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Narcissistic Leadership & The Empathy Antidote


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Narcissism. The incessant, sound clip buzzword sweeping the cyberspace and flooding your feed.


The oxford dictionary defines the trait as an excessive interest in oneself.


Selfish.

Grandiose.

Arrogant.

A sense of entitlement.

A need for admiration.

A fragile self-esteem…


…and the main focal point of this episode:

A lack of empathy.


Narcissists struggle building authentic relationships, relating to others, managing stress, and having a solidified identity outside of professional or familial roles. All of which directly negatively impact the stakeholder hat trick of: retention, engagement, and productivity.


AGENDA:

  • We’ll unpack the pros and cons of narcissistic leadership to help organizations and its contributors leverage powerful strengths and address damaging red flags.

  • We’ll discuss emotional intelligence and empathy, and it’s sweeping positive effect on organizational leadership and overall quality of life.

  • In addition to reviewing recent research on emotional regulation providing you substantial takeaways to improve this skill today.


A 30-year study spanning from 1979 to 2009 found a sharp 48% decline in self-reported empathy of American students. Just ask anyone with an Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok handle. The comment sections are packed with judgmental keyboard crusaders out here trying to ruin a stranger’s day.




Additionally, a 2020 Cigna survey reports 3:5 (61%) Americans report feeling lonely which is up 7% from 2018. The tl;dr is that we are most definitely unwell.


In large part to a lack of social support, infrequent meaningful interactions, inauthentic relationships, poor physical and mental health, and a lack of balance to prioritize needs and interests.


In addition to the overwhelming societal pressures like the increasing generational wage gap that’s leaving half of young adults living with their parents, not because they’ve adopted a value around multigenerational living but because they can’t afford not to. Then we add the historical and astronomical costs of education, childcare, and ya know…food.


The fact that we’re currently hanging in the balance of massive student loan forgiveness with exorbitant real estate costs kinda helps deflate the claim that this dire situation simply stems from a luxury bag, avocado toast, and café ole addiction, doesn’t it?




Our society’s systemic racial and gender inequalities keep us focused on “making it” rather than “taking care” of ourselves and others, resulting in scarcity-minded selfishness instead of compassionate community.


Mental health challenges continue to be historically high. The UN estimates the pandemic increased depression and anxiety rates by an average of 25-27% and last year it was estimated that whopping 1:4 of us suffer from mental health conditions.


With the stigma surrounding the topic and those who don’t report challenges or seek support, it’s probably worse. Especially for boys and men who culturally are shamed for discussing their emotional landscape.


So how does this impact organizational leadership? Well for starters, most leaders are men and according to NIH data, men also happen to be more narcissistic, most notably in entitlement and authority.


It’s been reported that around 18% of leaders display narcissistic behavior, in addition to a series of studies showing that half of the entire organizational management pool is simply ineffective.




The narcissistic leader is not drive by empathetic concern for people, but for the power and admiration they receive from success. Heinz Kohut, an Austrian Psychoanalyst, suggested that the trait is developmental in nature, individuals moving through stages, rather than a pathological ailment we acquire.


Maturity shown through an awareness of self and the ability to recognize shortcomings through behaviors like humor and creativity. While pathological narcissism arises when one does not have that awareness and spends energy “seeking recognition from idealized parental substitutes as an emotional salve against their own shortcomings.” This quote coming from a 2006 Yale article entitled “Narcissistic Leadership” by Seth Rosenthal.


This pairs well with Attachment theory that suggests our ability to build secure authentic relationships as adults is largely influenced by the secure relationships we experienced as infants and young children.


Though, this developmental view is commonly discarded, when there is a lack of or stunted growth, for the idea that narcissism and attachment reflect a pathological process.


Now, I am not a licensed mental health provider, but even as a registered nurse, I’m less interested in the pathology for our purposes here. Plus, hostility and low self-esteem are not even a part of the diagnostic criteria, yet are joined at the hip with narcissism, posing significant problems from a leadership perspective.


So, since we’re not in the business of diagnosing; let’s drop the labels, and the stigma that comes with them, and chat observable behaviors.


As a learning and development facilitator, I’ll focus on narcissism and empathy through a developmental lens; the lens from which organizational coaching & psychology play a pivotal role in the necessary culture shift toward empathy.


  1. Charisma: an ability to charm people. It’s like that tote bag that reads “Carry yourself with the confidence of a mediocre white man.”v

  2. Self-Interested Influence: This is that sense of entitlement and a focus on maintaining and protecting a positive self-image.

  3. Deceptive Motivation: This encompasses so much…ready: impulsivity, a desire for revenge, an inability to learn from one’s mistakes, little consideration for potential negative outcomes and operating from desired expectations rather than objective reality.

  4. Intellectual Inhibition: Emotional immaturity and hypersensitivity to criticism coupled with a need for admiration. They break at a drop of constructive feedback but are chomping at the bit for an equal sized piece of praise.

  5. Simulated Consideration: sympathy over empathy, a lack of remorse, callousness, manipulation, exploitation.


To feedback sandwich this, let’s start with leveraging the strengths of the narcissistic leader, as without these, they would probably have never gotten the job in the first place.


To start, they have great vision and are willing to take risk. To quote an HBR article paraphrasing the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw “some people see things as they are and ask why; narcissists see things that never were and ask why not.” Think Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and General Electric’s Jack Welch. All historical visionaries that changed our technological and cultural landscape while simultaneously ignored criticism, doubt and lacked empathy throughout the process.




To back up that vision, they also have scores of followers and loyal right-hand men. Largely due to being great speakers; it’s that charisma, ya know? Though, as more and more people hop on board, this leader becomes more indignant to those who disagree, ignoring caution and advice.


Surprisingly, narcissistic leaders have been shown to the have higher ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) Scores which includes things like climate change adaptation, employee health and wellbeing, and DEI. Though it’s been noted that positive social attention and admiration may be fueling this focus, rather than altruism and a belief in inclusion and equality.


They’ve also been shown to lead organizations with good governance features like written consent and simple majorities. Though they are also likely to have unequal share voting rights. It’s been noted that this may be due to the narcissist’s belief and ability to control the board and therefore these structures, while good on paper, may actually not be indicative of high quality governance.


To sum up, they’re charming and persuasive, comfortable with taking risk, and have a drive to overachieve.


Here’s how we can leverage these:


Pitches & Presentations:

Because they’re charming, they may do well in presentation or pitch meetings. Convincing the audience of their idea with dramatic and persuasive language. For example, if we’re interested in expanding our DEI program, we may be able to get this type of leader to champion the project – even if their reasons for doing so are superficial.


Is it wrong to manipulate a manipulator? The jury is still out for me on this one.



Innovation & Brainstorming:

Risk-taking is essential to innovation and with narcissists being big picture contributors, comfortable taking risk, think tanks and brainstorm - any idea is a good idea - sessions may be a place where they can shine. Though, they may also cause us agonizing blindness.


Michael Maccoby, in his 2004 HBR article entitled Narcissistic Leaders: The Incredible Pros, the Inevitable Cons highlights five main weakness of these leaders:


  1. Sensitive to Criticism: through their hard exterior, we see that narcissists are extraordinarily sensitive and usually lack self-esteem and a sense of self. Due to their lack of awareness, or acceptance of their shortcomings and emotional landscape, they are usually intolerant of others. Especially when others dissent or challenge them. They say teamwork but what they really mean is “yes, boss”.

  2. Poor Listeners: because of their inability to tolerate criticism, they tend to tune out anyone who isn’t offering them praise. It’s important to note that true narcissists won’t change simply by reading this, listening to it's corresponding podcast or participating in a workshop. They don’t think they need it, especially if they’re successful. So, there’s little we can do to reach those people. They have to want to change. Instead, this coaching is really for you to deal with them.

  3. Lack Empathy: This can be seen as a strength in certain context for when mergers, acquisitions, layoffs and facility moves or closures are underway. And it’s usually in these desperate times that we’ll tolerate them more than usual. But really, what they’re skilled at is manipulation and exploitation. They know how to play the game and use people as pawns to achieve their goals.

  4. Avoid Coaching: Because this type of leader lacks empathy and the ability to be vulnerable, they’re simply not coachable. They usually churn out cookie cutter versions of themselves when they play a mentor role, instead of supporting an individual’s growth process.

  5. Hyper Competitive: We see this through excessive internal competition, paranoia, a sense of urgency, and stress.


Negative Outcomes of Narcissistic Leadership include extreme performance outcomes, aggressive strategy, poor acquisitions, and lower quality earnings. In addition to:

  • Stock-Price Performance: In a 2021 Stanford study they found that relative to the S&P 500, more narcissistic CEOs underperform by 12% while less narcissistic leaders outperform by 11%. That’s a 23% difference in performance just due to personality traits.

  • CEO pay: That same study found that narcissistic CEOs make 33% more than non-narcissistic leaders. Though when compared to other senior executive’s pay, there was little difference.



A meta-analysis of destructive leadership and its outcomes stated that bad leadership or abusive supervision costs US companies $23.8 billion annually and results in employee absenteeism, employee burnout and high attrition rates. For more on this, checkout the Burnout episode from early February.


An organization depends on its people to build relationships, innovate, communicate, and collaborate on something larger than one person’s contribution, and effectively manage conflict.


Empathy is what allows us to maximize skills in those areas. Emotional intelligence, while it can produce deep self-awareness, it may also inadvertently lower optimism, confidence, and risking-taking. All qualities essential for effective leadership. Though awareness, effective communication and solid conflict management skills may outweigh that outcome.



ORGANIZATIONAL COACHING:


If we are to move away from scarcity mindset and narcissism to cultivate community, empathy is how we do that. Empathy is an antidote to cynicism, which permeates our workspaces and a criterion for burnout; in addition to emotional exhaustion which is caring too much for too long. As well as a sense of futility like nothing you do is going to make a difference so why try.


Cynicism is the belief that people are selfish, greedy, and dishonest. The ongoing hybrid work conversation is a perfect example of where empathy could be beneficial instead of assuming work from homers are kickin’ back on the company’s dime and demanding they be in the office more.




Having and displaying empathy are different as we not only need to understand someone’s perspective but actively share emotions and experiences to be effective. One way to uncover someone’s ability is through 360 Feedback. While a narcissistic leader may be resistant to coaching, we can construct an organizational system for feedback that doesn’t single them out per se.


The Center for Creative Leadership’s Benchmarks 360 instrument rates leaders on their

  • Sensitivity to signs of overwork in others

  • Interest in the needs, hopes, and dreams of other people.

  • Willingness to help an employee with personal problems.

  • Compassion when other people disclose a personal loss




We can incorporate the Big Five Model to assess varying personality traits:

  • Extraversion. Characterized by excitability, sociability, talkativeness, assertiveness, and emotional expression.

  • Agreeableness. Characterized by trust, altruism, kindness, affection, and other prosocial behaviors.

  • Conscientious. Characterized by high levels of thoughtfulness, impulse control, and goal-directed behaviors.

  • Emotional stability. Characterized by effective stress management, relaxed behavior, and low levels of worry, sadness, or depression.

  • Openness: Characterized by creativity, adventuresomeness, and a focus on tackling new challenges.


When I think about the tools at our disposable, 360 is a great source of feedback and expanding view of reality, and personality assessments like a Clifton Strengths Finder or Hogan Personality Inventory can help gauge the traits I just noted.


All these tools could be a part of a coach or consultant proposal where more than just that one narcissistic leader participate: potentially lowering the chance of defensiveness and increasingly the chance of positive change.


According to the Society of Human Resource Management, 40% of employees say their managers fail to engage in honest conversation leading to disengagement. And 3 in 10 say their manager doesn’t encourage a culture of open and transparent communication.


So, in the absence of a coach or consultant, we can take matters into our own hands by adding competencies to performance evaluations:

  • Self-Awareness: one understands personal strengths and weaknesses. Though 360 feedback is the best way to assess this, we can also incorporate subordinate reviews of their managers. This assists us in make sound and profitable decisions. It’s still so shocking to me how many of you are not asked to rate your boss’ performance.

  • Self-Management: emotional regulation, outward displays of overwhelm or stress. Optimism or pessimism – both are essential but are they being used effectively.

  • Social Awareness: this is the global understanding and demonstrating of empathy.

  • Relationship Management: ability to building authentic relationships, influence, coach, and mentor others, and resolve conflict.


This is a good time to note that unresolved conflict is a. The average employee spends 2.5 hours per week distracted by ineffective conflict resolution, while the typical manager spends up to 42% dealing with, not managing, or resolving, conflict. Prioritizing effective communication over the “cat and mouse” or “finger pointing game” would do us all a great service. You can find effective communication research and training in the episode “Have Better Conversations Today”.


The Center for Creative Leadership suggests that organization would be well served to prioritize the following:

  • Talk openly about empathy by highlighting that technical skills are just a piece to a much large puzzle, that involves supporting the human at work. Doing this does much more for wellbeing and productivity than task management.

  • Teach listening skills that involve paying attention to the speaker’s and your own behaviors and observing how body language relates to their verbal contribution. Learning how to listen for understanding vs listening to respond is essential to building relationships, innovative collaboration, and effective conflict resolution. This demonstrates respect and builds trust. More in depth listening coaching can be found in the Conversations episode I just mentioned.

  • Encourage genuine perspective taking by expanding social identity awareness. This is essential for inclusion and ultimately belonging which the real goal. Yes, equality numbers are important but does everyone feel like they belong and have a place? That’s the metric. Here's a social identity exercise to explore more of your own landscape.

  • Cultivate compassion by supporting empathetic leaders and allowing time for reflection and response. Best way to do that – develop a coaching program or hire an external coach.

  • Support global managers: who work across multiple cultural and boundaries landscapes. You may see how this coincides with the perspective taking and social identity awareness we just discussed. This focus helps us increase organizational agility to a dynamic marketplace, be flexible to solve problems and adapt to change, advance cross-organizational innovation, and develop a global mindset for cross-regional collaboration.


In the last segment of this post, we’ll explore what we can do as individuals dealing with our own narcissism or when confronted with a difficult person to keep our footing and boundaries intact.


INDIVIDUAL COACHING:


The first method is one that you may have heard before, especially if you’ve been in therapy and it’s called the Grey Rock Method. This is used when the person you’re talking to is trying to manipulate, convince or bullying you into agreement. Narcissists gain energy from exploiting others so fighting back is exactly what they’re hoping for. They crave emotional dysregulation, because it shows them, they have control over others. To prevent them from gaining this control, we want to make ourselves seem as uninteresting and boring as possible. Like a grey rock. They make some outlandish claim and instead of jumping into defense or shutting down out of fear, we respond with something like: “Oh, thank you for sharing your perspective, I’ll be sure to reflect on that.” The goal here is to lower the emotional temperature so they get bored and move on. It gives middle school bully energy.


Bridging the gap between our own narcissism and dealing with others is improving communication skills.


The main pillars of my coaching philosophy are:

  • Stress Awareness & Management

  • Authentic Relationship Building & Trust

  • Emotional Intelligence and Care of Self & Others

  • Effective Communication & Conflict Resolution.


I’ve talked about it a million times since the start of this post but listen to the better conversations episode for more communication training. Here is also my free 15 min communication awareness training.


Managing our own narcissism is difficult because it’s so deeply ingrained into our psyche. To help expand awareness find a colleague you trust to tell you when you’re getting a little too… ya know…whatever your go to narcissistic behaviors are: shutting own opposing ideas, outwards displays of aggression, inability to hold to multiple perspectives objectively.


They can be that person in the meeting to give you a side glance that helps you evaluate your behavior in the moment. Allowing you to choose a different adventure.


One of the first emotional intelligence development tools I learned and continue to use is the RULER model by Marc Brackett, who is the director at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.


We’ll end this post by reviewing this instrument and emotional regulation techniques.


R: RECOGNIZE: According to Brackett, recognizing emotion this is the first step in emotional intelligence. Here, we want to ask ourselves: “How am I feeling?”. It is a very important and resourceful skill to be able to stop our analytical mind and assess our emotional state. Questions to ask ourselves can look like


  • “Is my energy up or down?”

  • “Am I feeling pleasant or unpleasant?”

  • “Do I want company, or do I want to be alone?”

  • “Am I holding any tension in my body?”


When it comes to recognizing emotions in others, it may be difficult since we all express our emotions differently. We want to use our active listening to notice body language and ask open ended, non-leading questions like the ones above to uncover more.


U: UNDERSTAND: This is where we get honest with ourselves about why we feel the way we do. We’re peeling the onion. As Brackett puts it: “the core skill of Understanding is the search for the underlying theme or possible cause that fueled the emotion. Examples of questions we can ask ourselves are things like:


  • “What was I doing right before this happened?”

  • “What has happened recently that might be involved?”

And if it has to do with an interaction with someone:

  • “What has happened before with this person that might be connected?”


When trying to understand someone else, we must put our own feelings and biases aside and focus on the person’s individual experiences, independent of our own. Not only can we ask questions to gather more information, but we can also offer support:

  • “What do you need right now?”

  • “What can I do to support you?”


L: LABEL: Here, we zero in on exactly what we’re experiencing to the depth where we can precisely name it. This step is so important because without the proper vocabulary to label our emotion(s), we don’t process them effectively. Labeling our emotions achieves 4 main things:

  1. It legitimizes and organizes our experiences. It makes what we’re experiencing matter instead of ignoring or stuffing it down.

  2. It helps others meet our needs by allowing them to focus on our description of our experience instead of the behavior surrounding it. Especially if that behavior was insensitive.

  3. Helps us meet the needs of others for the same reason.

  4. It connects us to the rest of the world. We relate to each other within our humanity. Research suggests social connectivity is related to positive health outcomes as I discuss in the burnout episode.


The problem is our emotional vocabulary is pitiful. So, a friend or co-worker comes up to you and asks: “how are you?”. And what is your usual response?... “I’m okay”.




We’ve gotten into this unhealthy habit where we fain interest in each other’s and our own wellbeing without creating a safe place for vulnerability exploration.


Affective labeling is linked to lower activation in the amygdala, which is where we experience emotions, and a higher activation in the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (RVLPFC) which supports emotional regulation. For example, if you’re predisposed to anger but you begin to effectively label the emotions in same family as anxious, frustrated, frightened, or peeved then we can prevent ourselves from going 0-60 with anger as the default emotion and process the current neural pathway causing that reaction.


We can create new neural pathways that allow us to respond in a more conscious and controlled way. To help expand our emotional vocabulary we can use tools like a mood meter or an feelings wheel.


E: EXPRESS: The first 3 steps Dr. Brackett walks us through are internal experiences. Now, is where the risk increases when we ask ourselves “Can I share this?”. We need to decide how much, when, where and with whom.


We wonder will I be judged? Accepted? Understood? Am I capable of owning these feelings enough to share them?


So, in this step we are not only formulating a description of our emotions but deciding who has access, based on their ability to hold space, and diminish or try to fix.


R: REGULATE: James Gross, an authority on emotion regulation, defines it as “the process by which individuals influence which emotions they have, when they have them, and how they experience and express these emotions.” Regulation is how we maintain our footing instead of getting swept away or by shutting down.


Our first goal with regulation is to manage our own emotional responses, but when practiced enough we can extend this to others which is called co-regulation.


It is not about, not feeling. It’s not about tightly controlling or forbidding negative emotions. It is about giving ourselves and others permission to feel. Which is Brackett’s aptly named book. When we think about regulating our emotions – self-care is at the top of our toolkit.


Let’s end by reviewing 5 Emotional Regulation tools:


Mindful breathing: Mindful breathing helps calm your stress system. Breath work can be practiced a variety of ways, so I encourage you to do your own research for the technique that resonates with you the most. The 5-5-7 breath is a great place to start. You inhale for a count of 5, hold for a count of 5, and exhale for a count of 7. The amount of time doesn’t really matter, so tune into your body here. The point is, that you’re holding at the top and exhaling longer than inhaling. Losing track or being annoyed with counting is common so an alternative should be saying “in/out” “slow/down” “peace/calm” and “fuck/off”




In an excerpt from Brackett’s book: “Research suggests that just fifteen minutes of [mindful breathing] daily can positively affect our attunment to family and friends, emotional reactivity, attention, memory, immune function, hypertension, asthma, autonomic nervous system imbalances, and mental health.


Forwarding Looking Strategies: are having foresight, based on knowing yourself well or having a previous similar experience, to anticipate an emotional reaction and either avoid or modify your participation in that environment. This skill takes a level of self-awareness and personal honesty to know what gets under your skin so you can plan accordingly. This could mean picking a different seat at the Thanksgiving dinner table to avoid a toxic family member, formulating go-to responses for contentious work meetings, or offering your mother-in-law ways you’d appreciate her help when she visits rather than boiling over her lack of boundaries.


Attention-Shifting Strategies aka distractions:

  • Food: Diet Culture teaches us that we should view emotional eating as weakness, so I’d like to address that. I read a tweet by an anti-diet dietician that said something like Diet culture is so engrained in us that you can’t even read of business development book without it smacking you in the face, and throughout my years of education in this field, I couldn’t agree more. To use Brackett’s “Permission to Feel” as an example, he talks about using food for coping as a dicey option because of the physical implications. And yes, if we used food as our only coping strategy for every emotionally experience, problems would arise. Though this would most likely be considered binging and not intuitive eating, so I think recognizing this detail is important. However, it is perfectly normal and human to use comfort food to soothe our emotions. Babies do this in infancy, and we continue to do it as adults. Social events tend to center around food because food is comforting. If we are making choices from a conscious, present place, food absolutely can be used as a tool for emotional regulation. It just should be amongst other strategies in our arsenal, that’s all.

  • Procrastination: is strategy that allows us to extend time before experiencing the emotions. Procrastinating things like laundry are about avoiding the chore but sometimes it’s not the task but the emotion that we’re avoiding. Like when we procrastinate a difficult conversation with a colleague or getting started on a tedious work project. We all know this strategy works in the moment, but inevitability has negative consequences ranging from emotional turmoil, messing up the final product, or forgetting it all together.

  • Self-Talk: is quite the buzzword on social so let break it down a bit. All it means is the way we internally talk to and about ourselves. Negative self-talk activates the stress response, while compassionate self-talk releases the feel-good hormone oxytocin. This is the same hormone that’s released during breastfeeding which emotionally connects mom and baby. Or during orgasm which connects two people together. One tip to improve self-talk is to talk to yourself in the third person. This strategy has been shown to give ourselves the same graces we would extend to someone else in a similar circumstance.


Cognitive Reframing Strategies: pull out nuggets of knowledge from a situation to find the lesson learned; the silver lining. This can be similar to Cognitive Behavior Coaching where people are encouraged to seek alternative ways of seeing their circumstances and find another way to relate and navigate through it. In this strategy, we are reframing then choosing to react to that reframe. Research has found that reappraisal dampens activity in the amygdala – where we experience emotion, and instead activates the lateral temporal cortical areas of the brain which help temper emotional responses.


We must be aware that this technique could backfire and make excuses for toxic behavior. For example: you reframe an embarrassing moment you had in a work meeting after your boss called you out about something. But after further thought, you see that this is an ongoing behavior of his and he singles you out over others a lot. So, yes…use cognitive reframing in the moment to help regulate emotions but give yourself time to debrief afterward. Did the reframe work? Am I seeing all the angles and how will it affect me in the long run?


Meta-Moment: This strategy is the hardest to implement because this is connecting with our highest selves and acting in the way they would. Before we can even consider what action they would take, we first, need to calm down. We need to hit the pause button. We need to gather our wits to make sure we understand all the information before reacting. This is the time to use other regulation techniques to get our minds and bodies ready for this intellectual exercise. Maybe we take some deep breaths, move our bodies, cry… whatever you need to do to get ready.


Pausing activates the parasympathetic nervous system – think freeze when we talk about fight/flight/freeze. We are pushing the breaks on the sympathetic nervous system – which reduces the cortisol stress hormone and lowers the emotional temperature. Once we’re there and we ask, “what would my higher self do?”


This brings us out of the emotional circumstance and into our values. This could include ignoring the trigger because you’ve determined it’s not worth your time or standing up for yourself because it’s important to you. Let’s break down this down into steps. First you’re going to:

  • Sense the Shift: This is where we need to tune into ourselves because it’s the only way, we’re going to notice the change before it’s too late. Pay attention to what happens in your body during stress. Usually it's something like getting hot, flushed face, sweaty palms, etc. Then you’re going to

  • Stop or Pause: Hang up, walk away, stop talking. In fact, just stop all together. Just hit the pause button in the way you see fit in the moment. A fieldwork client of mine decided to hang a post it on her computer that says “Stop-Think-Consider” to help her remember to this step and extending her thinking outside of her own perception.

  • Envision Your Best Self: Think of the traits your best self has so they become vividly clear. It can also help to imagine someone you respect watching you, how would you react? And finally

  • Strategize & Act: Once we’re clear on our best selves and the actions they take, we can develop a plan and execute it calmly and confidently.


Throughout this post we discussed narcissistic leadership and its damaging effects on organizations and their people. And it’s antidote: compassionate leadership focuses on self-awareness and relationship building through careful listening, empathy to support the entire human at work; resulting in improved employee well-being and a stronger bottom line for the organization.



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