Posts Tagged ‘dark triad’
Monday, August 4th, 2014
By Kathryn Cave – IDG Connect – August 4, 2014
“Every office full of ambitious people has them. And we have all worked with at least one—the co-worker with an inexplicable ability to rise in the ranks,” wrote the Wall Street Journal recently in an article entitled What Corporate Climbers Can Teach Us. “‘How do they do it?’ we may ask ourselves or whisper to friends at work,” it continued. “They don’t have more experience. They don’t seem that brilliant.”
The answer it suggests is the “dark triad” of personality traits identified by psychologists as: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. “These traits are well-known for the bad behaviour that they can cause when dominant in people’s personalities,” explained the article. “At milder levels, however, they can actually foster skills that can help people rise through the ranks.”
Of course, there’s a very fine line between demonstrating these skills for the purpose of career progression and becoming that covert workplace bully. And the latter is a serious problem. Recent research from the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) released in Feb 2014, shows 27% of all adult Americans have directly experienced “repeated abusive conduct that is threatening, intimidating, humiliating, work sabotage or work abuse.”
Dr. Namie, Director of WBI and widely regarded as North America’s foremost authority on workplace bullying, tells us that bullies also usually exhibit this dark triad. In fact, he demonstrates that the sort of qualities that facilitate career progression are indelibly linked to workplace bullying. “Look at that package,” Dr. Namie tells us: “these are the people who are willing to meddle with others. They fill their days with political gamesmanship. And the other people, the targets, come to work to do their job.”
“[For the bullies] climbing the ladder is all of their work,” Dr. Namie continues. “It is their focus. It becomes a zero-sum game where they must obliterate all competition. They see co-workers as competition as opposed to peers, or a possible pool of friends. They see them as someone to dupe, overcome and climb over. And it is just Machiavellian. And some people don’t have that view at all. They’re co-corporative. They’re nice. They’re kind. The targets are in that group.”
Friday, November 22nd, 2013
Review of Buckels, Jones & Paulhus (2013) Behavioral Confirmation of Everyday Sadism. This research was conducted at the University of British Columbia and the University of Texas at El Paso.
The phrase “workplace bullying” prompts most listeners to ponder deviant personality quirks of perpetrators. Though we at WBI believe work environment factors are better predictors of a bullying-prone workplace, it is the interaction of personality and work conditions that provide the fullest explanation. Bullied targets, when under assault, ruminate too long on the personality of their bully and the perp’s motivation. So, we advise them to ignore the perp’s personality so that they can act to get to safety. Given these forewarnings about the limited role of personality in bullying, here is a research article that addresses perhaps the most relevant of all personality traits related to bullying — sadism.
Tags: aggressors, Buckels, bullies, dark side of the world of work, dark triad, Paulhus, perpetrators, personality, sadism, workplace bullying
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