Confidence is key in the workplace, especially for female professionals. By definition, confidence is knowing that you are capable of something, which is exactly what employers are looking for when they choose someone to trust with an important task. But sometimes, confidence can cross a fine line and turn into arrogance. Where confidence is a positive assertion about your own abilities, arrogance goes a step further and says that everyone else is inferior. For obvious reasons, this is much less desirable!
If you want to avoid being arrogant in the workplace, you need to know how to recognize its signs and symptoms. Here are the top three expert-verified signs that your confidence has turned into arrogance.
1. You have to be better than everyone else.
Of course, there is some healthy competition involved in climbing the corporate ladder, and a confident person knows that they can do it. But when you start to belittle others and get angry when they achieve success, it’s a sure sign of arrogance.
According to Steve Errey, writing for The Muse, “The simple acknowledgment that other people are way better than me is a strikingly important one.” Errey claims that humility is an essential part of confidence, and that believing in yourself doesn’t mean hating others. If it does, he says, that’s textbook arrogance.
2. You can’t admit your failures.
Julia Carter, a management and leadership specialist, cites this as one of the main markers of arrogance. While confident people are eager to fix their mistakes, arrogant people “cannot accept their own mistakes and flaws, and will often blame others for them”, she writes in a LinkedIn article. This is especially dangerous because, according to Carter, arrogant leaders breed others like them, which means no one is stepping up to fix their mistakes.
3. You have irresponsible habits.
While some confident people are unorganized or forgetful, frequently committing business “sins” like showing up late to meetings, missing deadlines, or interrupting your superiors are sure signs of arrogance.
Casey Imafidon, a popular communications writer for the professional site LifeHack, says that this unprofessional behavior is “a sign that you are arrogant, because you seem to feel that your time is more valuable than that of others.” Whereas confidence frequently leads to overachieving, arrogance usually leads to underachieving.
If you start to detect one or more of these issues within yourself, the best thing you can do is acknowledge it. By nipping your arrogance in the bud, you will be able to continue a peaceful, professional path to productivity and promotion.