More thoughts on the Emotional Intelligence of Corporate Psychopaths

As the special friend who reads my blogs knows one of the great strengths of the 7MTF/Humm model of temperament is that it incorporates corporate psychopaths in the model who are known as GoGetters or Hustlers. Recently two items of interest about corporate psychopaths came across my in-tray.

The first was an article that appeared in the Research Digest of the British Psychological Society: The Stereotype Of The Narcissistic Only Child Is Widespread But It’s Wrong. It is a common misconception that only children are narcissistic and selfish. The Chinese who suffered under a one-child policy for years called such children “Little Emperors”. The research found that while the misconception was widespread the prevalence of narcissistic traits in only children was the same as those with siblings. This conforms with the 7MTF hypothesis that narcissism is a genetic trait that depends where we are placed in the spectrum of corporate psychopathy and not upbringing or position in the family structure.

The second article came from a special friend, George Bijak, with the comment that it was a great picture. I do agree with the comment and it is a picture that I will use in future presentations. The article appeared in BBC News on 29 October 2019: Narcissists ‘horrible people but happy’. During my workshops I am often asked are Hustlers happy? To my participant’s surprise my answer is generally yes. They perceive themselves as winners in life and accordingly know they are much happier than the losers.

The artist who composed the picture also saw something completely missed by the researchers. In the article they talk about the love of status and power. Status I agree with but not power. Power is the goal of the Politician. What the GoGetter/Hustler really wants and the picture emphasises is money. While everyone says they want more money it is only the GoGetter/Hustlers who truly desire it. This really came home to me when after working for four years at TNT under Sir Peter Abeles I joined the investment bank, Bankers Trust Australia. I thought TNT, with its weekly P&Ls was a money centred organisation. However I soon realised that working in an investment bank meant I was entirely in a different league. Money is not a weekly topic of conversation; it is not a daily topic either. Money crops up hourly.

The other misconception that is often made about corporate psychopaths is that they lack empathy. I respectfully disagree. They totally lack compassion and sympathy for their fellow man. People often confuse the words empathy and sympathy. Empathy means ‘the ability to understand and share the feelings and thoughs of another’ (as in both authors have the skill to make you feel empathy with their heroines), whereas sympathy means ‘feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune’ (as in they had great sympathy for the flood victims). GoGetter/Hustlers spend a lot of time analysing what makes those around tick and how they can use this information for their own advantage. This is empathy.

This blog was first published on LinkedIn on 15 December 2019.



Chris Golis

14 Nov,2019
Sorry Charles but we will have to agree to disagree. I first learnt the "difference" between sympathy and empathy when I was first training to be a sales person back in early 1974. It is too embedded to change now.

Charles Lowe

14 Nov,2019
"GoGetter/Hustlers spend a lot of time analysing what makes those around tick and how they can use this information for their own advantage. This is empathy." "Empathy means ‘the ability to understand and share the feelings and thoughts of another’ (as in both authors have the skill to make you feel empathy with their heroines)." I disagree. 'Empathy' primarily means 'the ability to feel and the experiencing of feeling as another (is feeling)'. The term 'understanding' is redundant and is, conceptually, grossly misleading. No matter which dictionaries include it! For two reasons. Firstly, it muddies the waters. It seeks to make conscious what is subconscious (or, in other words, it introduces a 'left-brain' activity into what is a 'right brain' domain.) One does not have to be aware one is being empathic to be empathic. (Do dogs know they're being affectionate when they are?) Secondly, empathy relates to the psychological ethical primacy of 'sacredness' (as opposed to the sociological ethical primacy of 'utility'). It seems to me that it is simply a complete contradiction in terms - and in concepts - to imagine or to hold or to argue that empathy can possibly be being exercised for an embracive purpose of 'usefulness'. I agree with your definition of 'sympathy'. To it I add the observation that 'compassion' necessarily involves at least some degree of what I define as 'empathy'; it is impossible to feel compassion without having been able to step into another's shoes. (It is, on the other hand, quite easy to feel 'compassionate' in relation to numbers of 'compassion-triggering' situations/scenarios'; I argue that such a reaction is a result of training/conditioning.) Chris - these present as somewhat arcane arguments. Yet I emphasise the basal importance of accuracy in conceptualisation. That is a philosophic skill - an epistemological skill. One which your advocacy of the Humm-Wadsworth matrix demonstrates. I invite you to reconsider and to adopt and endorse my description of empathy!

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