Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
Distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development and Organizational Change
Narcissistic individuals have a strong sense of entitlement and often have difficulty handling criticism. Very quickly, they overreact and get defensive. Making matters worse, narcissists refuse to acknowledge that they have a problem. This all creates challenges for those who would manage them.To manage a narcissist, you need to mobilize the power of group dynamics. First, create a strong sense of team cohesion. A group setting makes dysfunctional acting out more noticeable, more controllable, more discussable, and therefore less acceptable. Peer pressure will push the narcissist to adapt to the group’s norms. Create a safe, somewhat playful space, and support the team as they deal with this difficult person.It’s hard to deal with a narcissist, but if you can create a group dynamic that keeps their worst tendencies in check, you’ll keep your best people - and get the best out of the rest.