At some point of time in life, you might meet an ambitious, intimidating, and an aggressive boss. The problem here is, such people keep getting promoted to higher managerial levels, because they hold high self-esteem, regard and charming attitudes as well. You might eventually be left wondering, how can someone possess two contrary aspects to a personality type? Perhaps, you could be dealing with a psychopath at work.
Contrary to popular beliefs, psychopathy is not always related to homicide and murderousness. Rather, psychopath is a term given for someone who has no feelings for guilt and empathy towards others. If you are wondering why company would hire such a person, you should know that psychopaths have a manipulative trait.
A psychopathic individual might be bad-tempered and hard-driving, but they are known to possess superficially charming and even warm traits. This explains why psychopaths stand higher chance of securing promotions and rising to leadership levels, than the average people.
Recent study by Australian Psychological Society Congress found that, out of 261 corporate professionals, 21 percent of these individuals show psychopathic traits. To complement these findings, a book entitled Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work reveals a surprising finding that, around 3 to 4 percent senior positions in business are actually held by psychopaths.
Given these findings, chances are, there could be psychopaths at the helm leading the vision in your organisation’s boardroom too. So, how do you tell if you are working with a psychopath boss? Here are clues that reveal:
See: To Obey, Comply or Not: How to Handle Unethical Requests Made by Your Boss?
One of the most impressive traits possessed by a psychopath at work is their charm. Upon your first meeting with them, you might find a liking for their friendly and charismatic behaviours.
As they easily mingle and engage with coworkers, it is almost impossible to dislike them. However, this kind of trait tends to wear off over time as you continue working with them. Working under their supervision, you might constantly feel as if you are secretly intimidated by them.
Is your boss too self-obsessed that he tends to undermine other employees? This might be a red flag to make you believe that you are working with a psychopath. Psychopaths tend to see themselves in high regard and always feel superior above others. A self-absorbed boss might seem compassionate, but they tend to exploit their subordinates without guilt.
Believing that they hold the key to organisation’s success, a psychopathic boss might fire his subordinates without any good reason.
When your boss is telling A to you, but saying B to your co-workers on the same day, you should be cautious. Psychopaths are pathological liars. During particular times, they can be very deceptive, manipulative, and dishonest as they don’t care about, the repercussion of their actions on others. The problem further exacerbates, since they can easily wriggle out of trouble, when someone finds out their lies.
Psychopaths are known to be extreme risk-takers. Since they get bored easily towards a particular task, they tend to seek for external stimulation by taking higher-risks without careful consideration of the consequences that follow their actions. If your boss enjoys a thrill of danger without proper concern on safety, then you should be more cautious.
While they might seem sympathetic on the surface, a psychopathic boss is cold-hearted and selfish. They disregard other people’s feelings, and even have disdain towards their victims. If your boss lacks remorse towards his co-worker’s misfortune, then you should consider taking a step back instead of choosing to work with him.
Sometimes, if you think that your boss is a psychopath, then maybe he really is. The key point here is to reassess your current situation and sketch out a plan. You should bear in mind that despite their toxic behaviours, they are intelligent individuals who are willing to do anything to achieve their goals. The best expose to not fall into victim is to distance yourself from such psychopaths and form alliance with your co-workers.
Read also: Employee Turnover? Tell-Tale Signs of a Toxic Workplace Culture