I enjoyed reading this article about working with Steve Jobs called Persuading the Unpersaudable by Adam Grant. It has some good tips with dealing with overconfident and unpersuadable leaders.

A few tips from the article:

  • The first barrier to changing someone’s view is arrogance. We’ve all encountered leaders who are overconfident: They don’t know what they don’t know. If you call out their ignorance directly, they may get defensive. A better approach is to let them recognize the gaps in their own understanding.
  • Research shows that asking questions instead of giving answers can overcome people’s defensiveness. You’re not telling your boss what to think or do; you’re giving her some control over the conversation and inviting her to share her thoughts. Questions like “What if?” and “Could we?” spark creativity by making people curious about what’s possible.
  • Narcissistic leaders believe they’re superior and special, and they don’t take kindly to being told they’re wrong. But with careful framing, you can coax them toward acknowledging that they’re flawed and fallible.
  • Narcissistic leaders believe they’re superior and special, and they don’t take kindly to being told they’re wrong. But with careful framing, you can coax them toward acknowledging that they’re flawed and fallible.