I hired a team member two years ago in offshore, who, unfortunately, exhibits traits associated with covert narcissism.

In my team we are only TWO people , me and narcistic.

The workplace has become increasingly toxic, and the individual in question reports to the same onshore manager as I do. Despite my efforts to communicate the challenges to my onshore manager, there seems to be a lack of understanding regarding the extent of the issue.

My onshore manager is aware of a problem between the team member and me, but the specifics are unclear. When I provided examples of poor work, my concerns were perceived as potential vindication. making it challenging to convey the full scope of the problem.

Fortunately, my location head, who holds the same level of authority as the onshore head(four levels above my manager) , has expressed full trust in me. He has even inquired whether escalation to the onshore head of the department is necessary. At this juncture, I am seeking a resolution that involves separating roles to minimize interference while ensuring accountability, conducive working conditions, and maintaining a focus on location output. otherwise it could out turnout as onshore vs offshore due, as my problem with coworker started right from second month of hiring.

Despite my dedication to the team's success, I am hesitant to escalate the matter further, as I wish to avoid causing undue trouble.

My manager has suggested extending an olive branch to the team member, but I am unsure about the effectiveness of this approach given the nature of the issues.

For those who have navigated similar situations or possess expertise in managing workplace dynamics, I would greatly appreciate any guidance or insights you can offer. How have you successfully handled delicate workplace relationships, especially when seeking solutions within the existing team structure?

Examples of his behaviour:

  1. Does not take criticism.
  2. Argues a lot unneccessaily.
  3. shoddy work many a times.
  4. takes too long to complete a task
  5. does not work on support items actively.
  6. does not understand complex items.
  7. Lashes on me sometimes

I am not a doctor to certify that he is covert narcist, please do understand, i have worked closely with him for a year and I have managed him directly for a year. I am closely following articles about narcissm for a month, then only confirmed it up. Again I agree I am not a doctor.

please stop giving advice on that I am not a manager which I am aware of it. Since I am not his manager , that is why it is even more trickier , So i need solutions. not comment that i am not his manager.

  • 2
    How are you at the same time "raising the issues to your manager" and even person 4 levels above them, but also "hesitant to escale it further"? Seems like you've alread done most of the escalating that can be done. Does anyone else see the issues you do?
    – Aida Paul
    Commented Mar 8 at 10:04
  • 3
    I'm not going to vote to close, but I doubt you will get any really helpful answers other than a very generic "talk to the colleague, if that doesn't help talk to your boss". We don't have any information to go on to suggest a better tailored approach.
    – nvoigt
    Commented Mar 8 at 10:07
  • 9
    "Strikingly, the issues of are not as visible to others" -- Strongly suggests that the problem is yours, not the other person's. Unless you have a psych degree, don't diagnose.
    – keshlam
    Commented Mar 8 at 10:46
  • 4
    @TNT that's precisely their point, if you are the only one seeing the problem, it may just be you only problem. Reading up wikipedia doesn't qualify you to diagnose stuff.
    – Aida Paul
    Commented Mar 8 at 11:01
  • 2
    Can you give us some specific examples of how this team member behaves in a project or in the workplace ? Commented Mar 8 at 11:02

2 Answers 2


I am going to redirect this question.

First, you don't say that you work in a psychology or psychiatry clinic, so stay way from mental health diagnoses. True narcissism is extremely rare, no matter how often the term is used in social media. More likely the person is just a jerk, although with the scant evidence we have, it's just as likely that you are.

I'm going address your concerns.

Does not take criticism. Stop criticizing. That isn't your job.

Argues a lot unneccessaily [sic]. Address when it happens. "Why are you arguing about this?"

shoddy work many a times. Not your job to manage this

takes too long to complete a task. Not your job to manage this. If this affects your work, take it up with your supervisor. "I'm late because Teammate 2 isn't complete with their task."

does not work on support items actively. Not your job to manage. Again if this creates an issue with your work, take it up with your supervisor. "Boss, I am doing 4x the number of support item that Teammate 2 is, I'm not okay with this uneven work load."

does not understand complex items. Not your issue to manage

Lashes on me sometimes. From an outside perspective, you'll get negative feedback from someone if you're trying to manage their work as a peer. Stop trying to give them direction and criticism and you remove a source of friction. Other than that, you address it when it happens "I'm not okay with you talking to me like that. Maybe we need to talk again when you've calmed down."

In summary, stop trying to manage this person's performance. Stick to your work and things that directly affect you.

  • 2
    And remember that not liking someone is not an excuse for not working effectively with them.
    – keshlam
    Commented Mar 8 at 15:12
  • Initial first year , I had managed him, due to his behaviour , I escalated to my manager , which made him report to same manager. still i am site lead
    – TNT
    Commented Mar 8 at 15:13
  • 3
    Great. He's now your manager's problem. Leave it there and focus on doing your own job.
    – keshlam
    Commented Mar 8 at 15:42

Stick to textbook leadership methods.

In particular stick to communicating expectations and giving feedback. First in person, but also in writing. Make sure you have evidence the person received the expectations you set, that are derived from the business objectives.

  • Articulate the professional behaviour at work that you expect.
  • Articulate the quality and quantity of work outcomes that you expect.

When the expectations are not met, promptly, precisely and nonviolently give feedback of what behaviour or performance was observed, what behaviour and performance is expected. Do not discuss your expectations, they are non negotiable. Collect evidences in writing that you have constructively explained your expectations vs. the actual situation.

After three times failing to meet expected behaviour or performance, let go of that person and end the work relationship as it evidently did not meet business goals. Retain the evidences and forward them to whoever questions the dismissal.

  • Articulate what you expect. Do not articulate what you not expect. Concentrate on positivity.
    – Sascha
    Commented Mar 8 at 13:53
  • 2
    I do not think the OP manages the person in question, so I'm not sure they have any power to set expectations or let the person go. They may be able to use the expectations of the manager, assuming they are documented somewhere or generally understood and then record when the person doesn't meet them. Commented Mar 8 at 14:15
  • Agree with @mattfreake here, I don't have full authoritry , but i am site lead.
    – TNT
    Commented Mar 8 at 14:22
  • 2
    peers don't get to have expectations of performance
    – Tiger Guy
    Commented Mar 8 at 14:51
  • Site lead actually means very little.*Team* lead would mean more but still has limited power and responsibility. Focus on figuring out how to get the job done.
    – keshlam
    Commented Mar 8 at 15:44

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