Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work

Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work

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by Robert D. Hare, Paul Babiak, Todd McLaren
     
 

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Let's say you're about to hire somebody for a position in your company. Your corporation wants someone who's fearless, charismatic, and full of new ideas. Candidate X is charming, smart, and has all the right answers to your questions. Problem solved, right? Maybe not. Psychopaths may enter as rising stars and corporate saviors, but all too soon they're abusing the

Overview

Let's say you're about to hire somebody for a position in your company. Your corporation wants someone who's fearless, charismatic, and full of new ideas. Candidate X is charming, smart, and has all the right answers to your questions. Problem solved, right? Maybe not. Psychopaths may enter as rising stars and corporate saviors, but all too soon they're abusing the trust of colleagues, manipulating supervisors, and leaving the workplace in shambles. In Snakes in Suits, corporate psychologist Dr. Paul Babiak teams up with psychopathy expert Dr. Robert Hare to focus on the psychopath's role in modern corporations. They found that it's exactly the modern, open, more flexible corporate world that is the perfect breeding ground for these employees. Snakes in Suits reveals psychopaths' secrets, introduces the ways in which they manipulate and deceive, and helps listeners see through their games. It is a compelling, frightening, and scientifically sound look at exactly how psychopaths work in the corporate environment, teaching you how they apply their "instinctive" manipulation techniques to business processes. It's a must listen for anyone in the business world, making you aware of the subtle warning signs of psychopathic behavior-before it's too late.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Clear and complete, this is a handy overview for managers and HR, with enough "self-defense" techniques to help coworkers from getting bit." —Publishers Weekly
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Cold-Blooded And Without A Conscience
Despite what many are led to believe, psychopaths don't just wield meat cleavers — they also don Armani power suits and carry Cabrelli Italian leather briefcases. Popular culture has placed the image of Ted Bundy and Bret Easton Ellis' Patrick Bateman (American Psycho) into the public's mind, when really, a number of psychopaths simply want wealth, power and a corner office.

Where do these individuals go? They often enter the corporate world and steadily climb their way to the top, stepping on the backs of whomever necessary and often ruining other colleagues' careers without a blink of an eye.

Into the Corporate Snake Pit
Dr. Paul Babiak and Dr. Robert Hare are both highly qualified to present a study of the psychopath in the corporate landscape; Babiak is an industrial and organizational psychologist, while Hare is the author of Without Conscience and the creator of the standard tool for diagnosing psychopathy.

According to Hare, not all psychopaths are criminals, and not all criminals are psychopaths, leading to the discussion of psychopathic individuals making it into the upper echelons of the corporate workplace. According to the authors, their book was created to fill the gap of knowledge about "what constitutes psychopathic manipulation and deceit among businesspeople." It has been this absence of knowledge that previously allowed corporate cons to wreak havoc almost undetected in some instances.

Snake Handling
In Snakes in Suits: When Corporate Psychopaths Go to Work, Babiak and Hare are quick to remind readers not to use the book as a tool to discern whether or not senior management or coworkers are psychopaths — that is a judgment that must be made by trained psychologists.

However, the book is helpful in enlightening the average person about what sort of traits and mannerisms to be aware of, and most importantly, how to protect oneself in the workplace from the corporate psychopath. A frightening fact that Babiak and Hare present early in the text is that "the number of people with psychopathic personalities suggests that most of us will come across at least one psychopath during a typical day."

How to Spot a Snake
According to the authors, psychopaths tend to be more predatory in nature. This applies to the corporate psychopath, who will do anything from laying on the charm to threatening and bullying a coworker in order to get whatever he or she wants.

Babiak and Hare warn: "Psychopaths are skilled at social manipulation, and the job interview is a perfect place to apply their talents." Often they are able to provide a well-rounded resume displaying the traits of the perfect job candidate, able to charm even the most seasoned of interviewers in HR.

Once entering the job, they quickly blend into the corporate environment, becoming "social chameleons" as they figure out all the angles and quickly begin their manipulation to the top. Known for their self-centeredness, once comfortably employed, psychopaths move into a three-stage behavior pattern of assessment, manipulation and abandonment.

Unfortunately, many do not see this pattern for what it is and mistake some of the traits as the individual's attempt to become an ideal employee and leader.

Why We Like This Book
Babiak and Hare present well laid out facts and case studies, while working around the narrative thread of the character Dave as an example of the psychopath within the corporate environment. The reader is able to follow Dave and the effects that his destructive actions have on the lives of his coworkers from start to finish. Readers are given a thorough explanation as to how the psychopath operates in the corporate world, from the time of the interview to his or her destructive climb up the corporate ladder. Copyright © 2006 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452604244
Publisher:
Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
09/27/2011
Edition description:
Unabridged CD
Sales rank:
324,692
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.10(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Clear and complete, this is a handy overview for managers and HR, with enough "self-defense" techniques to help coworkers from getting bit." —-Publishers Weekly

Meet the Author

Paul Babiak, Ph.D., is an industrial and organizational psychologist whose work has been featured in publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Harvard Business Review.

Robert D. Hare, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and the first recipient of the R. D. Hare Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy.

Todd McLaren was involved in radio for more than twenty years in cities on both coasts. He left broadcasting for a full-time career in voice-overs, where he has been heard on more than 5,000 TV and radio commercials, as well as TV promos, narrations for documentaries on such networks as A&E and the History Channel, and films.

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Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just like a snake these individuals slither their way into the minds and hearts of many trusting, kind and caring people. Like a snake they position themselves, cold eyes fixed, ready to strike at will. No one is safe or secure in the presence of these reptiles. By the time their victim realizes they have been bitten, the snake has already shed it's skin, put on a 'new suit' and merrily winds it's way up the corporate ladder. To the snake who has no conscience, it is business as usual.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Either learn beforehand about manipulators without conscience who will take all you have built up - or discover after the fact as you pick up the dreadful pieces. This is an important book as is Dr. Hare's first book, 'Without Conscience'. Not all psychopaths are so compulsive that they end up in jail. Some are quite content to steal slowly and quietly - your job, your money, your home. They will turn your boss and loyal employees against you. They are expert at what they do. I wish this must-read was taught in business schools before unsuspecting youth head into the workplace.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Certainly worth a read, but somewhat repetitive.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was recommended to me as I was developing an anti-fraud course for my employer. I was told it would help me better understand how "successful" fraudsters were able to pull it off. What I really learned was how to navigate in a corporate world around those people we all encounter. You know them: the person who takes credit for your work, the person who changes the story based on who is listening, the person who seems to badmouth everyone but you, the "go-getter" who keeps getting ahead but never seems to accomplish anything. You might just be working w/ one of these "snakes." I have recommended this book so many times I've lost count. Not only will it open your eyes to behavior you may have ignored, but it also provides practical guidance around how to protect yourself and others based on the nature of your relationship with this individual. If you have gotten this far because you are thinking about purchasing - BUY THIS BOOK. You won't be sorry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
U say one mmore thing i am going to tell mom and dad. I dont care if it gets me in trouble u dont call me a brat for one im older than u and i swear u dont disrespect me like that. I asked u nicely to stop talking like that and you talked like a rude disrespectful selfish litte brat. Mom is right. Theres something seriously wrong with the way you think. U better be joking when u said that. Stop trying to act all tough and ur like mr. Tough guy cuase your not. Your a scrawny little kid who thinks he xan get all he wants and only thinks of himself. Honestly im worried for u and when u get older because people will be beating your butt in high school. And trust me i know. So quit acting all big and tough because ur not. Nobody likes u. At all. Especially when utry to act all tough. Dylan is right here and he says that u are stupid even when ur not trying to act all tough so again im going to ask nice again pls stop acting like ...basically urself. Nobpdy likes it. So get over ur self.