What is an ego?
By definition, an ego is a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.
To have an ego is essential to our very makeup. It will define who we are and how we connect with others. Ego becomes an issue when it becomes overpowering.
Everyone has an ego, whether big or small. The way we display that ego will significantly impact our relationships with one another and the outside world. It also affects our ability to be persuasive and understood.
We all know people with a “big” ego. This may even be some of us, myself included. We have an innate ability to ignore features in our own personality which may be clear to others. When we interact with someone who has a “big” ego, certain qualities about that person become apparent. Nobody likes to be spoken down to. When a person with a ‘”big” ego speaks, they immediately evoke an emotion of distrust, and maybe even disdain. We begin to become frustrated because this person will tend to command the discussion, thereby stagnating the free flow of ideas. Eventually, the discussion becomes a unilateral flow of ideas, which in all likelihood, results in the listener becoming both emotionally, and intellectually, removed from the discussion. The result of this is a failure to adequately communicate.
It is important that we realize that the free flow of ideas is the essence of all learning, negotiation and growth. We must accept that when a person speaks, they do so with the belief that they are providing us with information that they believe is relevant. It is up to us individually to allow for this information to be conveyed and then to discern whether the information is worthwhile. By allowing the free flow of information, we empower not only ourselves but those around us. We open the door for trust and understanding; and in our business, the opportunity for reconciliation and settlement.
To leave our ego at the door, we must first have the introspection to look at ourselves. Once we have a better understanding of ourselves, we will better understand what needs to be “left at the door” with the ultimate goal of having others determine our self-importance, rather than ourselves.
About the Author: Lawrence E. Wilk is an equity partner at the law firm of Jaburg Wilk, and practices in the areas of Bankruptcy, Creditor's Rights, Workouts, Real Estate and Foreclosures. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University's Law School teaching Foreclosures and Receiverships.