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5 Reasons Why Your Employees Might Think You’re A Sociopath

There is a fine line between sociopathy and successful entrepreneurship. 

There is a very fine line drawn between a sociopath and a successful executive, and you may be susceptible to crossing it.

Many studies in recent years have shown that a high proportion of CEOs of major companies are sociopaths — to be exact, one in five corporate executives might just have psychopathic inclinations. This potentially gives the majority of employees the impression that their very own leader might be lacking in a conscience, a sense of right or wrong or empathy, but possess a dangerous ability to mimic emotion and empathy as a means of ingratiating themselves and manipulating others for their benefit or amusement.

Sadly, there is a very fine line drawn between a sociopath and a successful executive, and you may be susceptible to crossing it. Here we suggest a few extreme behavioural patterns to avoid in the corporate realm, before your employees flee from their sociopathic boss based on their speculations.

1. You are highly hostile
Sociopaths tend to have an emotional deficit that results in them not discussing much with others or not displaying anxiety altogether. This is because they are unable to modulate their speech to cater to different audiences. The unsympathetic and disapproving response towards your employees’ blunder, or the gift of an unwelcoming smile as praise may just be deemed as a damaged emotional quotient, or you realising potential sociopathic tendencies. So, the next time you think that you are being consistent with the nonchalance you’re holding up with as a level-headed leader, you may want to inject a little bit of empathy or emotion.

2. You are surpassingly selfish
Entrepreneurship sometimes seemingly forces aspiring businessmen to compromise friends and family for the good of the company, which in itself may already be regarded as unconventional priorities. However, it is also known that sociopaths are incapable of love and are entirely self-serving, hardly feeling remorse or shame. Feigning care and compassion may be under the agenda to further a sociopath’s interest, but they don’t genuinely feel the façade they have put on. While furthering the interest of your own company may be your primary objective, you have to keep in mind that your employees may feel otherwise and are not as readily available to replace their personal priorities with yours.

3. You are markedly meticulous
Your unnecessary obsession with the nitty gritty details may be the next telltale sign of a sociopath. This is afforded by a sociopath’s erratic behaviour of the need for detail – even in the most despicable moments, as registered psychologist Michael Woodward. While being extra careful may allow you to prevent avoidable errors, there is no need to keep up with consistent pre-occupation with minute details you can entrust your employees with.

4. You are menacingly manipulative
It is widely believed that sociopaths are masters at influence and deception, extremely skilful at making what they say sound believable. We’re sure that the manipulation of resources and people is helpful — if not essential at times, in a highly competitive corporate culture to convince your employees that something can be done when everyone perceives otherwise. While this may be pivotal to your company’s breakthrough, this superficial charm and charisma in excess can be misinterpreted as a scheming venture to further objectives that lack the ability to react rationally with sincerity — another telltale sign of sociopathy in the workplace.

5. You have an irrationally inflated ego
The hotheaded sociopath makes it plain that they’re not interested in anyone but himself or herself, and is strikingly stubborn when it comes to admitting their mistakes. On the other hand, consistently churning excuses for your actions and behaviour may ring a bell when you have a professional image and pride at stake, especially if you are the leading figure in the firm. Be sure to effectively discern between pride and poor judgement, equipping yourself with the ability to learn from your mistakes. Sociopaths definitely lack insight and are not self-reflective — the next time you realise your mistake, owning up to it in a teachable spirit will gain you more respect than trying to prove your point.

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