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Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work

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Finally, you’ll discover how you can prepare yourself for the unfortunate event of having a psychopath in your life. Because although they’re a rare occurrence, it’s likely you’ll meet one sooner or later, and you don’t want to become their lunch.

Most psychopaths wind up in prison because they’re not good at manipulating people to get what they want. They resort to more direct methods, like violence. But most psychopaths are able to manipulate people before resorting to violent means. Psychopaths use a three-step process: first, the assessment phase, where they evaluate their victims’ utility and identify their weak spots; second, the exploitation phase, where they take advantage of those weaknesses for personal gain; and third is the control phase, where they maintain power over their victims through manipulation or force. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Because they see most people as weak, inferior, and easy to deceive, psychopathic con artists will often tell you that their victims deserved what they got.”I can't give this book a good rating due to the fact that I started reading it in May 2016 and here we are, in April 2019 and I've finished it. Rarely do I finish a book in more than two weeks, let alone almost three years. Admittedly, this is more of a testament to how little of a life I have but still. Companies are very pragmatic and respond to information about behaviors relevant to the work at hand rather than subjective feelings about another person.”

I read this as a follow up to Jon Ronson’s marvelous Psychopath Test, which was named for the diagnostic criteria Dr. Hare developed. I ended up skimming quite a bit of it because it was what it was billed to be – a book about dealing with psychopaths in the workplace, largely from a corporate management perspective. It’s good, but spent way too much time cautioning the reader to not do exactly what it was telling us how to do – realize that there are psychopaths among us and reducing the harm they can cause.

Unfortunately, you’ll probably have to deal with a psychopath at some point in your life. You might not know who you’re dealing with when that happens. White House press secretary for George W Bush, Ari Fleischer, was reported to have said : “It is a common trait among those who ran privately held corporations. Their way is the only way. Their will gets it done. They’ve been successful against all odds, built something huge, and when they declare it so they expect everybody around them to make it so. That’s Donald Trump’s behaviour.” In Snakes in Suits, Revised and Updated Edition, Babiak, an industrial and organizational psychologist and a leading authority on the corporate psychopath, and Hare, an expert on the scientific study of criminal psychopathy, examine the role of psychopaths in modern corporations and provide the tools employers and employees can use to avoid and deal with them.

The cookie is set by CasaleMedia. The cookie is used to collect information about the usage behavior for targeted advertising. The authors provide a good mix of short vignettes, research and a running end-to-end story about the 11 month journey of one psychopath from his hiring to his promotion into the job of the boss he ousted. Although it is practically impossible to protect yourself from a smooth talking, charming psychopath once targeted, the authors explain why and how our current fast paced and constantly changing business environment is the ideal setting for these modern day con-men. Not only does our modern concept of business with its constant re-invention provide jungle like cover for these predators, the less clearly defined skills of leadership, such as strategic thinking, self-confidence, bias towards action and good communication, tailor fit these chameleon-like masters of manipulation. Hear, hear! they cheered as glasses were emptied and bursts of laughter and applause overtook the room. There was not a sad person in the place that night; quite a change from most Friday nights at O’Hare’s over the past two years.

Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work". Psychology Today. 39 (5): 36. September 2006 . Retrieved February 27, 2017. [ dead link]

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