By Mike Reddington, CFI. I’m going to shoot straight here. When it comes to loss prevention, the question I get the most from HR, operations managers and business owners is, “Why are they so arrogant?” My answer is typically some variation of “I don’t know.” To be fair, not every loss prevention manager or executive is arrogant. However, if your blood pressure just shot through the roof and you thought, “That’s not me!”…well, it probably is you.
I’ve heard several theories regarding how these egos were developed. It could be from terminating people, from being looked at as the cool job in the company, from the access to confidential information, or it could have generated from the process of interviewing dishonest employees and getting confessions. Regardless of the answer, it is unhealthy and unproductive.
How often do you like talking with arrogant people? Do you feel good telling them your secrets? Do you like to do favors for them or complete tasks for them in your free time? I’m going to bet you don’t. To be successful in LP, we have to be great influencers and being perceived as arrogant makes that extremely difficult. An arrogant approach is often short, condescending, and devoid of empathy. Arrogant people typically don’t concern themselves with the needs and feelings of others, believe they know everything and don’t accept outside ideas or strategies. Arrogance alienates.
So let’s get positive. The important question now is, “How do we come across as humble?” Here are some ideas:
- Make the conscious decision to put your ego in your back pocket. Decide to put other people and perspectives in front of yours.
- Don’t forget your roots. We have all struggled at some point. We have all held different positions in the food chain. Don’t ever forget that.
- Own up to it when you make a mistake. The faster the better. Don’t try and put it off on anyone else. Being wrong isn’t typically a bad thing…being a jerk about it is.
- Even better, take the hit for other people. Especially those that work for you..
- Be self-deprecating. Seriously… make fun of yourself when you say or do something dumb. It is endearing and people will appreciate it.
- Don’t take credit for other people’s work. In fact, give other people credit for your work when they assist you with it.
- Say “Thank you” as often as possible. A great way to show your humility is to show appreciation for the efforts and actions of others.
- Make some sacrifices. Take a couple tough tasks that you really don’t want to do. Other people will take notice.
- Use people’s names when you talk to them.
- Before you make a decision, think about how it would affect the other people involved first.
- Speak with empathy in your body language, tone of voice, and words.
- Remember, people are not here to serve you. You are here to help people achieve everything they are capable of.
I will leave you to consider this: When you get to the top, do you want to look back at a pile of people whose backs you trampled on? Or do you want to turn and see all the people you helped succeed standing right behind you?