Have you ever encountered someone in your workplace who seems charming and confident on the outside, but on the inside is manipulative, deceitful, and lacks empathy? This is the topic of “Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work,” a book written by Dr. Paul Babiak and Dr. Robert D. Hare. The authors examine the traits and behaviors of psychopaths in the workplace and how they can rise to positions of power.
The book starts by defining psychopathy and explaining how it is different from other mental disorders. It then goes on to describe the characteristics of a psychopath, including charm, manipulation, deceit, lack of empathy, and grandiosity. The authors explain that while these traits can be harmful in any environment, they can be especially dangerous in the workplace, where psychopaths can use their charisma and cunning to exploit others and manipulate situations to their advantage.
One of the most compelling parts of the book is the case studies that the authors present, showing how psychopaths can behave in the workplace. These examples serve to illustrate the different ways that psychopaths can use their abilities to deceive, manipulate, and control their colleagues and superiors. They also show how their actions can lead to significant harm for both the individuals they interact with and the organization as a whole.
The authors also provide practical advice for recognizing and dealing with psychopaths in the workplace. They emphasize the importance of understanding the signs and behaviors that indicate that someone may be a psychopath, and how to protect oneself from their influence. They also offer suggestions for organizations to prevent psychopaths from rising to positions of power, including implementing effective screening and selection processes, promoting a healthy workplace culture, and fostering open communication and transparency.