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Spotting the difference between a confident and an arrogant employee

Picture of a Male employee, one image shows confidence and one image shows arrogance

Understanding the different character types

Characters in the office
As an employer you may be responsible for staff. Regardless of the number have you ever considered that for each member, including yourself, there are many different character types sitting in the office. Some will prove to be a pleasure to work with whereas some will be more disruptive. Some may be easy to read whilst others will require powers of deduction to work them out.

The one-character type that has many employers baffled is working out the difference between a confident employee and that of an arrogant employee. Both display similar traits but there are very notable differences, it’s just a case of understanding what they are and working out how to deal with them.

The confident employee
1. Has a belief in themselves that they can do something to the best of their ability
2. They are proactive and act positively when they receive tasks
3. Are diligent in their performance
4. Accept criticism and are open to suggestive improvements
5. Competent in their skills
6. Use their talents to help others
7. Calm and thoughtful towards other people
8. Have a desire to do well without affecting others

The arrogant employee
1. Has a fancied or unreal perception of their abilities
2. Seek validation of their skills and the work undertaken
3. They dismiss negative feedback
4. Crave control and use it as a weapon of power
5. Use intimidation to put themselves above others
6. Are career hungry even when undeserved
7. They may get the job done but are not good with people or well-liked by others

One main difference
There is one word that separates those who are confident from those who are arrogant, and that word is grace. Someone who is termed to be arrogant will lack the nature of grace and alongside that, humility.

To have grace in one's nature is to have the ability to perform tasks with an understanding of one’s own weaknesses. And although this person will act with certainty and knowing of what they can do, they are also open and willing to admit their failures. They will look upon suggestions as a way to help themselves learn and grow.

Whereas a person acting with an arrogant attitude will do anything to push themselves forward, trampling on those beneath them along the way. They will fail to accept criticism or heed lessons that might actually improve their nature and their abilities. They will have an assured attitude that they know everything and therefore can learn nothing.

Character defects versus instincts
We are all born with basic instincts that enable us to cope with life. We are programmed with social, survival, security and sex instincts. We need to be liked, loved and to form healthy relationships. We need food and water to survive, want financial security to provide a lifestyle and sex to reproduce.

Whilst we are learning to navigate our way through life using our instincts, along the way we develop personal character defects. These defects come into play when one or more of our instincts are affected. They may make us become self-centred, dishonest, jealous, impatient, self-serving, piteous, judgemental, resentful. The list goes on.

Its these character defects that affect how we interact at work, home and in personal relationships. They ultimately depict how we address and deal with situations. To understand our personal character defects is to understand who we are.

Understanding our defects
Those amongst us who are aware of our defects are streets ahead of those who fail to spot them. To find out and understand what makes us tick we need to be willing to look at who we are. This exploration of ourselves enables us to get closer to understanding our true self and our purpose in life.

The confident employee knows, understands and embraces their defects, they know what they are and how to work the good and the bad into what they are doing. This creates balance and gives them an air of confidence and with that comes control and self-assurance.

Whereas the arrogant employee, whom although is often deemed as having a bad attitude, is in fact out of balance with themselves. They have very low self-esteem, are judgemental, breed jealousy and resentments. These defects if left unresolved will bubble below the surface. They wear masks to hide their inabilities and instead assert an arrogant nature to prevent their negativities from being shown. They pretend to be more than they are capable of being. This translates into arrogance and causes them to be reactive in situations, how they manage their work and how they treat people.

Pathway to success
So how do these two characters deal with success. The confident employee will naturally walk the path to success, doing so with a good conscience. They will be well liked by others and by doing so may find themselves promoted due to their nature rather than their abilities.

The arrogant employee may attain a form of success for a short period, which may give them a taste for wanting more but the higher they climb the worse they will become. And unless they learn to adapt, they will continue to act in this disruptive manner until something or some event will force them to change.

Conclusion
From the employer’s perspective having to manage a business and all the problems that come with that is one thing. But add in staff character traits and defects, plus your very own good and bad points and you may feel like a teacher standing in a school playground of unruly children.

You will never know the extent of the defects or traits of your staff; they will appear over time often during pressure, stressful situations or when their instincts are attacked. The best thing you can do is treat an arrogant employee in the same way as a confident employee.

Aiming to treat this person differently is in effect playing into their hands. So, learn to take the upper stance and do not let them bother you, after all it is their nature not yours. And in the meantime, aim to learn more about yourself, that way you will be able to keep you in check and as the employer can lead by example.

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