Original insights in international business and marketing
We’ve all had to work with insecure people who take credit for others’ work or who can’t help drawing attention to themselves at the expense of others around them. Sometimes they are colleagues, in which case we can forgive or ignore them. Many times, however, these people are in managerial roles and suck the energy and goodwill of their teams like vampires recovering from a long fast.
While these individuals may not be all that hard to spot after even just one interaction, in today’s virtual, remote, email centric and matrix organizations, we have to identify them with more subtle clues. One tool or technique I recommend is the “I-Me” Index.
Simply count the number of times someone uses the words “I” or “me” in their e-mail communications. You add up the “I” and “me” and you count the number of words in the overall message. If the ratio of “I” plus “Me” to words is under 1:25 you probably have an attention seeker.
Now we all have to use the words “I” and “Me” in our communications. There is no way around it nor should we get too self conscious about their use. The point is that great leaders tend not to refer to themselves much. Instead they talk about “us,” “we,” or “the team/group.” They are secure enough in their role as leader that they don’t feel the need to constantly draw attention to themselves or to take credit for other people’s work.
The next time you write a message to a large audience check your own “I-Me” index to see if you aren’t feeling a little insecure.