The All-In Way™ evolved from the book Put Your Whole Self In! Life and Leadership the Hokey Pokey Way. The book, which was published in 2010, captured the All-In mantra that has evolved from, or perhaps sparked, a grassroots movement. All are welcome to share their experiences, strategies, and insights related to living and leading All-In.
There is a fine line between
confidence and arrogance. The topic has been on my mind, and I wasn’t sure
where to draw the line, so I briefly researched and asked a dozen people for
According to dictionaries and
different people, the difference between confidence and arrogance has to do
with how one views others.
Confident people believe in
themselves. They know they are competent, and their belief is not dependent on
others. They may enjoy feedback and recognition, but they do not require it in
order to feel good about themselves.
Arrogant people’s confidence depends
on others’ weaknesses. They even point out others’ errors and faults to make
themselves appear better. One colleague said, “Arrogant people only feel smart
if someone else feels stupid.”
The tricky part about confidence
and arrogance is that the line is so thin between them, it makes for a slippery
slope. Confidence often turns in to arrogance after success.
Success requires confidence.
Success requires the confidence to take risks regarding investments,
innovations, and interactions. However, success can cause insecurity: when will
the next risk pay off? What if the next one does not turn out well? What if
that was a one-time success? The insecurity wears a mask called arrogance,
hence, the slippery slope from confidence to arrogance.
Each article I read about arrogance
described it as a cover for insecurity. Isn’t that interesting? The very thing
arrogant people despise, weakness or insecurity, is what they are covering by
putting others down to prop themselves up.
One of the most highly regarded experts on
arrogance is University of Akron Dean Stanley Silverman who spent four years
working with a research team to quantify arrogance.
"Here's what happens,"
Silverman said. "I'm worried that other people are going to realize that
I'm not very competent at my job, so I'm going to put other people down,
criticize others and belittle my employees because somehow I think I'm going to
look better that way. If I put down everybody around me, it makes my candle
shine a little brighter." (SOURCE: www.cleveland.com)
The following eight behaviors are
how arrogant people make their candle shine brighter:
2.Look for criteria other than business performance to use when measuring
success. Since business performance might not be so good, arrogant people focus
on their degree, school, or job title.
3.One-up others. Arrogant people have the best of the best and worst of the
worst of whatever experience is being discussed. They have the best book
published, the worst cold the doctor has ever seen, the best behaved child, the
worst boss. They did the biggest project with the most difficult client for the
most money ever. Confident people don’t need to brag. They let their work speak
4.Have an answer for everything. Arrogant people will rarely say, “I don’t
know but will find out.”
5.Interrupt frequently because they are not really listening.
6.Avoid eye contact because they don’t care about others unless they need
something from the person.
7.Arrive late to meetings because their time is more valuable than everyone
8.Blame others for errors or low performance. It’s never their fault the team is
What other behaviors do you
attribute to arrogance? The more we know, the better able we will be to ensure
we are not sliding down that slope.
1.Recognizing our own arrogant behavior can help improve our relationships
with our colleagues. The following eight suggestions also can help if you have
to work with arrogant people:
2.Point at them and declare, “I know why you’re so arrogant: because you are
weak!” in your best eight-year-old nah-nah-nah voice. Just kidding—don’t
confront them. They will see it as a compliment and it will just waste your
3.Build your own confidence so you do not have time to give attention to
4.Spend free time with positive people who do not diminish your
accomplishments or try to impress you. Minimize the time you spend with the
5.Admire and recognize the accomplishments of others. When the arrogant
person sees you acknowledge someone else, he might alter his behavior in his
quest for approval.
6.Keep secrets to yourself. Anything you tell an arrogant person could end up
as fodder for her own esteem-boosting if she resorts to putting you down to
pull herself up.
7.Do not badmouth the arrogant colleague. Some people actually believe any
press is good press. Also, gossiping can lead to wasting too much time on a
topic not worth it.
8.Include others in your conversations with the arrogant person. “Russell, we
have heard your view. Now it is time to hear from Sally.”
9.Most importantly, realize their arrogance is not about you.
What else have you done to work
successfully with arrogant people?
Since this topic has been on my
mind, I asked a group of business professionals recently how many of them have
ever worked with an arrogant colleague. Every hand raised high. When I asked if
they were the arrogant person, all hands went down.
"If you're being arrogant,
you're going to derail your own career," said Stanley Silverman, an
organizational and industrial psychologist. "It's just a matter of when.
Nobody is irreplaceable."Even when
an arrogant person is more skilled, the confident person will win out because
they can work better with others internally and externally.
When it comes down to it,
performance matters. No one will work their hardest for someone who puts them
down or tries to make them feel inferior. The good news is that if you’ve begun
the slippery slope from confidence to arrogance, you can get back on track and
salvage your reputation.