How to Ignite Development in the Arrogant and Resistant

Arrogance can’t see a need for development.

Ask egotistical managers if they run great meetings. (Insert any management skill.) Of course they do! There’s no point in telling them they don’t.

Pride invites big-headed managers to blame others when things go poorly and honor themselves when things go right.

Correct an arrogant manager and you’ll likely be insulted for your trouble.

How to ignite growth in the arrogant:

Step one:

Invite your egotistical manager to think of someone who runs terrible meetings. Don’t name the manager. Ask, “What makes the worst meetings terrible?”

List every observation he makes. Don’t improve on his list. When he gives a reason for bad meetings, write it down. Ask, “And what else?”

Rank the manager who runs the very worst meetings a “1”.

Step two:

Ask your overconfident manager to think of a manager who consistently runs fantastic meetings. Ask:

  1. What makes the very best meetings great?
  2. What does the person leading the meeting do?
  3. What do they avoid?

List every observation he makes. When he gives a reason for great meetings, write it down. Ask, “And what else?”

Rank the manager who runs the very best meetings a “10”.

Step 3:

Ask your cocky manager to rank the meetings he runs. Don’t accuse or criticize. Say, “Where do you place yourself on the line between the very worst and the very best.

For this exercise, it doesn’t matter where he ranks himself, as long as it’s somewhere between 1 and 10. Don’t adjust his assessment.

Step 4:

Suppose he ranks his ability to run great meetings at an 8. Say, “That’s great. We’re all about growth here. How might you move to a 9?” Make a list of specific behaviors that improve meetings. Choose one behavior to try next time.

You don’t have to prove someone is lousy to encourage them to grow.

How might managers help arrogant team members grow?

How might you improve the four steps listed above?