How to deal with the office Kanye

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Last week’s Grammy awards saw the notorious Kanye West invade the stage once again as artist Beck accepted his award for Album of the Year but – as we all know – cringe-worthy capers like this aren’t restricted to the A-list.

Most employers will have to manage a mini-Kanye at some point in their career – whether it’s their inflated ego or an insatiable need for attention – thankfully, leadership coach Jack Stahlmann has some much-needed advice.


“Easier said than done, I know,” concedes Stahlmann – especially if your employee is spouting some self-righteous rhetoric – “but think about what your Office Kanye wants: attention.”

“Give it him and hear him out,” advises Stahlmann. “This not only gives your co-worker the proverbial hug he so desperately wants, but it allows him to blow off steam.”

Recognize their value

Kanye might be a multi-millionaire but he still desperately craves recognition from the media and his fans – your office Kanye is no different.

“During your listening session, make sure you are recognizing that your Office Kanye does bring value to the office,” says Stahlmann. “Truly analyse and praise the results while addressing the opportunities for interpersonal growth.”

Stop the drama early 

Kanye stormed up on stage– again – because he knew nobody was going to stop him but he didn’t always think he was untouchable.

“All big problems start with a little problem,” says Stahlmann – the moment you suspect a talented employee may be turning into a bit of a diva, it’s time to take action.

If your Kanye plays down the achievements of another employee – like A-list Kanye did with Beck – make sure they know this behaviour will not be tolerated.

Do you have any advice on how HR should handle an office Kanye? Share your tips below.
  • TarheelAggie on 2/20/2015 12:33:04 PM

    I disagree with the advice. Allowing the incessant attention seeking employee a modicum of attention/a platform to espouse his/her talents is a complete turnoff for the other employees and hurts morale. Regardless of the “talents” of the employee, they have more than likely already trumpeted them to the fellow employees and allowing them to receive any praise from management simply feels their already inflated ego.

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