Movie B-School: Dealing with Iron Man-size egos at work

3 minute read


The Avengers exists in a world where superheroes are real and Asgardians and aliens have visited our planet. The film brings together Black Widow, Tony Stark’s Iron Man, Dr. Bruce Banner (the Hulk), Steve Rogers’ Captain America, Hawkeye, and the otherworldly god, Thor. The team is assembled to fight off Thor’s estranged, son-of-a-gun brother, Loki, and his alien army who have set their sights on ruling Earth.

These darling Avengers took awhile to warm to each other, but soon learned the only way they would win would be by working together. Awww. Warm fuzzies. Assembling your dream team of giants involves personality matching, and the willingness of said team members to cooperate and communicate. This Movie B-School, however, will not be about teamwork, but rather what to do when someone on your team has a big ego…say the size of Iron Man’s.

The ladies may love RDJ, but chances are your office’s Iron Man isn’t quite as rich, suave, or handsome as Mr. Downey. Without those lovely traits, you’re just left with a jerk (or jerkette) to deal with and that’s no fun for anyone. How do you keep calm and work on? Try following these Avengers-approved steps for dealing.

Movie B-School: Dealing with Iron Man-size egos at workWhat Would Hulk Do?
Iron Man heads to the lab to sniff the Hulk out, and see what makes him tick. Stark understands that if Dr. Banner transforms, their plane would go down…likely destroying the Avengers and ultimately, Earth. Yet, he still taunts and teases Hulk, so he may see him transform. Banner has mastered the art of keeping his cool (because he absolutely has to) and holds back, biting his tongue and carrying on. Stark finally backs off after realizing he’s not getting to Banner or what he wanted. Banner took the power away from Stark, and Stark simply got bored and moved on.

When the resident egomaniac attempts to get a rise out of you for their own pleasure, ignore it. Easier said than done, but doing your best to not let them get to you is the first step to making them bored with the chase. Once they see that you’re as cool as Iron Man’s house, they’ll find someone else to bug, and you’ll get more work done.

Movie B-School: Dealing with Iron Man-size egos at work“Doth mother know you weareth her drapes?”
When Thor and Iron Man get into their first tussle, blasting from aircraft to forest, Iron Man begins to lean on his sarcastic comments as he physically loses the battle. Oversized egos thrive on verbal insults, and often use them to keep others feeling down to enhance his or her “superiority.” Stark’s taunts toward Thor’s fashion choices and accent don’t go unnoticed and eventually push Thor to react with further physical abuse.

Although we would strongly advise against beating up your resident bully, you can take a cue from Thor and stand up for yourself in a different way. Stark may have had some pretty sick burns, but understanding those insults aren’t really about you will help to not overreact with, say, fist-throwing. Respond politely and with reason, while simultaneously ignoring the tone of their comment. If they proclaim they could do your job in their sleep, instead of saying “I’d like to see you try,” just let them know you have it under control but would love to hear any constructive feedback. This shows them that you value their opinion, and chances are, they won’t actually have constructive feedback to give.

In the end, Iron Man gets over himself enough to work with the others to save the planet. This is much more unlikely in the real life situation, but arming yourself with some personal tools can help you keep working and ignore distractions.

Movie B-School: How to deal with Iron Man-size egos at work


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About the Author
Stephanie Norell is the Marketing Director for North by Northwest’s Boise office. She loves horror movies and Pinterest, adores the classic film Xanadu, and “enjoys” disseminating her thoughts for trolls to discuss online.


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