Bullying isn’t just for school kids on the playground.
Andrew Faas, a former senior executive with Canada’s two largest retail organizations, found this out the hard way when he blew the whistle on a corrupt colleague, and subsequently had his phone and email hacked and even received an anonymous death threat.
To help others, Faas says in his new book, “The Bully’s Trap,” any worker being hired or promoted in a supervisory position should be required to take a psychological test.
What would it test for? The 20 signs listed in the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, as developed by renowned psychologist Robert Hare.
A psychopath may not show all the signs, but they will likely demonstrate at least some of them, Faas says.
Here are nine signs that one of your coworkers may be a psychopath:
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They have sadistic motives and intents.
“I think the most telling sign is their sadistic nature,” Faas says.
A psychopath motivates others through fear, rather than respect, he says, and they intend to destroy rather than correct.
This one characteristic is what separates psychopaths from a boss or coworker who is simply “firm,” he says.
“I’ve led and managed workforces that are in the thousands, and I’ve always been and still am a very demanding leader, but I motivate through respect because I want people to improve,” Faas says.
They’re glib and constantly turn on the superficial charm.
Psychopaths are masters at presenting themselves well.
They are great conversationalists who can easily sprinkle chit-chat with witty comebacks and “unlikely but convincing” stories that make them look good, writes Hare in a post on PsychologyToday.com.
Confronted with such charm, you may believe that the psychopath is a decent — delightful, even — person by the end of the conversation.
Hare writes that one of his raters once interviewed a male prisoner who threw in some compliments about her appearance, and by the end of the interview she felt unusually pretty.
“When I got back outside, I couldn’t believe I’d fallen for a line like that,” she said.
They have a grandiose estimation of self.
Much like a parasite, psychopaths see themselves as the center of the universe, writes Hare, on PsychologyToday.com. They are so important in their minds that normal societal rules don’t apply to them, Hare writes.
“It’s not that I don’t follow the law,” said one of Hare’s subjects. “I follow my own laws. I never violate my own rules.”