Confident employees have everything going for them. They are valuable assets for companies owing to their self-motivated and positive nature. They exhibit leadership qualities, aren’t afraid to take risks and tend to be extremely reliable. But what happens when that ‘confidence’ turns into arrogance? How do you deal with a cocky team member who gets onto everyone’s nerves because they are so full of themselves? Turning a blind eye over someone’s toxic attitude will not bring about any change. As the team leader, it is your responsibility to mentor that overconfident employee before their behavior affects your team’s productivity.
Here are 4 ways to mentor an overconfident employee and approach this sensitive situation:
Have you always put off confronting the employee because you did not want to deal with their haughtiness? Well, it’s time to intervene now.
Sit them down and have an honest conversation with them about their alarming behavior and how it’s affecting the rest of the team. They need to know the difference between confidence and overconfidence and be clear on where they stand.
The goal of this conversation isn’t to put them down but to make them aware of their shortcomings and help them improve.
Beware – this won’t be an easy conversation to have because they are likely to retaliate and not accept their fault in the first go. They will try their best to justify their behavior by blaming everyone else. However, you need to be patient, assertive and ready with examples of their past behavior that justifies their troublesome attitude. Whatever the case, do not lose your temper, because it will only make matters worse.
Hold them Accountable
That overconfident employee needs to understand the gravity of the situation. Just because they are talented and good at their work certainly does not mean they can get away with being arrogant and it is in your hands to make this clear to them.
You are in a position to hold them accountable for their behavior so use it well. Explain to them that attitude matters and if their overconfident ways don’t change, then there will be serious consequences. Set a strict timeline and let them know you are serious about this.
So, you had the confrontation session, but the issue doesn’t end there. While you cannot expect someone to change overnight, you need to constantly track that employee’s progress. Speak to your other team members, have regular one-on-ones with that employee and closely observe their behavior. Feel free to offer constructive feedback from time to time to let them know how they are faring. Make sure every feedback session is properly documented – it helps to effectively keep track and identify patterns.
About Adela Belin
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To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success