Monday, April 23, 2012

Nonviolent Psychopathic bosses: Part one.

             The boss you need to avoid whenever possible.



Nonviolent Psychopaths (NV-P’s) can most definitely reach positions of management, upper levels, and can even rise to CEO’s. They can do this almost effortlessly to all that see it happen, sometimes wondering how and so quickly they made it occur.

Most management NV-Ps reach this level by their late thirties to early forties. They’ve learned from many trials and errors, feeling their way and finding what works roughly 90% of the time. They are fast learners, never forgetting past errors in their actions, wording or their blind onesided ambitions.



How do they learn to reach the levels they do?

Through their sheer power of manipulation, backstabbing those on equal levels and possessing a never-ending mental tape recorder that is constantly on full-blast, they will coerce, blackmail and charm their way to the top. This level of their actions, however, is just the tip of the iceberg.



God help those that work under them as they progress their rapid ascent to bigger, grander things.

They love to ask those under them their opinions, reactions to new corporate initiatives, or simply to ask for ideas based on brain-storming sessions. When given these thoughts from their subordinates, they’ll fake interest and quite possibly concern for the meager/weak issues of the team they control. In some cases, when a team member continually expresses job related issues that never seem to get resolved, thus creating more stress in their work environment, they’ll snap on the employee in an attempt to intimidate them into submission. They do this to lay down the law: basically telling this employee, not the mention the whole team: Bring this up again and I WILL make you wish you hadn’t.

Why do they do this?

They do it to lay down their law of the jungle, making the repeated questioner look bad, ignorant or a negative Nelly in front of the whole team. This having a certain effect, more often than not, making others say nothing at all for fear of reprisal or retribution, and possible consequences in the future.

When they sense a loss of control with subordinates, after manipulation fails, they will have no problem intimidating with a fierce mentality to crush and beat them down. They will say things like: What, do you not think I know what I am talking about? Do you have no faith in the company, its systems, and your job? If you’re so unhappy, why do you stay here? You have other options, perhaps you should explore them…

At that point, you need to start documenting everything you encounter with this boss. Take notes, what is said, dates and times. EVERYTHING. This may save your job, not to mention your sanity, over time as you simply wish to maintain your life.

Depending greatly on your personality, you will either wish to rub this bosses nose in shit or simply waste much time and energy being the scared rabbit this manager has created.

Be conscious of your inner signals if you fall into the latter. If you find yourself concerning yourself or entertaining the idea that you are wrong for your answers, suggestions and justified in being belittled in front of others, talk to friends and family members about this. If you feel you can trust coworkers about your concerns, do so cautiously, as they may backstab you to the boss. Consider going to HR when you have documented enough.

Those that are strong enough to consider giving your boss a scratch-and-sniff of fecal perfume, you probably already have compiled enough documented evidence and are already on your way to HR. Most HR departments of larger companies will pay attention to employees concerns and grievances. They are smart and know they can always ‘make’ another manager. They will take notice when enough employees step up and express similar concerns.

Yet instead of firing such managers, they oddly, against all logic, will sometimes promote them instead. Perhaps fearing legal issues, they will set them apart from their current team. Occasionally placing them on another team to see what happens, to take further action down the road, or simply put them on a team of corporate YES-People, ie, Specialty Teams. Many times, they will place them in a position that involves other areas of the companies big-picture structure in a behind the scenes capacity.

This is the time, that the corporations hierarchy , wishes to see what this person, the NV-P, has to offer and further make the company more profitable. Granted, this boss had a ton of HR accusations against them, yet still had a team with exceptional numbers and an excellence of performance that bears notice. This person did, when all is said and done, blow away most teams in the company.

Those that acknowledge such achievements, unknowingly, propel the predator to further heights. They think they can control this person they gave a better position to, and oh so willingly grant this person more power than they’d righteously earned. It is at this point that their egos made them the next target.

I will go to the next level of the Corporate Vampire that is this type of NV-P.

Let me list the signals to the workers of a boss that may be a NV-P.

1. They so willing with much enthusiasm ask your opinion. If you watch closely, you will see that their eyes never match their words. Facial expressions, smiles that bare teeth, like that of a wolf about to strike. Watch for hand movements that do not match the emphasis for the subjects they are talking about.

By this I mean: think of a used car salesman, attempting to sell you a piece of junk, throwing his arms wildly with much energy and expression, taking your attention away from the car you’re thinking about and the oil stained pavement underneath it. He/She so blatantly sells you on the 30 day, 1000 mile guarantee, that you either consider it, or outright purchase it. This man obviously stands by this car, after all, look at his enthusiasm. He must be honest as he stands by the warrantee they offer.

Maybe not the first time, but by the second time, the managerial NV-P will attempt to squash you like a fly to their swatter.

They will belittle you. Bash you and knock you down in their attempt to intimidate you so brazenly in front of others, cowing them into submission.

2. Watch keenly for the boss that suggests, though more often than not, answers your question and asks further questions that sound more like an accusation: Catch phrases most often used: Is it that you have no faith in the company? Do you doubt my knowledge/expertise on this matter? Do you suggest I did not run your question up the ladder to get you a resolve? < and at the next meeting, when you question that they have not, watch their eyes. They will contain daggers aimed straight you.>

3. When you encounter one-on-ones with this boss, watch for what they say, in the highest of confidences, about your fellow employees. They use such terms as negative Nellies, Gloomy Gus’s and so forth, drawing you in when they compliment you on not being that way. They will eventually get paranoid about this and slowly, over some time, point out your flaws and tell you that you need to work on these things. They are setting you up for eventual termination. You have not told them about further negative statements the Nellies have said. They may, at bolder points, point blankly ask you: You didn’t tell them what I said, did you? I trusted you and I hear you betrayed my trust ( even though you kept your mouth shut.)

4. HR or the media is your friend. Use these resources to their fullest.

The above is a compilation of both stories from contributors and life experiences over the decades.

Make of this what you will, but keep a watchful eye.

Your boss may be a NV-P.