Clive Boddy, a professor of leadership and organizational behavior at London's Middlesex University Business School, knows a thing or two about corporate psychopaths and bullies. Boddy has extensively studied the unfortunate frequency and traits of psychopaths and bullies, and he himself has been bullied by a corporate psychopath at work.
According to Boddy (and the psychologists he's spoken to in the course of his research), these are the main characteristics of corporate psychopaths:
- They are extroverts and appear to be sociable.
- They are predatory: they enjoy hurting others, enjoy watching people get hurt, and enjoy hurting people's careers.
- They are cruel.
- They are rude.
- They are selfish.
- They often get angry and argue and yell.
- They have no feelings or empathy.
- They do not have a conscience (and so don't believe they are doing anything wrong, which is why they can sleep easily at night).
- They often come from privileged backgrounds and, at an early age, figured out that through the corporate world, as opposed to the criminal world, they could more easily earn prestige, power, and money.
- They often bully others "to create confusion and chaos all around them, so that they can forge their own political and social and career agendas while everybody else is emotionally distracted. This creates a smoke screen for them to get on with what they are really doing, which is gaining power and influence and prestige and money within the corporation."
I, and Boddy, are betting that it does. After all, an estimated 1 percent of the population is said to be made up of corporate psychopaths. And so, chances are, if you work in a corporation with more than 100 people, you know one, and work with one.
What's perhaps scarier than the number of corporate psychopaths out there who enjoy bullying their colleagues, thus creating toxic work environments and ruining people's careers and lives, is the frightening fact that these types of bullies are more likely than those around them to get promoted.
Find out why this is unfortunately so in the video below (hint: it has something to do with that smoke screen mentioned above).
And for information on how to try to determine if someone you work with might be a corporate psychopath, check out the Hare Psychopath Checklist, created in the 1970s by Canadian psychologist Dr. Robert Hare.
Follow me on Twitter.
Follow us on Instagram.
Want to be found by top employers? Upload Your Resume
Join Gold to Unlock Company Reviews