Your ego plays a big role in maintaining your wellbeing. The ego is a necessary and healthy force in your life. For instance, you may call on your ego to help you persevere when confronted with setbacks or perceived failures. There are times, however, when your ego gets in the way and blocks your future success. Your ego can lead you astray and tell you that you are right; tell you to obstinately defend your point of view and shut out others.
I’m all for speaking out and standing up for what you believe in. I’ve seen too many women shy away from any confrontation in the workplace. I’ve witnessed how this has damaged their leadership potential. But there are times when we let our ego take over and it can sabotage us. One of those instances is when we only listen to ourselves and not to others.
Being open to listening to others is a critical component of leadership. Weighing all the options and then making decisions is what good leaders do.
I’ve seen women react to defending their position two ways. We can defer to others and drop our opinion because our default thinking is that everyone else must be right. (This behavior is also damaging to our reputation.) Or we can be so resolute in articulating our beliefs that we shut out everyone else because we think we are right. We feel threatened by other people’s opinions. This behavior does not support your future success.
It’s often a balance between having the strength of our opinions and the willingness to consider others. Finding this balance is important to establish your leadership presence.