Ego and Inner Critic: Effects on Participation

Your ego and inner critic play a big role in how you participate at work.

You may not realize it, but you tell yourself hundreds of stories every day. I don’t mean stories that you share with others about what happened to you when you were a toddler, in college, or at the mall last week. I’m referring to the dozens of stories that you tell yourself every day to explain why something bad happened or why another person is behaving poorly. These stories come from your ego and inner critic.

Unfortunately, in your organization, situations frequently occur that impact you in a negative way and colleagues often do not do what you expect them to do. To rationalize why these situations or behaviors occur, you create and tell yourself stories to help you explain the inexplicable. You may be telling yourself a story about a less-than-positive interaction you just had with your boss. Maybe you’re getting all “storied-up” to explain why a colleague you just passed in the hallway ignored your greeting of “Hi!” Where do these stories which you and your colleagues tell yourselves (and sometimes others) come from?

Generally speaking, your stories come from two places – your ego and your inner critic.


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Ed Evarts is the founder and president of Excellius Leadership Development, an organization focused on coaching mid- to senior- level leaders and their teams in business environments. With over twenty-five years of innovative leadership and management experience, Ed possesses the ability to build awareness, create action, and deliver results. Known for his business acumen, his ability to resolve complex human relations issues, and his enthusiastic, accessible and responsive style, Ed partners with managers, leaders and business teams to explore clarity and communication, and traverse conflict and change.