How do you deal with an Ego Maniac?

I had the most interesting business meeting today.  In my 25 years of working, many of them in an executive capacity, I have yet to be in a meeting which was more like hazing than a conversation.  The person was fully aware of what he was doing, but could care less and said so with relish.  What do you do in such a situation?

I noticed getting offended and asked myself, “Is it you or your Ego that is getting offended?”  Just asking the question brought some clarity.  The fact was that it was I who requested the meeting with this person.  When I tried to assert myself, he was quick to remind me that I had requested to see him and if I wanted to be there, it was going to be his way.

I continued to monitor my feelings and reminded myself to focus my attention on the essence of what he was saying and not the way he was conveying it.  Many of the comments he made had good insights, but the delivery was rough.

While the two hours was uncomfortable and draining, he outlined many good ideas and strategies.  Since he made it clear that he focused on greed, I was having a tough time buying into the ideas and suggestions.  After leaving the meeting and having some time to reflect,  I noted that the goals that he set could be achieved without compromising any of my values.

It was my ability to create some distance with the person and the ideas that enabled me to process the situation in a healthy manner.

About Krishna Pendyala

Author of "Beyond the PIG and the APE: Realizing SUCCESS and true HAPPINESS". I am a life coach, speaker and workshop leader. My vision is to enhance life on our planet by raising awareness of the ego, in a simple manner. My commitment is to empower men and women make better choices to achieve joy and fulfillment, without protracted struggles or huge personal crises. I believe we can create an enlightened society where inner awareness empowers people to thrive in harmony.
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4 Responses to How do you deal with an Ego Maniac?

  1. Rebecca says:

    You did what we in Conflict Resolution call “Go to the Balcony.” Emotional flooding blocks our rational thought process, preventing us from making sound decisions. When you encounter a person who has such an affect, this anchoring device is meant to put you safely away. You are on the balcony, watching two people have this meeting below you. up there, your emotions are no longer a component of the interaction.

    You demonstrated incredible discipline by monitoring your emotions. By so doing, you were able to hear the content which was delivered so inelegantly, and it sounds like you have business coming as a result. That is a powerful skill to master, and I am getting a lot of practice these days.

    Being new in my career, I must constantly monitor conversations for overt undermining and subtle traces of condescension. Ego maniacs like you had today are one type, and they are unmistakable. Another type disguises itself as a potential client or a concerned acquaintance, and these types are tricky. To handle it, I use a variation of the balcony device. I create distance by envisioning that I am a secret agent, working on behalf of Rebecca. As her agent, I am shrewd in my observations and assessments (I am in fact well trained in these areas). If any content involves realistic critiques, I will alert her to them. If the person merely wishes to pontificate or to nay say, I let the words drop to the floor and watch people walk over them.

    It’s always an uncomfortable dance, wading through the muck of these interactions. Even when you find nothing of value, you sharpen your skills for the next encounter. And then it happens like it did for you today, where your sharpened skill put you in a place to do business. Congratulations, and I hope you enjoyed a nice glass of wine.

  2. Thank you so much Rebecca for taking the time to share your insights and perspective. I really grasped the balcony and the secret agent ideas. Cheers!

  3. Hope says:

    Hi Krishna,

    Interesting blog!

    Sri Sri Ravi Shankar gave some great advice on ego. He says that many times “Ego” is needed to accomplish some goals because it is the “Ego” which helps feed our self confidence and “can do” attitude. However, most people do not know when and how to use the “Ego”properly. Accoring to Sri Sri, most of the time the ego needs to be put in the pocket where it belongs.

    It is often easy to pinpoint weaknesses in others that we often fail to see in ourselves! We still operate in a world where most people have little to no contact with their inner being to see the inner being in others. It is our ego that gets hurt by others not our inner being or “higher self”.

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