The Modern Day Workplace Rewards Narcissists And Psychopaths

1/28/13 10:42AM EST

businessmaninboardroom The Modern Day Workplace Rewards Narcissists And Psychopaths

“Greed is good,” or so said Michael Douglas’ character in Wall Street, and so to, believes a personality-type found in many American workplaces.

In his book “Office Politics,” psychologist Oliver James describes a type of staff who possesses a dangerous mix of self-centeredness, deviousness, self-regard and lack of empathy that launches them to the tops companies.

This dark triad of characteristics is very likely to be present in that person in your office who causes you so much trouble,” James told the Sunday Telegraph. “Whether you work in the corporate sector, a small business or a public sector job, the system you are in is liable to reward ruthless, selfish manipulation.

The “triadic person” is a combination of the three other types of dysfunctional personalities found in office workers. The first—Machiavellian, often found among bosses—competes for domination and attention and cares not if others are trampled upon along the way. The second type of office worker—Psychopaths—plans and schemes, while the third type—Narcissistic—loves to talk about themselves.

Triadics might include television mob boss Tony Saprano or Russian dictator Josef Stalin. In his book, James points to research suggesting an increase in triadic conditions over the past 30 years as the result of a lack of criteria for success and failure in the workplace. According to James, workers who do not suffer from the “disorders” can lose out in the business world and experience emotional damage until they learn to cope and survive with the dysfunctional personalities.

The likelihood of your daily working life being sacrificed by a person who is some mixture of psychopathic, Machiavellian and narcissistic is high,” James told the Telegraph. “If you do not develop the skills to deal with them, they will eat you for breakfast.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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