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    This is Why you Need Effective Tips to Deal with a Narcissist Manager

    Published July 27, 2017

    Working in an organization requires that you abide by some work ethics which makes the environment conducive for multicultural and socially-diverse existence. Dealing with a Narcissist makes it extra difficult. While it is understandable that we all have different personal characteristics, the workplace should be a place of social and professional growth.

    In an office where your manager is always off the chart in his or her emotional response, lacks the self-awareness to bragging, disrespects, criticizes and blames his subordinates with no sense of responsibility, a careful strategy must be employed to deal with such a boss.

    If the above descriptions bear witness to your experience under a boss, you are most likely working under a narcissistic manager and you need some professional skills in dealing with him.

    How To Know Your Manager Is Narcissistic

    Before I detail some of the effective tips you need to handle him, you will need to know some of the signs of a narcissistic manager.

    The U.S. National Library of Medicine views a narcissistic boss as a manager with a lasting pattern of grandiose beliefs and arrogance combined with an excessive need for admiration. He lacks empathy for others.

    In the same vein, Forbes described such a leader as being outwardly charming but inwardly a snake. Such a boss has the Narcissistic Personality Disorder in which case, he has obsessive self-interest with overt beliefs in his self-importance, disregards the feelings of others, and reacts to criticism with rage and humiliation while exaggerating his achievements.

    3 Effective Ways To Deal With A Narcissistic Manager

    There is no doubt that working with a boss who is exploitative; obsessed with his ideas of accomplishments with amplified self-importance and lacks empathy is difficult. If you, therefore, want to remain under such a boss, you need to understand these effective tips.
    1. Recognize His or Her Personality Traits

    To work well under a narcissistic boss, you need to recognize his moods and behavior patterns. Dig deep into understanding his likes and dislikes and what inspires him. You must also understand that his or her moods – good or bad – are short-lived, but you need to also know that he’s very vindictive and would do anything to stop any threat to his superiority. He or she will do everything to demand attention. No matter what happens, avoid gossiping and direct confrontation.

    2. Using ERA Principle On Your Boss

    ERA principle encourages Empathy, Respect, and Attention towards your boss. This means that you listen with keen interest, compliment him occasionally, ask advice on issues, encourage and provide thanks for contributions to issues, etc. All these are geared towards making him feel he or she is still in charge while at the same time give you the desired freedom to do your official duties. I am not telling you to lie to your manager, look for opportunities to stroke his or her ego, but without encouraging bad behavior.

    3. Explore Naturalistic Options

    While you understand that your boss lacks competent social skills, avoid being defensive and show great strength in understanding his inadequacies. Flatter and compliment him or her only where you are together. Where the behavior is impossible for you, remain optimistic and neutral. Possibly limit your time with him or her in a non-obvious way.

    Start documenting your experiences with him or her and start exploring options for a new organizational experience. These could be seeking employment in a new organization or applying for a different position in the same organization. Read up the company’s policy on bullying so you are prepared if things get ugly. Demonstrate your leadership prowess by carrying out your analysis and go with positive and stronger alternative.


    Dealing with a narcissistic boss might be difficult, but getting through the morass is worth it. The Harvard Business Review advocates that you deepen your understanding of what makes your narcissistic manager proud while observing his or her impression on others. Learn what inspires him or her and explore the option of staying or seeking a new workplace.

    Want to know more Effective Tips to Deal with a Narcissist Manager in the workplace? We would be excited to give you our best ideas. Please Click here to connect with one of Magna Leadership’s advisors.

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