettered attention? Ever notice how reinforced, invigorated, self-assured, and respected you feel when someone compliments, admires and appreciates your efforts?
Well, meet that someone's ugly stepsister (brother): the Egotist!
This is the scourge from hell. They need to be fluffed and fluttered by reminders of their own massive ego. They require constant adulation and never-ending limelight. Their grossly overdeveloped yearning to be admired often turns them into self-centered, selfish showoffs who constantly butt into any conversation and take over any situation. You want to puncture their pompous psyches!
Wish you could blow them away with a cutting remark? This is all the more vexatious and compelling when this person is your boss. Coping with an egotistic boss increases the likelihood that you and your boss will react defensively. Also, be aware that people attribute to those of higher status considerably more power than high level people believe they have. A strategy that encompasses tact, diplomacy and self-confidence will assure your success.
The Boss Egotist. Beware! Bosses, especially white-collar bosses in middle and higher management levels, suffer from the comfortable failing of being unaware of the impact they have on other people. They abruptly avoid you and roundly dismiss you with the excuse that they are too busy to answer your inquiries. They are so caught up with projects and responsibilities that others should be doing that they just can't find the time to give you the help you need. And that's just the way they want it! Their insecurity compels them to do everything themselves. They leave you feeling muddled and themselves feeling hemmed in with no time to plan important future matters.
Your objective is to get the job done. This includes getting the information you need from an overbearing boss. You can best do this by engaging (not confronting) the boss on his or her preferred playing field: the arena of the imposing ego. In other words, place the ball in his or her court. Ask the boss for an opinion or invite the boss to choose an option. By focusing on the boss's need for glorification and subservience, you enhance the boss's ego (read: reputation) and highlight the boss's objectives. If the boss perceives your behavior as beneficial, the boss will be more inclined to help you get what you need and want. Egotistical bosses worry about the perception their managers and colleagues have about their professionalism. Give them ideas they can proclaim and promulgate as their own. Remember: you look good when the boss looks good.
Never, ever, feud with the rude!