Hi Ogunniyi Tunmise Sorry that I missed your response.

You are not alone, it’s a natural human tendency to want to be (perceived) as the smartest person in the room. I don’t know your case in particularly, so I will provide some thoughts for you to reflect and explore.

  1. Awareness: start paying more attention to your own behavior. When do you do it and why. Force yourself to be silent. Instead of expressing your ideas or opinions, train yourself to hold them off. See what happens.
  2. Understand the why. What’s driving the need to be smarter than the rest. Are you in a competitive environment? Do you people judge you harshly? OR is it simply based on you being too harsh on yourself? Once you realize the root cause, realize that comparisons will do you no good. It will just add more pressure to your life. Focus on being the best version of yourself, not the one people expect from you.
  3. Practice listening more. When you stay silent, purposefully pay more attention to those around. You’ll notice that many will try to play the smartest person in the room too. That observation is powerful as it will help you let go of your own need to compete with others. Listening will also help you learn from others (even from arrogant people). Everyone has something to teach you.
  4. Reframe smarts as a collective trait. A group of people working towards a share goal are unbeatable. You don’t need to be smarter (or not) than the rest. You need to help the team be smarter. Than means listening to others’ ideas and building on them. It’s sharing yours not to disregard other people’s ideas but as a contribution to the overall team.

Hope this helps! Good luck and all the best.


I help teams and organizations build fearless cultures. Creator of the Culture Design Canvas. Insights → www.fearlessculture.design/blog

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