Is Your Boss a Sociopath? New Report Says It's Very Possible

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Four percent of the people on planet earth are sociopaths, and too many of them wind up in positions of authority, reports Davia Temin in Forbes. The odds are that the boss you and the rest of the office are having so much trouble with is a sociopath.

In essence, sociopaths are unable to understand human emotion and lack a conscience. They view others as existing solely for their use and abuse. Thanks to those traits they usually rise to the top. That's because no sense of right or wrong stands in their way. What helps with continued upward mobility is that they have down cold the tools of both persuasion and manipulation, especially charm. As your boss, they will wreak havoc, turn team members against each other, engage in outbursts of public humiliation of all of you, and berate good work that threatens them.

What experts advise is to not take this personally and to plan an exit strategy. These forces of evil cannot be changed or even tamed, at least not for long. The trick is to protect your job and sense of your professional worth until you can find another job. Note the key here is: self protection.

To do this, you will have to think like a lawyer. Document everything, ranging from the boss's aberrant behavior to downright unethical and illegal activities. Private conversations don't count because they fall into the category of "he says/she says." Therefore, list data only of events in which there were witnesses, activities for which there is a paper or electronic trail, and what tangible decisions could be interpreted as reckless or illegal behavior.

Just like the wised-up community flashes a cross in front of a vampire, make the sociopath aware you might have evidence of questionable behavior. That could result in being left alone until you are ready to quit. It usually takes time to fire you. Or if you are fired or simply angry enough to sue, then that record keeping could become the ground for an employment lawsuit, either individual or class action. In that case, as lawyers worth their salt will tell you, also sue the company or the deep pocket. After all, the company, it could be proved, should have been aware of the harm the boss was causing. In the future, that in itself could deter organizations from hiring or retaining sociopaths.

Next: Four-Step Program For Dealing With a Bad Boss

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