Eric Cartman of South Park fame is one of my favorite characters EVER. For me the top three characters in fiction are Hamlet, Cartman, and Maggie the Cat.
Cartman does and says things that we can only imagine saying. He has zero filter. Luckily it is fiction and certainly it’s not something to emulate. If we went around acting like Cartman I think we would be fired in seconds.
In the soundbite I’ve selected (between 1:30 secs and 1:55 secs) he’s asked who his hero is and naturally he answers with his ego and says “ME”.
Confidence is an amazing thing to have but if you lead with your “ego” then it becomes something that much less appealing that will certainly not win you clients or win over co-workers.
In my Assertiveness courses we talk about how to control your ego by knowing the difference between Assertive, Aggressive, or Passive Aggressive behavior.
In order not to communicate with your ego you must stay logical. If your ego will communicate Aggression or Passive Aggression. The only way to stay logical is to practice and take your time*. This is easier said than done. It takes patience.
For instance, if you’re working with someone who “pushes your buttons” it is important to choose your reactions to that person before you ever get into a meeting with them. It is much better to experience your negative reaction when you’re alone than when you’re in front of the other person.
It also takes Self Awareness to know what types of personalities rub you up the wrong way.
By knowing “thyself” and practicing new reactions, you will slowly find that you can control your emotions.
Remember, the only thing we truly have control over is ourselves. If we could control other people, life would be like that movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”!
Here are some ways of taking your time:
a) Excuse yourself by taking a phone call from your boss.
b) Take a break
c) “I will have to get back to you on that by such-and-such time”
d) Start Listening instead of talking
e) Ask “open ended” questions
f) Before you speak, think WAIT! Why Am I Talking
Remember that this takes time and practice. Be kind to yourself. Good Luck!