December 11, 2017

Overcoming ego

Four business people in a discussion

We all have an ego. We couldn’t function properly without one. We need our sense of separateness.

On the other hand…

Our ego can blind us to the feedback we need to receive in order to grow and to develop or make the right decision. Unfortunately, we tend to reject input that threatens to disrupt our independent identity.

Somehow we need to regulate that tendency in ourselves.

Perhaps that’s work enough, but we also need to deal with it in other people…

We need to find ways of presenting the information they need without them rejecting it out of hand, because their ego won’t let them accept it.

How do we get someone in a position of authority to hear what they need to hear? Often not an easy thing, especially if they’re unaware of the effect of their own ego—if they don’t have that wisdom.

What’s the best way to speak truth to power?

One is to build a deep enough relationship with the person that we can get the message across without it “landing in the ego” by communicating “heart-to-heart.” That takes time and patience, of course.

Another is to express the point in relation to a third party, as in “My friend John” had such and such experience and decided on a certain course of action.

A third is to use the structure, Feel-Felt-Found, as in: “I know you feel x. Person y felt that too. They found z worked out well.”

How do you tackle this challenge?

What’s your approach to get someone to hear what they need to hear?

How do you side-step the ego?