Paul L. Caron

Friday, February 27, 2015

How to Tell If You’re a Jerk at Work

The JerkFollowing up on my previous post, Are You a Jerk at Work?:  Wall Street Journal, How to Tell if You’re a Jerk at Work, by  Daniel Ames (Columbia Business School) & Abbie Wazlawek (Columbia Business School):

Self-awareness is crucial in the workplace. It can also be dauntingly hard to get.

Knowing your own strengths and limitations, and how others see you and your behavior, has been linked to a range of positive outcomes. But when it comes to understanding how others see us, many of us are in the dark.

One example comes from our own research where we’ve asked negotiators at the end of a deal-making session to classify themselves as having been underassertive, overassertive or appropriately assertive. We also asked them the same question about their counterparts. When we compare how people categorize themselves with how their counterparts categorize them, the correspondence is disturbingly low—not much better than flipping a coin.


“Who cares if I don’t get how people see me?” some people respond. “Success isn’t a popularity contest.” It’s true that we’ve never met a leader who says obsessing over others’ views is their key to success. But we’ve met many who have stories to tell about how a lack of self-awareness has hurt them.

Not realizing how others see you leads to bad decisions and spoiled relationships. And when others sense that you’re clueless about your personality, it can undermine your general stature and credibility. Unfunny people who know they aren’t funny are one thing; unfunny people who think they’re hilarious are another entirely.

ABA Journal, Are You a Workplace Jerk? Overassertive Bosses Are Less Likely to Hear About It

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So what? Steve Jobs was a supreme "jerk at work" who created the highest-valued company in the world that has billions of smiling customers.

Posted by: Jimbino | Feb 27, 2015 1:20:20 PM