Be Confident That You Are Reaching Out to the Ego by Listening to Those Outside Your Group.

Confidence builds strength , but it can turn into arrogance if you’re not careful. If you want to avoid becoming an archetypal image, listen to opinions from outside your regular group.

As the Strategy + Business website explains, when you have multiple people in your own group endorsing you (and each other), it is tempting to dismiss criticism from outside the group. However, if your group becomes too isolated, everyone in the group can reinforce bad ideas. The antidote is to avoid neglecting people outside of your clique.

Often the root cause of group neglect is group bias, a concept attributed to psychologist William Sumner. While Sumner did not intend to describe business groups, his statement, made over a century ago, sounds eerily descriptive in some corporate cultures: “Each group harbors its own pride and vanity, brags about its superiority, exists in its own deities, and looks with contempt for outsiders.” … Pride and confidence, when shown either in a group or individually, are not in themselves a problem. But this attitude can be destructive when it forces CEOs to ignore competitive threats or conflicting opinions. Dismissiveness suggests overconfidence and possibly a lack of healthy debate.

In general, ignoring criticism is a pretty bad way to get better, but it’s equally important not to only listen to people who already support you. When you listen to those in your group, you may feel that you are not neglecting, but only accepting ideas that support your preconceived notions of who you are and what you are capable of. However, people outside of your group will be motivated to be more critical. You don’t have to listen to everything that is being said, but you cannot completely give up all external opinions.

The Border Between Confidence and Arrogance | Strategy + Business


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