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Workplace anti-manipulation

  Workplace manipulation, also known as workplace PUA, refers to some behaviors in the workplace that use various unfair and scheming means to psychologically manipulate employees to achieve their own goals. Workplace manipulation is a type of workplace abuse.
  Zhaopin collected 8,062 questionnaires in 2020. Statistics found that 63.65% of white-collar workers reported that they had experienced workplace manipulation, and more than 70% of white-collar workers in the business service industry and financial industry believed that they had experienced workplace manipulation.
  In 2021, organizational behaviorist Dhanani and others summarized more than 500 research papers from 62 countries and found that almost 1 in 3 people experienced workplace manipulation or abuse. The study also pointed out that workplace manipulation can lead to a high rate of turnover and lost work, and the annual loss of global companies is as high as 1 trillion US dollars.
Three types of garbage

  Research on workplace manipulation in organizational behavior and psychology shows that people with the three major personalities of the dark type have a higher probability to PUA their subordinates, colleagues or leaders in the workplace. This kind of person is what we commonly call the workplace “garbage man”.
  Two Canadian psychologists, Delroy Paulhus and Kevin Williams, proposed three types of dark personalities: narcissistic, authoritarian, and psychopath.
○ Narcissistic personality.

  People with narcissistic personalities need constant attention and admiration, and they feel like they are the center of the universe. Therefore, they believe that everything that is happening around them, what people around them say and do, should be about him. Narcissists like to manipulate others for their own pleasure. In reality, many people have narcissistic tendencies.
  Many celebrities, such as Trump, are a typical narcissistic personality, and he focuses on himself in his public speeches; Kim Kardashian is also a typical narcissistic personality. There are also many entrepreneurs with narcissistic personality, and scholars have done a lot of research on entrepreneurs with narcissistic personality. Cydney Posner and his colleagues conducted a personality test on 179 CEOs and found that 18 percent of CEOs were narcissistic.
○ Authoritarian personality.

  Authoritarian personalities will do anything to achieve their goals, even ignoring rules and morals. They value the results over the process, and they don’t feel guilty after they have achieved success. Unlike narcissistic personalities, authoritarian personalities enjoy being behind the scenes more; they want more power than being rich.
○ Psychopaths.

  Psychopaths can be seen as very charismatic when first approached, but once they get to know each other, they are actually very cold and unsympathetic, lack empathy, shame or guilt, and are also very impulsive. Psychopaths are the most dangerous of dark personalities.
  Scholars such as Nathan Brooks surveyed 261 corporate executives and found that 21% of executives had very obvious psychopathic characteristics. In other words, 1 in 5 bosses is a psychopath. This percentage even exceeds the percentage of inmates in prisons with psychopaths.
  Christopher Marcin Kowalski, an academic from the University of Western Ontario, surveyed 858 subjects and found that narcissistic people prefer artistic careers. By studying the size of an artist’s signature, academics found Monday that the more narcissistic (the larger the individual’s signature) is, the more likely the work will be sold for a higher price.
  Scholars such as Jonason surveyed 419 subjects and found that narcissistic people prefer to use “soft tricks” to manipulate people (such as personal charm, joking, benefit exchange, flattery). Machiavellian personalities and psychopaths prefer to use tougher methods to manipulate others, such as threatening others with losing their jobs and undermining their self-confidence.
  Elizabeth Holmes, once known as the female version of Jobs, dropped out of Stanford University to start a company that develops blood-testing technology, Theranos. She claims to have developed a new type of instrument and technology that can detect more than 200 diseases with just a drop of blood, and Theranos was valued at $9 billion in 2014.
  In fact, Theranos’ instruments can only perform 15 routine tests, and no new technology has been developed. This typical businesswoman with three dark personalities manipulated many experienced investors and board members through various soft and hard strategies, and finally the lie was pierced, which is actually a typical example of psychological manipulation.
Avoid PUAs

  We found that people with the dark three personalities and people with absolute power in the enterprise are more likely to manipulate and abuse others. So how do we avoid being manipulated in the workplace, and even fight back?
○ Employees need to protect themselves from PUA

  First, please set your own bottom line, and bravely say “no” when colleagues or leaders make requests beyond the bottom line. The “sandwich” approach is a great way to say no: first affirm the other person, then make it clear that you are having a hard time, can’t help, and finally tell him some possible solutions.
  Second, when you find that your leader or colleague may have the three major personalities of darkness, in order to protect yourself, you must pay attention to the collection of evidence, including emails, WeChat messages, etc.
  Third, when you decide to confront an abusive leader or co-worker, be sure to have a third party present.
  Finally, gather all the victims. Abusing your leaders or colleagues will not only target a single person for workplace PUA, there are often many victims, so gathering the power of a group can more effectively combat workplace PUA.
  Be aware that people with the dark triad do not change their behavior, especially psychopathic colleagues or bosses. If the above four methods don’t work, you need to stop your losses in time, leave your current job, and seek a new job. Don’t imagine that you can change your leadership.
○Leaders cannot abuse the power of PUA employees

  My research shows that leaders manipulate or abuse their subordinates mainly because leaders have a strong sense of power. These abusive behaviors can cause employees to become cynical and reluctant to trust their leaders, even if they try to make up for the relationship by apologizing; and employees’ mistrust of leaders can lead to tensions between leaders and subordinates, which can lead to tension between leaders and subordinates. Employee relations are in a vicious circle.
  A 2019 study by Tost and Johnson found that when people see power as a responsibility rather than an opportunity, they are more likely to use their power to benefit subordinates and organizations.
  Therefore, enterprises must consciously tell managers that power represents a sense of responsibility. Establishing well-intentioned norms for the use of power and making leaders aware of their responsibility to their subordinates can help leaders realize that power is not how they thrive, but a social responsibility.
  First, well-intentioned norms of power use within firms can build social expectations of power-holders that people with high power should use their power for the benefit of others, especially their team members.
  Second, power itself is a characteristic of interpersonal relationships. If leaders realize that their employees need to rely on him to protect their interests and accomplish their work goals, then leaders may consider power a sacred responsibility.
  When leaders regard power as a responsibility, they will not abuse and manipulate their subordinates. Instead, they will pay more attention to the growth and needs of their subordinates, which can also bring many benefits to the company.
○Using the power of psychology to counter manipulation

  First of all, for narcissists, what they care most about is whether they are admired and admired by others, and whether they are the most distinctive and shining star. For the characteristics of narcissistic personality, you just need to constantly praise them, not criticize them, make them feel that they are very special, then they will willingly follow you and do things for you.
  Authoritarian personalities tend to care more about their own interests. You need to master more communication and language skills. For example, you can start from their point of view and tell them what benefits they can get from doing something, then they will be willing to do something for you. clerk.
  However, psychopaths are the least concerned about the needs of others, don’t try to manipulate them, and avoid them when you encounter them.
  To sum up, when companies are recruiting, they should pay more attention to the personalities of employees and leaders, and consciously eliminate the three major personalities of darkness. At the same time, companies should emphasize to the management that power represents a sense of responsibility, in order to more effectively avoid workplace PUA.
  Generally speaking, when dealing with the three dark personalities in the workplace, management experts have a saying: “If you can avoid them, don’t hire them. If unfortunately you have such people around you, don’t promote them.
  ” People set the bottom line of the relationship, say “no” when they should say “no”. If you want to confront them, there must be a third party present. When they attack you, always remind yourself: I am fine, they are the source of the problem. Keep the evidence of abuse, email exchanges, WeChat voice, gather the victims, and seek legal protection!
  At the same time, psychologists and organizational behaviorists also pointed out that everyone should not have pessimistic ideas about the workplace. Scholars have proposed that corresponding to the three dark personalities, there are three bright personalities: Kantianism (people-oriented), humanism (emphasis on each the dignity and worth of the individual), and belief in human beings (belief in the fundamental goodness of human beings). We need to realize that there are still more people like this in the workplace.

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