He or she may not be wielding a chainsaw or lurking around a campground, but that doesn’t mean your boss isn’t a psychopath.
In fact, even if your boss isn’t, chances you know one who is.
It’s not an exaggeration – a recent British survey reveals that many workers have this clinical mental disorder. Especially bosses. The shocking assertion: Business leaders are four times more likely to be psychopaths than ordinary people.
Not only that, but the only thing that’s keeping many of them from crossing the line into more disturbing territory a la serial killers is that they experienced a happy childhood!
That’s a little close for comfort.
The trouble is those disorders are actually well disguised in many “managerial” characteristics, such as charm, high status in the organization and manipulation of people and situations. But according to researchers, you have cause for concern: These folks show no remorse and don’t possess a conscience.
Even trickier: The higher the level of psychopathy, the more charismatic this person will appear!
Surviving any type of challenging boss
Hopefully you have one of the 24 out of 25 bosses who aren’t clinical psychopaths. But you still might find your supervisor challenging at times. There are some strategies that can help you keep your sanity and your career on track:
- Have a mentor. You might not feel comfortable going to your boss for career advice or even as a sounding board. But you want to seek out someone else in your company who can be. It’s important it’s someone who works for the same organization – that person has a good idea of your corporate culture. Finding a mentor, even in an unofficial capacity, can give you a go-to person for opinions and advice to keep you on track.
- Keep your opinions to yourself. Ideally any mentor you’d tap would be trustworthy. But even if everybody dislikes your boss, resist the urge to share your opinions with co-workers. After all, even if people voice their opinions, they may later share any negative comments you’ve made in an attempt to make themselves look better.
- Detach and depersonalize. Most likely it’s him or her, not you, that’s the problem. While it can be tough not to take it personally, reminding yourself of that can keep the situation from taking an emotional (and even possibly physical) toll.
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