Psychopaths as bosses: 10 tips for handling



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We are moved by the idea to make the world of work more human - without constant pressure for efficiency, stress and fear. As Publisher Best of HR - Berufebilder.de® with podcast, eLearning-on-demand offers and news service we share 15 years of experience with our customers (Samsung, Otto, state institutions). By the Top20 female blogger and consultant Simone Janson, referenced in ARD, ZEIT, Wikipedia .
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Reckless, efficient to the point of falling over, money and lust for power - not infrequently the guarantor for the entry into the executive suite. What many employees accept as normal could actually be a mental disorder, which in the US is supposed to be any 10. Top manager concerns. Psychopaths as Chefs: 10 Tips for Handling Matrix

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Here writes for you: Simone Janson is a publisher, German Top20 blogger and HR communication consultant. Profile

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To the choleric in 5 seconds?

Overview

The boss has just begged the coworker with a friendly nods - and suddenly he roars hysterically. He was actually only asked for the holiday planning for the coming half-year.

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For the staff, however, this is nothing new: substantive discussions bring nothing. They have, therefore, for a long time, arranged themselves with the cheeks of the boss - with avoidance: unpleasant subjects are kept away from Boss as far as possible. This ensures peace of mind. But many important decisions are not taken. Productive work? Wrong!

Troubled bosses are not rare

Overview

That chefs have psychopathic characteristics is not a rarity. In an online survey, Australian scientists Anthony Don Erickson, Ben Shaw and Zha Agabe asked about bad experiences with bad bosses. Of the 240 participants, 64 percent stated that their bosses did not happen despite their bad behavior or even they were even promoted.

The American psychologists Paul Babiak and Robert D. Hare, authors of the book "Manchangers or Managers: Psychopaths at Work" assume that every tenth top manager in the US is a psychopath.

definitional problems

Overview

Attention: Not everyone who behaves strange or has a misfiring is also a psychopath. Psychopaths are often very charming, amiable, well educated, and conversational. However, they are also good actors who know how to hide their mistakes for a while.

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Strictly scientific, the term "psychopath" is even wrong: Psychologists today speak of sociopathic personalities, of anti-social or dissocial personality disorders, which also occur graded.

What is normal and what is psychopathic?

Overview

Because the limits to normal behavior can be fluent. It is characteristic for psychopaths that they do not really have compassion or genuine interest in other people, but that they are only interested in themselves and their success. According to neurological findings, their brain is obviously different from that of other people.

So writes Dr. Werner Fuchs in a review of "Man-in-shock or manager: psychopaths at work": "As a reader, I would like more clues as to why psychopaths have no conscience. After all, there are interesting answers from emotion psychologists and neuroscientists to this question. And I also want to know what might have meant that I could curb my own psychopathic potential, what the adverse career humanity has to do with me and what will become of less career-minded and clever psychopaths. "

Whoever is ruthless makes career!

Overview

However, it is no coincidence that these people make such a career so often, and at first sight they appear bold and able to make unwelcome decisions. In fact, they do not care about other people and negative consequences. They have a tremendous, self-confident and convincing effect on others, but they are often only motivated and self-adored.

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And targeted work is also a feature that is very important at first sight in professional life: such people are often regular working animals, efficient to fall; In doing so, psychopaths are only concerned about having success at all costs. And because they have few friends, they spend most of their time at the office.

Long term a problem for the Company

Overview

In the long term, however, such bosses are a problem not only for their employees, but also for the company, as management consultant Reinhard Sprenger, author of the book "Myths Motivation: Paths from a Dead End" explains: "Short-term successes are paid for with long-term damage. Because psychopaths in pinstripes are self-optimizers. They never support the performance of others, they only promote their own talents ".

The result: the company's climate is poisoned on a sustained basis and good employees are distributed. For, in the vicinity of psychopaths, only those who have no alternatives remain voluntary. This is exactly what the researchers unanimously advise people who are suffering from psychopathic bosses or colleagues: as much as possible, or as quickly as possible.

10 Tips: How to deal with psychopathic bosses

Overview

Not every bad boss is like a psychopath. Nevertheless, discussing is often little, it is more sensible to reconcile with the quirks of the different types and react accordingly.

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  1. The choleric: Spontaneous rage for some trifle? Look at the drama as calmly as possible, and wait until the anger is smoky. Little trick: Imagine you are a director watching an actor in the tantrums.
  2. The perfectionist: He is always in full swing, always ready for peak performance, and expects that from others too. Again and again gently guide him to the ground of reality, for example, by drawing attention to the mountain of left-over work.
  3. The intriguer: With deliberate lies he deliberately plays out the people in his environment and thereby makes a career. Give him little attack and keep away from him.
  4. The sadist: He is concerned about power and he wants to exercise it now - at all costs. Stay respectful, but without being intimidated. You should not introduce new ideas as an ellenlanges slime, but to formulate them jaggedly.
  5. The narcissist: He is himself the most important person - and no one arrives. Let him believe in being the greatest. Present new ideas so that he believes they originate from him.
  6. The user: The user wants to become popular, but then steal ideas and spend as his own - this is his success on the career ladder. It is therefore important to discuss everything in writing and to document each step of the work cleanly.
  7. The manipulator: The manipulator is dangerous, because he himself has no sympathy for others, but he knows exactly which buttons he has to push: to have a look at and not play his games is already the best tactics.
  8. The charmer: He always sounds very friendly, but firm commitments and binding dates are a horror for him. He slips away from his responsibility and lets the unsightly things take care of someone else. Just listen to his compliments.
  9. Mixed forms: Of course, there are gradations and blends, and not every boss with weaknesses is equal to a psychopath.
  10. A new job? In the long run, however, a psychopathic boss can cost you your career, but in any case your health. So looking for a new job is probably the better alternative.


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  1. Sylvana Pollehn

    I think so too - then it's time :)

  2. Simone Janson

    Thanks for this super comment. The fact that one can also choose his boss as an employee - unfortunately, this wisdom has not been too far in Germany.

  3. Sylvana Pollehn

    Good employees always have the choice and this leads to the fact that they can "choose" their "boss" almost "almost". I would never stay in a company where bosses bully me or treat them unjustly. I think we should try to give a boss his chance first. However, there is always the courage to oppose (or her) him and confront him with the unsustainable situation. This is damn hard and will surely be unfamiliar to some boss, but it is in my opinion the only way to move something. If we run away, we never change anything. But to change something makes sense only if the company philosophy is right and the boss sees his chance as this.

  4. Sylvana Pollehn

    Excellent article that can not say more aptly: RT @SimoneJanson: Help, my boss is crazy:

  5. Simone Janson

    Help, my # boss is # crazy - why #Psyschopathen rather # make career

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