Years ago my company worked with a client that I believed was a good guy, but my entire team thought was an a-hole. When I worked with this guy, I saw his intentions and tried to always look at his heart and understand where he was coming from. My team saw his actions, his underhanded comments, his general lack of respect for the team, and hated working with him.
We worked with this client for years, and for years I defended him as being a nice guy that the team didn’t fully understand. I was wrong. This guy was an unintentional a-hole. Sure, he didn’t mean to be a jerk, but he was a jerk. He didn’t mean to be overly demanding, but he was overly demanding. He didn’t mean to talk down to people, but he did talk down to people. He didn’t mean to act like he was always right, but guess how he acted.
I used to think that a-holes were those people that acted pompous on purpose, and there are those types. But, I think the more dangerous type of a-hole is the type that you become without meaning to. It’s falling into bad ways of thinking and acting. We can all become an unintentional a-hole, and so we have to protect ourselves against it by checking our actions and our attitude daily.