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Chapter 30. Using Emotional Intelligence... > Keeping the Barbarians Outside the G...

Keeping the Barbarians Outside the Gates

There is a great deal that companies can do to avoid hiring and promoting narcissistic managers. There are three key elements: being aware of the warning signs, paying attention to them, and diligently looking into situations that present warning signs. We often ignore or make excuses when we see warning signs. We tend to believe bosses over subordinates even though it is subordinates who have firsthand information. We also often ignore the signs of narcissism because they remind us of some of our own behavior and because we often equate high confidence with capability rather than with grandiosity.

The easiest way to guard the walls from grandiose managers is by screening for them before they are hired. Behavioral event interviewing is a good way to begin the screening process. Ask applicants to talk about a time when things went well and a time when things did not go well. As the applicants speak about each of these events, pay attention to what they thought the key success and failure factors were. Do they keep all credit for themselves or share it with others? Do they go on and on about how extraordinary they were? Do they pride themselves on having manipulated or used others? Do they note mistakes they made, or do they blame others for all mistakes?


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