Boss Bashing and Manager Bullying: Bosses in the Stigma Case

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Text comes from: Unternehmen in der Psychofalle - Wege hinein. Wege hinaus: Mein Coach. Mein Therapeut. Mein Chef (2012) from Dr. Regina Mahlmann, published by BusinessVillage Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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Chefs are often branded as alpha animals and narcissists whose alleged strengths quickly turn into interpersonal weaknesses. These characteristics also have their constructive sides, which are far too rarely considered.

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Here writes for you:


Dr. Regina Mahlmann 88Dr. As a coach and consultant, Regina Mahlmann is a sparring partner for the top management.


From the author:




Socially incompetent alpha males?

Again and again one reads in the media of psychopathic bosses exploiting their employees socially incompetent. This stigmatization is persistently persistent and corresponds to popular popular opinion.

For example, the achievements of Kate Ludeman and Eddie Erlandson have achieved short popularity. They introduce four alpha-man types. First, the strengths are highlighted and then explained when the strengths turn into destructive weaknesses.

Constructive instead of destructive

In addition, the authors consider what the alphas themselves and their partners can do to transform the destructive into the constructive, or to avoid the counterproductive moment of a force.

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However, alpha managers also appear to be socially less competent and need non-alphas as tutors to correct them. This assessment, however, is intended too black and white and falls short.

Study on narcissism among business founders

That narcissism also has areas of activity in which it can be beneficial is shown by an interdisciplinary study by the University of Hohenheim, the Reutlingen University of Applied Sciences and the German Police College in Münster.

The influence of the so-called “dark triad of personality” was examined in the phase before the company was founded. Narcissists, referred to as "self-loving personalities", performed well in that they obviously had a higher tendency to Company to found.

Self-love good for business success?

And then this quote follows: “High-quality business plans, on the other hand, come from Machiavellists.” Good to know.

Incidentally, the study received the Best Paper Award at the annual conference of the British Academy of Management (BAM) and thus received international recognition.

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Narzissmuss and power striving help in starting a business?

Their main result is: “Narcissism, striving for power and the like seem to help start-ups, at least in the initial phase to success”.

In fact, in the past, the interdependencies of narcissism and leadership (success) have been and are being researched time and again by psychologists.

Management as a virus?

A look into the media also shows that the negative attributions currently predominate among managers. Managers are therefore either walking incompetence, idiocy, narcissism, machiavellism, psychopathy.

But that's not the summit! The latest cry transforms leaders into a virus: Leading people - according to the naïve monocausal logic - make employees sick:

Chefs with nurse function

“Chief rivets go to the heart”; or - the apparently more constructive variant of the same message: “Burnout: Managers can reduce the psychological stress on employees”.

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The ideal picture of the manager looks different. Leaders are required to be caring by “socially supporting their employees at work”. However, you have to do this permanently:

Everything, just not holistic

“However, if the supervisors stop or interrupt their support, the burnout-related failures in the workforce quickly return to the previous level.”

In February 2011, a survey came to this conclusion: "The bosses fail to recognize the psychological stress of their employees or to respond appropriately."

Boss failure all along the line?

Although "(play) managers play a key role", they fail in the "holistic risk assessment".

And, as discussed above, the term holistic is understood to mean: body, soul, mind, social cohesion, and other context variables, such as scope for action and environment (industry, enterprise, workplace, infrastructure).

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Chefs with psychostigma

It turns out: Apart from the obvious devaluations, negative evaluations are characterized by the fact that they arise from a psychological discourse.

In this respect, executives are already psychologized themselves and thus often recipients of insufficiently accurate psychological labels.

What managers should do

Surprisingly, however, this is: the specific labeling that has just been discussed does not exculpate the leaders.

Rather - and this is the astonishing finding - they should in turn think psychologically and guide their employees according to psychological knowledge - “holistically”, of course. It should come as no surprise that young people are often not interested in managerial tasks.

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  1. Pascal

    Finally a text on the topic of management, which deserves to be read. The truth often looks different than it is generally portrayed.

  2. Martin

    It is a constant nuisance that people often scold managers for being in the media. The more I am thrilled by such contributions.

  3. Peggie Dwelle

    Oh the poor, poor bosses. You forgive, if you have to laugh as a worker in this post times. Most of the bosses I experienced were the biggest movers themselves.

  4. Mark G.

    This is a really important topic - I myself am a manager in a medium-sized company and feel very stressed by the high demands and the negative media opinion about managers. Therefore I am happy about such contributions!

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