7 Tips on How to Manage an Overconfident Employee

How to Manage an Overconfident New Employee | Best way to manage an overconfident | Dealing with overconfident staff

Confidence is a significant trait for any human being. In the workplace, people who possess confidence are often rational in terms of their thoughts and make the right decisions. And managing a team of confident individuals can make your job easier. But, when your employee gets excessively confident, it can create a myriad of challenges you don’t want. An overconfident employee can be very destructive.

What is an Overconfident Employee?

An overconfident employee is one with excessive self-beliefs who thinks very highly of themselves and their abilities. An overconfident staff member usually takes their confidence too far that it becomes destructive.

If you don’t manage well an overly confident employee, the following happens:

• An overconfident employee does not feel the need to improve their performance because of their enormous ego. It is also because they think that they are more confident and capable than they are.   

• An overconfident employee does not take suggestions and advice from other people. This is because overconfidence can lead to discounting others’ opinions like fallacy.

• Overly confident employees do not believe that they could be wrong. So, when they make mistakes, they cannot be corrected or see their faults.  It also leads them to make risky decisions because they believe that they are not prone to failure.

• More often than not, overconfident employees blame others for failures because they do not feel like they can make mistakes. Therefore, any shortcomings have to be someone else’s fault.

So, to deal with an employee who exhibits excessive confidence to the point the person is unable contain their biased beliefs, follow the tips below:

How to Manage an Overconfident Employee

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He are some tips for how to manage an overconfident employee:

1. Let them Know the Problem

The first tip for dealing with overconfident staff is to let them know openly that they have a problem. Most employers try to put off confronting overconfident staff members. However, doing so only encourages bad behavior.

You need to sit the employee down and have an honest conversation with them about their behavior. While communicating, make sure to let the employee know how their behavior affects the rest of the team.

The point is to make sure that you do not wound the employee’s esteem, but communicate the need for humility.

2. Exercise Patience But Don’t Ignore the Problem  

Handling overconfident employee behavior is not a walk in the park. And if you are not a patient manager it can be more challenging managing an overbearing employee.

Therefore, patience is very important when dealing with an overly confident employee, especially when the employee is an asset to the company. But do not feed their egos.

Having the ability to be patient and manage your emotions is an important trait when dealing with an overconfident employee.

Read Also: How to Stop Gossiping in the Workplace

3. Stay Calm When Talking to an Overconfident Employee

Staying calm is essential when dealing with an employee who believes their opinions are appropriate compared to others.

Overconfident employees will often try to justify their behavior, blame others, and try to get out of trouble. If you are not careful, you may end up losing your calm and getting annoyed.

This doesn’t have to be the case. Try as much as possible to keep calm and not lose your temper.

You have the power to deal with any undesirable workplace behavior very firmly while remaining calm. There is no need to rant or get irritated when you are the one who has all the power to change the situation.

Shouting can make you appear helpless, but your role as manager has many tools you need to deal with difficult employees and their undesirable behaviors.

You can have authoritative conversations or discipline them if necessary. You just must start from somewhere.

4. Set Boundaries and Enforce Consequences

Every employee needs to be accountable for their behaviour. They also need to know that even though they are very talented, it does not give them the freedom to be arrogant and do whatever they want.

For example, every member of your team should be free to ask reasonable questions and to give input.

But an employee needs to know where and when they must ask a question or get involved. It is not acceptable for any employee condescending to others just because they feel entitled to say something, question things or giving input.

So, have a conversation with an overconfident employee and talk about the things they do that impact on others and you want them to stop.

Talk about where the employee does have a room for input, and where they don’t. And make it clear that you want them to respect those boundaries.

Of course, you should never shut down your employee’s input or questions altogether. But when someone becomes arrogant and starts not to respect you or others in the team, you must set up boundaries and enforce consequences.

5. Avoid Appeasing an Overconfident Employee

Constant praising an overconfident staff member can stroke their already inflated egos and make the situation worse.

Overpraising makes them feel like they are doing you a favor even if that is not the case. It also makes them feel superior and look down on others.

One of the best ways to manage an overconfident staff member is to avoid appeasing them. This is not about ignoring their contribution to your team.

It is about dealing with an arrogant employee with their dismissive unprofessional behavior at work.

And addressing the problem would be in the best interests of everyone in the team. So, do not appease an overconfident and arrogant employee just because they are talented.

Read also:12 Examples of Being a Leader at Work

6. Give Constructive Feedback

Having regular one on one conversations is critical when you are managing an overconfident employee. Whether the feedback is positive or negative, it must be constructive.

Providing constructive negative feedback to any employee is as important as positive feedback. However, the tone and language you use to deliver feedback need to be right. The words you use can make your staff to completely switch off.

There is no need for fluffing negative feedback with artificial praise because you do not want to upset the person. That method is not going to make an overconfident employee change their attitude.

7. Question and Counter their Arguments

Counterarguments can help you deal with an overconfident employee. If an employee tries to push their opinion by getting into an argument with you, don’t back off, especially when you know that they are wrong.

Backing down will only achieve one thing, it strokes their egos and you do not want to let them dominate the argument.

So, stand your ground, but make sure you remain calm and in control of the argument. It is the best way to make them realize that they have shortcomings.

Always ask them whether they consider others’ opinions before deciding that it is only their way that can work.  

Challenging an arrogant employee frequently is especially important if the person is making risky decisions without enough information or not considering others’ input.


Surely, having confidence is a great attribute for success. But having excessive self-beliefs can be very problematic. So, if any of your employees are overly confident, you may need to act decisively to prevent the possibility of toxic behavior in your team.

The best way to manage overconfident employees is to let them know they have a problem that needs fixing.

Tell them exactly what the issue is and offer support, but never appease any member of your staff who is excessively confident. Doing so will only inflate their egos to a higher level.

If their attitudes do not change, then you can turn to more drastic measures. Overconfidence can be destructive in the workplace. Therefore, if worse comes to worst, then the best solution may be to let the person go.

What is your thought on overconfident characters in the workplace? Please leave a comment in the box below 

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