You may be spending every day with a colleague as a psychopath.
And you can assume that he got the job for a reason, and therefore must have a number of advantages: a good education, deep knowledge in his field, work experience and at least one, or even more, positive characteristic from previous bosses.
Co-worker psychopath sign 1
It is easier for a psychopath to get a position, the main requirements for which are such vague characteristics as "leadership qualities" and "the ability to work with people", than to get a job, which implies a strictly defined high qualifications. In his resume, he will focus on his personal qualities, which are easy to embellish and difficult to adequately assess. Then he will use the charm and the power of persuasion - and his work. Human communication is less than 10% verbal - and psychopaths are well aware that HOW they say is much more important than WHAT they say. A cheerful, firm handshake, energy, self-confidence, the look of a connoisseur and an endless stream of newfangled terms - these are the little things that make up their success during the interview. It doesn't matter that they didn't really say anything about the case. As soon as they step over the threshold, any questions to them disappear by themselves. And colleagues, of course, believe that since this person has been hired, he, by definition, must be competent.
The culture to which we belong can suppress or stimulate the development of certain personality traits. In general, English psychopaths are not much different from American psychopaths, but psychopaths from the United States score higher on PCL-R on those items that assess arrogance and charm. And when the researchers compared the test results for psychopaths in Scotland and those in North America, they found that Scots were generally inferior to Americans on all counts and generally showed far fewer psychopathic traits. But this does not mean that the Highland psychopaths are any other - if you do not take into account the kilt, of course - they just do not need elegant, dexterous acquired manners. After all, where did you see a Scotsman who would wish at least someone a “good day” or a “good journey” ?!
Perhaps when a new star employee just came to your office, your boss asked you to help him get comfortable. Of course, you were pleased that he chose you for this assignment. But it was even more pleasant to see that the newcomer himself clearly really wants to make friends with you - he, obviously, noticed that you are in good standing in the office, and even - what a coincidence! - you are a fan of his favorite football team. And, recognizing him as a "soul mate", you decided to share your corporate wisdom with him and give him some vital information, and not just show him which cupboard you can put your cup in and which door leads to the toilet. For example, you told him who your friendliest secretary is, which of the managers, if you really need it, will help you to draw up the documents not quite legally, and even which of the canteen employees puts in the most generous portions.
Peer Psychopathic Sign 2
Psychopaths are very persuasive and skillful sycophants. They determine at first glance how you can be "hooked", and quickly adjust to your preferences in order to get closer to you and find out how you can be useful to them. They will diligently "share" all your hobbies and interests in order to make you feel friendly. Often, those who became unwitting participants in the "show" of a psychopath later admit sadly: "But I thought I had finally found a real friend - we had so much in common."
Serial killers also had to earn their living
- Harold Shipman (physician; believed to have killed about 250 people).
- Ted Bundy (lawyer, defended himself in his own court; also worked on the helpline of a suicide crisis center; killed 36 young women).
- John Gacy (director of a successful company and part-time clown at children's parties; killed gay boys and piled their bodies in the basement of his house).
- Steve Wright (forklift driver; killed five women, known as the "Ipswich Ripper").
- Gary Ridgway (road marker; killed at least 48 people).
- Dennis Nielsen (official; killed and dismembered 17 young people).
Of course, you are a careful person. Like everyone else, you have a password on your computer - even if you never got around to replacing the standard PASSWORD1 automatically issued to you by the system. And you don't leave your wallet on the table or your bag underneath during a fire drill or when you go out to lunch. Although, perhaps, you leave it when you run out to the toilet or dining room for a minute - and you certainly leave it when you were asked to look into the office on the floor above.
Peer Psychopathic Sign 3
The psychopath will not resist the temptation to rummage around your desk or a computer left on in order to find your weak points as quickly as possible. Respect for someone's privacy, being considerate towards other people - none of this means anything to a psychopath who has set out to squeeze everything out of you that you can give him. A bag, desk drawer, email, or even messages on a mobile phone - nothing is sacred to him.
Our newcomer - let's call him Rob - quickly got used to it. And after a few weeks, to your chagrin, he stopped calling you for dinner - now he is friends with the telephone operator and goes everywhere with her as a couple.
Counterpart Psychopath Sign 4
Do not be surprised if your new “friend” suddenly exchanges you for someone to whom he has not shown the slightest interest before. Psychopaths need not only those in power, but also those with access to power. In this case, our Rob saw a potential "pawn" in the telephone operator, who can accidentally blabber about what calls your boss considers important and to whom he calls most often.
(And not that you really believe the rumors, but even a blind man would notice that from lunchtime these two come a little disheveled …)
Peer Psychopath Sign 5
Psychopaths are well aware that many issues are successfully resolved through bed, and no prohibitions on "office romances" will stop them. And they perceive sex with subordinates as a privilege provided by the company. And our Rob will sleep with the telephone operator - only to check the box next to her name on the list of "helpful" partners planned for this month.
Later, when your department manager went on vacation, Rob volunteered to host meetings for him. And then he suddenly mentioned in a general conversation that he had recently corresponded with the chairman of the board of directors - he offered him his plan for the company to master new technologies. Now no one doubts that he will be promoted soon.
Peer Psychopath Sign 6
Psychopaths benefit from any change, they easily master - or pretend to master - new technologies, and therefore always seem to be very entrepreneurial and in step with the times. And the fact that no one around has yet figured out these new gizmos and gadgets, gives them the opportunity to rant about the undeniable advantages of progress, without fear of being inundated with difficult questions. In addition, the corporate psychopath, as a rule, is very good at timing the next change of department. Before you can blink an eye, he finds himself in a new place - naturally, because he was promoted, because he did so much in his previous position that his superiors could not remain indifferent. But also because it was vitally important for him to sneak away before the colleagues, on whose heads he walked, realize that they were being used and unite against him. Psychopaths know very well that while it never occurs to anyone to find out whether they have brought any benefit to the "common cause" or not, they can still successfully grind with their tongues (and this is, in fact, the only thing they can do), - and then you have to get out on time. By the time Rob's brilliant proposals to modernize your department have plunged the entire firm into chaos, he will already enjoy new powers and higher salaries, and his "stupid" former assistant will be blamed for the failure of the "reforms".
And then one day your boss gathers all the employees and announces that the company is now in a difficult period, and therefore none of you will be given a salary increase this year. This is the only way to save your common cause. Plus, there won't be any bonuses, nor will there be any reimbursement of office expenses. The news is unpleasant - but what to do, we must somehow survive it. It's not so easy to find another job, but here they still get paid.
Everyone takes it calmly - and only Rob suddenly explodes. He flies into the chief's office, a hysterical shout is heard from there, and then he flies out just as quickly, slamming the door deafeningly. After a while, a whitened boss comes out of the office on trembling legs: not only has he just been doused with mud from head to toe, he suddenly belatedly realized that all this time Rob had been receiving some incredible sums, and a month ago persuaded the chairman of the board of directors to give him a bonus in advance. It is not surprising that the firm has suffered continuous losses lately. But now it's too late to find out. You haven't seen Rob since that day.
Peer Psychopath Sign 7
The psychopath doesn't care about corporate ethics. He does not understand what it means to “work for the good of the company”, and the thought never occurs to him that “there is no“me”in the team, there is only“us””. In their minds, a “dedicated employee” is a failure. If the psychopath fails to get what he wants, or if he gets bitten, he simply leaves, often with a scandal. When Rob is no longer covered for outrageous expenses and paid bonuses, he immediately loses all interest in the work. And the fact that calculating Rob inadvertently revealed his scams himself should not surprise you. Remember that psychopaths are impulsive creatures and Rob now has plenty of fresh material for a stunning new resume.
Usually such cases are ended quietly; perhaps Rob will even get a good characterization. It is unlikely that the chairman of the board of directors will agree to admit that he was led by his charm and refined flattery. And Rob, who quit "nowhere", will soon go for an interview again to bewitch other employers with his bewitching chatter.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a global professional consulting and auditing company, has conducted economic crime research around the world every two years since 2003, based on reports from more than 5,000 firms that provided information on the financial fraud of their employees. … This allowed us to compile the most complete picture of corporate crime on a global scale. Based on the research results, PwC has compiled a list of recommendations for company executives. They advise management to take a closer look at an employee who:
- was noticed in committing acts that a respectable person would not dare to do (frequent visits to strip clubs and presentation of bills to the company for kilograms of cocaine may also indicate a lack of "integrity" - but, on the other hand, who of us have not heard of the fact that such entertainment is quite common among employees of large corporations and is sometimes even encouraged by the company as part of the work on "networking");
- is inclined to embark on adventures or make decisions that are too risky for business (but still … those companies that are most at risk are the ones that succeed most. Take hedge funds, for example. * They just need those who are able to make “too risky decisions” ");
- Disregards the need to comply with the rules set by company management or the law (although someone who knows their "rights and responsibilities" too well and always has a manual of corporate policies and procedures close at hand is likely to be called "bureaucrat" and will be avoided);
- cunning and evasive, does not want to compromise and cooperation, is rude to the audit group (as if everyone else does not like auditors!);
- can not provide evidence of his track record (unfortunately, you cannot figure out a psychopath for sure on this basis - they can easily get out with the help of a dummy referee).
Of course, this list makes sense, but it also shows that many of the potentially dangerous characteristics can be very useful to someone who wants to succeed in business. Probably PwC did not take this into account.
Photo: Photomish Dan flickr.com/photomishdan