UnNews:How to spot a psychopath at work
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12 January 2007
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BEDLAM, City of London, Friday -- How well do you know your colleagues' personalities? Researchers warn some of them may have psychopathic traits.
But they say this is nothing to be worried about. They will hopefully not be violent, but their psychopathic traits will allow them to climb the career ladder. And you can claim your antacid tablets on expenses.
Professor Robert Hare, of Birkbeck Corporate, says corporate psychopaths' arrogance and focus helps them succeed. They may also be superficially charming but prone to fly into rages, enjoy eating what appears to be undercooked pork for lunch and take the credit for the achievements of suddenly missing colleagues.
Professor Hare estimates that around one per cent of the working population of the City of London proper, the Square Mile, could be described as psychopaths. He has developed the Nutter Scan 360 test in order to detect them. The test involves interviewing people working with the person concerned to get a "360 degree" assessment of their personality, asking about their colleagues' behaviour, habits, obsessive tendencies, odd smell, what's under their fingernails and the strange look in their eyes.
They are currently interviewing 100 people convicted of killing and eating their underlings, who will serve as a benchmark of the ultimately undesirable employee, then a "normal" population of managerial drones scientifically assessed as having no personality whatsoever, and finally a group of high flyers who have yet to have a conviction stick, to see if they can distinguish exactly which traits lead to career success and which lead to getting caught.
"If you imagine the conscientious office doormat at one end of the continuum and a prototypical 'corporate psychologist' at the other end, the test attempts to gauge where the individual is. Being psychopathic is one extreme of a range of personality traits. There's lots of evidence that people who are highly motivated and highly successful, particularly in finance and business, have these psychopathic traits. The important thing is to keep them firmly captive inside the Square Mile, as banks already do very effectively, and under no circumstances whatsoever let them enter Ipswich. That's my patch this week."