One of the most controversial topics in today’s business life is the difference between Confidences and Arrogance. The reality is that people confuse confidence with arrogance and vice versa each and every day and of the week and twice on Sunday. The impact of this “Symptom” in the professional arena is the high cost of a loss of productivity, creativity, and effective working relationships.

Given the fact that a large percentage of most societies consist of complacent amiable (about 65% of the US population) personality type, when they are in the presence of confident people they are being intimidated and label them as arrogant, which give them no power. I have worked with many successful business leaders, and senior executives and for the most part; I find them highly confident. Few of them are actually arrogant, which can be a byproduct of success, that is just life, yet I would say that the Pareto (Vilfredo Pareto) principle (80/20) will be applicable here as well.

Confidence– is generally described as a state of being certain, either, that a hypothesis or prediction is correct, or that a chosen course of action is the best or most efficient. Self-confidence is having confidence in oneself. Arrogance — Ar”ro*gance (#), The act or habit of arrogating, or making undue claims in an overbearing manner. The pride which consists of extravagant claims of rank, dignity, estimation, or power, or, which exalts the worth or importance of the person to an undue degree; proud contempt of others; lordliness; haughtiness; self-assumption; presumption.


  • Thinking they are always the smartest people in the room
  • Talking about things you think you know
  • They believe that they are never wrong
  • Tend to listen to their own voice and dismissing others
  • Always defending their points of view
  • Always have “The Answer.”
  • A self-defense mechanism
  • Knows no boundaries
  • Living in their own reality


  • Knowing when you are the smartest person in the room
  • Talking about thinks, you actually know
  • Know and admit they are wrong with no loss of power
  • Listening to other people points of view as opportunities to learn
  • Do not have a need to prove anything to anyone.
  • Always exploring other “Answer (s)”
  • Self-expression
  • Know their own limits
  • Living in the real world

My observation is that the one creates Isolation, and the other creates assimilation. You can look at it this way: an arrogant person lacks the self-confidence despite their success (if they had any) and a confident person, does not see the need to be arrogant about their success.

Sure, people can show up at times as authoritative, taking charge, step into the lead, especially in a senior management position that can easily fall into the human trap of arrogance. The difference is that when you are listening to people as confident people, you can learn from them, and when one looking at them as arrogant people, you stop, so the learning stops along with it.

I am not suggesting that one is better than the other, nor that one is right, and the other is wrong. It just gives one a different experience of self and the experience of life. It is a choice one makes in how one would like to experience life. And the choice is all yours.