Handling Corporate Psychopaths at work

Regular readers of my blogs will know that in my role as promoter of the 7MTF people profiling technology that I consider one of its major strengths to be recognising and handling corporate psychopaths who I define as GoGetters.   Inc Magazine recently published (28/3/23) an interesting article: Use This 5-Step Plan to Handle a Psychopaths and Narcissists at Work by Jessica Stillman that naturally piqued my curiosity.

The article is full of interesting links.  This link, a TED talk by Jim Fallon, is fascinating and supports the core concept of the 7MTF, namely that our temperament may be defined as our genetic emotional bias and there are 7 core emotional drives in our personality, and each one is linked to mental illness.  Jim Fallon defines himself as The Neuroscientist Who Discovered He Was a Psychopath.

Stillman’s article uses the work of University of New Hampshire professor Cinthia Beccacece Satornino who has developed a five-step playbook for those who are forced to deal with corporate psychopaths:

  1. Be sceptical of first impressions.
  2. Share your own horror stories
  3. Manage up to clue bosses in
  4. Plug into your networks
  5. Understand your own biases.

While good advice may I suggest some practical tips:

  1. Learn the clues to recognising them quickly: This blog is a good summary and these two earlier blogs also contain some good tips



  1. Keep a diary: The act of writing helps to stop you going over in your mind their negative actions. You will gradually build up a case which in a court of law can be very compelling.
  2. Dress and act like winner. Corporate Psychopaths divide the world into winners and losers.  They automatically consider themselves members in the former group and tend to disdain people in latter.
  3. Don’t be afraid to tell white lies: They do it all the time.

One recurring question I am asked is how many corporate psychopaths are there?  My answer explained in this blog is that the estimate of 15% of the management cohort is near the mark.

My core belief is that “People Drive Performance, Emotions Drive People; Temperament Drives Emotions”.  If you want to lift your emotional intelligence you need to use a model of temperament that is practical, easy-to-use, and scientifically valid.

The model of temperament I like is the 7MTF.  If you want to learn more about the 7MTF watch this short 4-minute explainer video.  If that awakens your appetite to lift your EQ this online-video course: Introduction to Practical Emotional Intelligence: The 7MTF is now available.

This blog was first published on LinkedIn 14 April 2023




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