Is your boss a charming, seemingly normal person who grew up in a happy and loving household?
Yes? Then there's a 4 per cent chance you're answering to a psychopath.
Now, Folklaw doesn't wish to alarm anyone, but according to a recent study by an American psychologist, reported on by Time Healthland, one in 25 bosses may well be psychopathic.
According to psychologist and executive coach Paul Babiak, that is a rate four times higher than the general population.
Babiak's study was based on the examination of 203 American corporate professionals, chosen by their companies to take part in a management training program.
He evaluated their "psychopathic traits" using a standard psychopathy checklist (Folklaw needs to get its hands on one of those!) developed by Robert Hare, an expert in psychopathy at Canada's University of British Columbia.
According to Babiak, psychopaths - who are generally described as being "completely amoral and concerned only with their own power and selfish pleasures" (sound familiar?) - are likely to be overrepresented in the business environment because it happens to play to their strengths.
In short, where greed is considered to be a good thing (worried yet?) and profit-making tops the values list (run while you can!), psychopaths thrive.
Frankly, based on that little assessment, it seems likely that most lawyers are probably working with at least one psychopath.
Babiak also says these amoral, power-hungry sadists are likely to be charming and manipulative, able to disguise the fact they are terrible managers by covertly charming both superiors and subordinates and thus disguising their weaknesses and deftly climbing the corporate ladder.
Unfortunately, Babiak says this last quality renders it almost impossible to tell who is a genuinely talented leader and who is a psychopath.
Babiak adds that true psychos can be hard to spot, as chances are they've grown up in happy, loving homes but, for some reason, end up using their hidden powers of evil in different ways, such as becoming your boss and making your life a living hell.
"Psychopaths really aren't the kind of person you think they are," says Babiak.
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