20 September 2016

Are you working for a psychopath?

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We’ve all had the boss we ‘joked’ about being a psychopath but new research shows we were probably right. 

The study revealed corporate leaders had similar rates of psychopathic traits to the prison population- up to 21 per cent.

While they make up the minority, their natures can wreak havoc on the organisation for which they are working and, as their employee, your mental wellbeing.

If your boss exhibits any of the traits below, start running.
  • The fear factor

A psychopath will motivate you through fear, rather than reward or respect. A normal boss seeks to improve their employees, a stark contrast to their psychopathic counterparts who seek to destroy. And did someone say micro-management?
  • Prince (too) Charming

They might be a git to you but when they’re meeting prospective business partners they easily engage with witty banter to charm their prey into thinking them a delightful person.
  • Liar, liar

Psychopaths are prone to dishonesty. Once one lie is told, it won’t be long before they’ve woven their web. The risk of their lie being found out doesn’t worry them, they can just cover it again with another lie.
  • Not guilty

The psychopath rationalises their behaviour, regardless of its effect on others. They easily deflect blame with conjured excuses and you’ll never catch a psychopath apologising for their actions. A psychopathic boss will have no problem throwing you under the bus to prevent their own reputation being sullied.

When dealing with a psychopath, your best defence is to think like one. By recognising that they are driven by power you can show them that they have none over you.

Claire Dowler is a Conference Producer with Akolade. She recently graduated with a double degree: a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Media and Communications Studies majoring in International Communication. Claire minored in sarcasm and puns.
A ballroom-dancer who collects salt and pepper shakers and volunteers for animal rescue, you might say Claire has eclectic interests.

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