Prima Donna… Who Me?

While visiting a client last week, I couldn’t help but notice a particular person on her team that fit the prototypical “Prima Donna” characteristics. It got me thinking about that label “ Prima Donna”.

The term is commonly used today to describe someone who behaves in a demanding, often temperamental, fashion revealing an inflated view of themselves, their talent, and their importance.

They are usually vain, undisciplined, egotistical and very difficult to work with.

Am I describing you or someone on your team? Probably, because most every team has one. Don't take this the wrong way, but are you that person in your company?

Many of us want respect at work, but you have to earn it!


All of us, at one time or another, have been dissatisfied when things didn't go our way. Remember, we don’t live in a perfect world.

We gain respect through our behaviors and actions. Here are 5 tips to help reform the “Prima Donna” attitude:


  1. "That's not my job." Stop and understand why you've been asked to do a certain task. Maybe your leader wants you to do it because you are good at it. Take it as a compliment.  Saying yes will get you up the ladder a lot faster than saying no or fussing about it.  Are you looking at your position as a job or a career? Saying yes is the way to climb the ladder!


2. "It's not my fault." You need to think problem = solutions. If there's a problem, fix it. It does not matter  whose fault it is. If you did, in fact, screw up... own up to it. Then, come up with a solution as quickly as you can. It’s ok to make mistakes. It’s not ok to point fingers at someone else, especially if you are at fault.

3. "It's not my problem." If a crisis is brewing, pitch in and help. If you don't have anything constructive to say, silence is golden at a time like this.

4. "It won’t work.” Being closed minded is one of the worse qualities a person can have.  Shutting an idea down before it even gets developed is counterproductive.  Open up your mind and give new strategies an opportunity, even if they seem impossible.  We need to search for ways to make it happen... and then boldly chart a new path.

5. "I am way overqualified for this job." Maybe you are. But the fact is, this is the job you have. You agreed to take it on. Complaining that you're too good for it only makes you look bad. And guess what? You're not going to make your leader think, "This is a superior person. I need to promote him/her."

If you are a Prima Donna, it’s time to change your ways.  With a new year coming, make it one of your New Year resolutions.  Go ahead, become a superstar in 2011!  Exceed the expectation and you will receive the respect you deserve.

Leave a comment about a Prima Donna you know and how they make you feel.

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