Mind Games: Let’s Talk About the Dark Side – Psychopathy in the Workplace
Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterised by traits such as lack of empathy, charm, and manipulation. It has a significant impact on organisations, as individuals with psychopathic tendencies have a negative effect on their colleagues, as well as on the overall work environment.
Sidebar: Psychopathy is considered a disorder because it is associated with a range of negative outcomes, including violent behavior, impulsive and irresponsible actions, and a lack of empathy or remorse. People with psychopathy often have difficulty forming and maintaining meaningful relationships, and they may engage in antisocial or criminal behavior. Additionally, research has shown that individuals with psychopathy have neurological and cognitive differences suggesting that it is a biological as well as psychological disorder.
Studies have shown that individuals with higher levels of psychopathy tend to have lower levels of emotional awareness. This lack of empathy could stem from a low awareness of others’ emotions, which can result in a lack of concern for the feelings and well-being of others. However, it should be noted that this is only true for individuals with psychopathy who have also experienced childhood abuse or neglect. For those who have not experienced abuse or neglect, they may have high levels of emotional awareness, which could help them be more manipulative and charming.
According to data from the World Health Organisation, approximately 1% of the general population is estimated to have psychopathy. In organisations, this number is likely to be higher, as individuals with psychopathic tendencies tend to be drawn to positions of power and control, such as CEO, CFO, and senior management positions.
The impact of psychopathy in organisations can also be seen in terms of unethical behavior. Individuals with psychopathic tendencies have been shown to engage in unethical behaviors such as lying, cheating, and stealing, and are more likely to engage in illegal activities, such as embezzlement or fraud. This can have a significant financial impact on organisations, as well as harming their reputation.
The negative impact of psychopathy on the work environment can also result in lower morale and increased turnover rates. Individuals with psychopathic tendencies can be hostile and intimidating, causing fear and stress in their colleagues.
Furthermore, the manipulative nature of individuals with psychopathic tendencies can also result in a lack of trust among employees. Psychopaths are often able to deceive others and manipulate situations to their advantage.
In conclusion, the impact of psychopathy in organisations can be significant and far-reaching. Few organisations have any kind of programme to address this risk.