Psychopaths work to amass their power. Emotion is not in the equation. Therefore, they're immune to the feelings of others, including their own.
You likely know a few psychopaths. You might even have one leading you. The funny thing is, there's this belief going around that psychopathic traits are good for business.
You want aggressive, competitive people who aren't afraid to bust some heads to get things done. Work is work and it's all about making the objective best decision for yourself, which means succeeding, which then makes you valuable to your company. Right?
Watch Question Period some time. Not everyone in the room is a psychopath or sociopath, but see how many of them are trying to be. Because that's the culture we've told ourselves makes for a healthy democracy.
The first step to addressing any health issue is admitting something is wrong. The same goes with admitting a workplace environment problem.
Here are some psychopathic traits to look out for:
- Be male (three times more likely)
- Establish tight control over their environment and others
- Create and enforce policies, procedures and rules to their advantage, punishing violators harshly
- Break the very rules they enforce upon others
- Think or say something such as, “Nothing personal, this is business”
- Prize objectivity almost exclusively
- Lie even when it’s obvious they are
- Have a bottom-line orientation, meaning relationships won’t sway them
- Lose no sleep in making adverse employment decisions such as terminations, demotions, etc.
- Surround themselves with “yes people”
- Create homogeneous work cultures, avoiding diverse personalities
- Possess average to above average intelligence
- Exhibit charisma especially in one-on-one and group situations
- Function awkwardly in small, diverse groups of three to eight people
- Work extended periods with little concern for impact on family and friends
- Spread negative news and attributes of those who threaten their power
- Undermine those with strong personal relationships
- Extend their power by “constructively criticizing” others’ ideas
- Focus on taking credit for the creativity of others rather than exhibit creativity themselves