Ever looked around your office and thought a colleague was just one failed client pitch away from bringing an axe into the office?
Well, you may well have every right to be scared if the findings of a new book into psychopathic behaviour in the workplace is to be believed.
The book is titled The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success and was penned by Dr Kevin Dutton, a research psychologist at the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford.
Dr Dutton argues office psychopaths aren’t (thankfully) going to start firing-up chainsaws during budget meetings, however, they do tend to feature two distinct traits – an ability to manipulate and control others.
In his book, Dutton outlines the jobs that are most likely to attract psychopaths with those employed in media and journalism making the top 10. The list also included the usual suspects, including salespeople and lawyers.
The top 10 list of careers likely to attract psychopaths:
- Media presenters
- Public servants
Dutton argued that many of the key skills associated with journalism – being charming, focused, ruthless in getting a story – were key traits of psychopaths.
The findings certainly mirroring one of B&T’s bigger stories of recent weeks – Seven reporter Josh Massoud threatening to slit the throat of a colleague.
While those employed in media (that’s TV and radio, not buying) often needed a high level of ego and narcissism – two more traits of the psychopath – to deal with the job and the public attention that comes with it.
Dutton added that many psychopaths do very well in an office environment and are often found amongst most senior management teams.
In fact, he nominated the CEO as the career most suited to the psychopath. That’s because they’re good at creating a chaotic environment around them to undermine their workmates and get ahead.