Talentor Netherlands - YESS interviewed: EDDIE BRUMMELMAN

by Edith Koetsier in — November 2019
"Narcissists see themselves as leaders, pose as leaders and are seen by others as leaders." According to Eddie Brummelman in his book "Admire me!" Surviving in a narcissistic world ", in which he tells what narcissism is, how it originates and how it influences lives. YESS interviews Eddie about the best way to deal with narcissism in business.

You write in your book that we live in a narcistic world. How did that happen?

Since the 70s there has been an increase in narcissism. This could be because parents have started to put their children on a pedestal. In this way, children are increasingly flooded with compliments. As a result, children can not only get the feeling that they are special, but also that they must constantly prove this in order to earn our appreciation.

"The narcissist will put himself in the first place so that conflicts can arise. ”

How can this narcism be seen in business?

When these children become adults and then start working, the consequences on the work floor can be felt. This is because people with narcissistic traits tend to have leadership positions and also end up in such positions pretty quickly, even if they have no work experience. They can have a destructive influence on an organization once they are in a leadership position.

When are narcistic pulls of value?

Narcissistic traits are of value, for example, when a company is in crisis and a new course has to be sailed. A person with narcissistic traits can come in handy because he or she can take a different approach, fire relentlessly and dismiss other people's opinions. Another valuable trait is that someone with narcissistic traits can be very creative and can stimulate creativity in others.

"The narcissist will put himself in the first place, which can lead to conflicts."

When are these pulls not value?

If you are a stable company that wants to grow organically and sustainably, then a narcissistic leader is not a good idea. The narcissist will put himself in the first place, which can lead to conflicts. In addition, narcissistic leadership can be dangerous when there are hijackers on the coast who want to take the status of the narcissist. The self-image of narcissists depends on social status. That is why narcissists can look so hurtful. If they lose status, you would rather not be in their neighborhood.

In what jobs are narcists interested?

Let me answer this question with an example. A study has recently been done in which narcissists have submitted two job offers. The descriptions were exactly the same: a successful company with a good salary. The only difference was that at the first offer it was told that the people at the top of the company will still be sitting there for the time being. The other offer was told that they themselves could grow quickly. Narcissists were really only interested in the offer where they could grow quickly. This offer was more attractive to narcissists because it is a way for them to gain admiration. They are in the spotlight and receive recognition for their achievements. The most important thing about a job is that they get admiration.

What can narcistic colleagues be recognized?

Narcissistic traits can be recognized by people in top positions. They are constantly looking for recognition and want to be the center of attention. You also see, for example, that the narcissistic the CEO is, the greater the bonus they award themselves. At a lower level, managers with narcissistic traits are recognizable by the fact that they drag people into their grand fantasies about where the company should go. This is because they are charming and can inspire people. In the long run, however, it appears that they are conflicting. They want to put people behind them who agree with them. If people disagree with them, that's a problem.

In which way can you have the best contact with a narcistic manager?

I think one answer is in ee

In your book you claim that a narcist is not born as a narcist but develops itself as a narcist. How would a manager be able to get an employee with narcistic attractions on the empathic path?

It seems that people judge narcissistic leaders more positively the fewer people have contact with them. So I can imagine, for example, that a narcissistic leader can be a good inspirator in a department, but at the same time, you must ensure that this person does not get control over what everyone else does during the day. It is a person who can inspire very well but cannot always manage well at the micro-level.

Dr. Eddie Brummelman is a researcher at the UvA. As a postdoc he worked with Carol Dweck at Stanford University. He specializes in narcissism and has written the book "Admire me!"

Eddie Brummelman, Admire me! Surviving in a narcissistic world, 224 pages, Nieuwezijds publishing house, € 20.00.

The original interview in Dutch language can be read here: https://www.yess.nl/yessnewss/yess-interviewt-eddie-brummelman/