Some colleagues think so highly of themselves that it’s a wonder their feet stay on the ground. In extreme cases, a colleague who has an obsession with their own self-worth will quickly get rejected by the team and depart thinking everyone was blind to their greatness. In more mild versions, a team member with an inflated sense of self is merely temperamental and hard to manage. We call such a colleague a Prima Donna.
What has helped me in the past (being a new manager with an existing Prima) is doing my best to establish objective performance metrics. I had one on my team who thought she was better than everyone else (she was the the highest performer at the time). However, she thought she was perfect, never made any mistakes, and was resistant to feedback. There was a large data entry piece for this position and I created an QC Checklist that the downstream team could use to audit my team's data accuracy. After a few weeks, I was able to show the error rate for the team and for each individual. The Prima Donna had the least amount of errors than anyone else on the team, but it wasn't zero. At first, she fought the findings. But upon further investigation on her part, she accepted them. I told her privately that it is okay to make mistakes. It's how we learn in order to get better. An as a team, we used this data to find patterns (There were something like 42 data fields (opportunities for error) in the current process and create job aids/training around the ones causing us the most issues. My Prima Donna continued to be one, but with just a little bit of humility mixed in. I took it as a win.
How does your work on the topic of FANNESS interact with your approach to a prima donna?
Is this a character who you might intentionally hold yourself back from acting as their fan until you are able to deliver your does of reality?
Are there born Prima Donnas.
Or only made?