About This Episode
There is a concerning problem in our society today - the problem of reacting in a world that is very reactive. Reacting is often due to the ego, which is our unconscious brain motivated by old past beliefs, mindsets, and habits. Christie Garcia, our guest for the Brilliant Thoughts podcast episode Taking Conscious Control of Our Egos discusses how the ego is both our strength and weakness, and we can use it to our advantage by managing it consciously.
Discover new and helpful ideas on how we can control our reactions and understand how our ego can work for us or against us as she shares her insights from her leadership academy, Mindful Choice Academy.
What is Ego?
Christie explains that “Our ego is our unconscious brain that is usually motivated by old past beliefs, mindsets, and things that habits that we aren't even aware we're doing”. The easiest way to manage the ego is through self-awareness. Unfortunately, people think they have self-awareness but 95% of the time are unconsciously going through the motion. Leaders need to recognize their behaviors and the behaviors of others in order to manage their egos and have mutually respectful conversations. For both roles of a team member and a leader, the ego can push us into either a victim or a martyr mindset, and someone has to be a victim or a martyr in the ego's world. Leaders need to recognize their own egos and the egos of others and manage them through self-awareness to bring the best out of their actions versus reactions.
The Three Types of Ego: Controller, Complier, and Protector
The Controller is motivated by being the best and winning and is results-oriented and focused. They have charisma, passion, and excitement, and can motivate and inspire others. However, when the ego is running the show, controllers can be fast-paced, like a freight train, and may not know how to slow down. This can result in team members feeling left behind or deflated, and controllers may sometimes be perceived as micromanagers or over-controlling. Despite being able to achieve results quickly, controllers may end up at the finish line by themselves.
The Complier ego is described as friendly, warm, and inviting. Compliers tend to seek approval from others and may go along with what others want, often avoiding conflict or confrontation. They can be perceived as agreeable and easy-going but may struggle with asserting themselves or standing up for their own needs and desires.
The third type, is the Protector Ego. Protectors are motivated by a desire to keep things safe and secure and may be risk-averse or cautious. They are focused on preventing problems or issues from arising and may be detail-oriented and thorough. However, protectors may also be resistant to change or new ideas and may struggle with taking risks or being flexible in their approach.
We should understand the importance of self-awareness and ownership in managing these different ego types. By becoming conscious of one's own ego patterns and habits, individuals can choose a new approach and impact, rather than being controlled by their ego. This involves recognizing the ways in which one's ego may be influencing their behavior and mindset, and actively choosing to manage and modify those patterns to create a more positive and effective leadership style.
How Ego Management Can Make You a Compassionate Leader
It is important to know ego management and how to balance the different traits of ego in order to become a compassionate leader. You need to be conscious and intentional in identifying your strengths and overusing them, as well as choosing a new approach to manage other people's egos. Especially now in our era where social media and politics have become more extreme and reactive, it makes a huge difference when we know how we approach these situations without being steamrolled.
How Does Conscious Control Work?
There are many ways how you can have personal development and ways to improve yourself in order for you to consciously control your ego. Note that personal development is just as hard as going to the gym and that it is a muscle that one needs to work out. You can make this a little bit easier by starting small and being 1% better every day, whether it means being more intentional or having a difficult conversation with another person. If you have the means and resources, you can get a coach to hold you accountable and recognize where one's ego is holding you back.
Try journaling. Journaling can be one entertaining way to track one's progress, but it's also important to get a third-party perspective to understand one's impact better. Involving others in your journey for personal development is essential to progress forward.
However, if you are one of those Controllers and work at a fast pace and do not have time to sit down and do these activities, you can visit and download activities at Christie Garcia's website, https://www.mindfulchoiceacademy.com, to help with personal development.
If you are interested in learning more about Christie and her work, you can visit her website at mindfulchoiceacademy.com. You can follow Garcia on LinkedIn at Christie Garcia or Mindful Choice Leadership Academy, and on Instagram @mindfulchoice_.
DISCLAIMER: The people interviewed are well-trained experts and highly skilled in their areas of practice. They take many safety precautions prior to attempting the activities described. The activities or research discussed in these podcasts should not be attempted without qualified supervision and training with professionals.