Have you ever heard anyone at work talking about their accomplishments and how much they know? And as the person is talking, you get the feeling that you know more than that person? Sometimes we imagine rolling our eyes at the words coming out of this person’s mouth but we know and listen away but let's face it, this doesn't really helping the situation.
Here are some ways how you can turn that around to the team's benefit and ultimately yours. Without manipulation.
1. Reframe their words to fit the team.
If “John” insinuates that he is the best project manager in the team, instead of challenging him tell him that you are glad that such a dedicated and goal-oriented colleague like him is on your side. Before you even think about it let me tell you that NO it is not sucking up to him because you are talking about yourself and not him. The reason for saying something to him along these lines is that you signal him that you are not in competition with him but in fact are rooting for the same outcome because you are in the same team.
2. Don’t take it personally.
A large portion of why people like to flex at work is because they might be trying to market themselves because they would like to be promoted to management or any other position that requires more responsibility and of course, helps them earn more money.
Another side could be that outside of what there may be issues outside of work. There could be insecurity issues, lack of self-value, and self-love. It is very common to show a confident and well put together face at work and deep down feel like you are just an imposter. I can tell you this because I lived this life for a long time and it was exhausting!
3. Remember why you are there.
In today’s age what got you where you are will most likely not take you any further therefore we need to continuously improve ourselves by looking at our work from different vantage points.
The main goal is to make your company prosper and not to compare yourself to other people. Let the work speak for itself and just make sure that the right people see the work not just hear about it.
In conclusion, the next time someone is flexing at work, don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself and justify your value. Instead, channel that person’s energy in a way that will benefit the team and the project. Worst-case scenario, you can always speak to the person about this issue once you build a bit of trust with one another. We all have room to change and improve ourselves; even John.