Post #35 Confidence is Good, Arrogance is Not
I understand firsthand why some engineers display a bit of arrogance about them. Is engineering tough? Yep. Are engineers proud to call themselves engineers? Yep. Is it ok to be arrogant about it? Nope. People do it anyway. Please read this so you can understand and avoid the pitfalls of being an arrogant engineer.
Confidence versus Arrogance
Self-confidence is a wonderful asset. One can never bee too confident. But what does that really mean? It means you have your own back. No matter what anyone says about you or your work, you believe in yourself. Self-confidence means you only need your own approval in life. A self-confident person never apologizes for being their authentic selves. An arrogant person, however, is always on the lookout to put others down. This is because arrogant engineers feel insecure inside, but they mask it by acting overly tough or smart. Arrogant engineers must make themselves feel better by putting themselves on a pedestal. This often means they are targeting anyone who crosses their path. Self-confidence is when you are comfortable in your own skin; arrogance is nothing more than pretending to be better than others.
Watch What You Say
Are some of your classmates or future colleagues always going to perform well? No. Are some of them going to cause you to do extra work? Yes, those things happen. But I will tell you what else is going to happen. Life is not always going to play out according to your plans. Bosses will come and go, promotions will be handed to others…you never know what kind of circumstances will come your way. So when all doesn’t go according to plan, be mindful of the things you say to others. Be aware if you turn into a complainer, a downer or if your attitude just sucks. If you start to get down in life, that is how you are going to act toward others. People will put up a red flag and avoid your presence if you are miserable to be around. Accept change, accept that things won’t always go your way and always treat others respectfully.
Watch How You Say It
The way your words come out of your mouth is just as important as the words themselves. The tone and the attitude with which you state your words can make all the difference. And you know exactly what I mean. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all”. We’ve all heard this but I will take it a step further. I would offer that if you are going to say anything at all, always try to have a good intention behind your words. State your words from a place of respect and self-awareness, never with malicious intent. I promise that your attitude will earn you a reputation in the workplace just as much as your performance will. The smartest, most efficient workers can be a liability if they do not understand the power of treating others respectfully.
In conclusion, if you like and respect yourself, you will display these qualities to the rest of the world. No need to be an arrogant engineer – people think highly of your profession as it is.