Bullying and Corporate Psychopaths at Work: Clive Boddy at TEDxHanzeUniversity

Bullying and Corporate Psychopaths at Work: Clive Boddy at TEDxHanzeUniversity


Translator: Leonardo Silva
Reviewer: Tatjana Jevdjic [Bullying and Corporate Psychopaths
at work] Right. Hello, everybody. I’m here
to tell you a bit of a story about why I got interested in the link between
corporate psychopaths and bullying. A long time ago, in a land far away, I was running a business
in the Far East, and, as a part of that,
I was moved offices. And when I was moved offices,
I was told I was getting a new boss. And various people
came up to me and said, “You have to be careful about this
new guy, this new boss you’re getting. He’s very manipulative,
he’s very ruthless, very cunning, and he’s almost downright evil. So, I thought, hm, this guy sounds
like a bit of a monster, a bit of a devil. And when people say things like
that to you, that’s what you expect. You expect to meet a monster. What you actually meet
is an utterly charming man, in a well-cut suit,
who looks very attractive. He’s very sociable, very extroverted
and he doesn’t look like a monster at all. He looks like your next best friend.
And so, you get confused. Then you think that these people
must have been wrong. I’m going to really enjoy working
with this person.” Looking back years later,
people would say to me, “Well, how did you end up in
the circumstances that you ended up with?” And I could never answer that,
until I read about corporate psychopaths. And then it all clicked together. So, that’s my personal reason
for getting involved in psychopathy and corporate psychopaths. And, as I started to read about bullying
as a different part of my academic job, I realized there’s probably
a large area of crossover between bullies and psychopaths
in the workplace. So, I started to look at bullying itself. It’s usually described as being
the regular and repeated belittling, or humiliating, or, in some way,
intimidating a person, and it’s usually a single person,
in the workplace, on a regular basis, as I said. So, it involves things like regular
conflict, arguments, yelling, rudeness in the workplace,
directed at a single person. It seems to be all over
the place, basically. If you look at the papers
to do with bullying, it seems to be in every organization,
and significant numbers of people have experienced it. Usually
it’s in the 30 and 40 percentages. And even organizations like the Departments of Consumer
and Employment Protection, in Western Australia,
where I was at the time, whose job is to prevent bullying, were accused by their own staff
of having a culture of bullying. And the staff insisted that they
bring in private investigators to investigate the bullying
that was going on in the organization, that was there to prevent bullying.
So, it’s all over the place. So, that made me think,
“But, why? Why is it all over the place?” And the other thing that struck me
in reading about it is that companies and corporations
and organizations don’t seem to know what to do about it. They tend to want to sweep it under
the carpet, to pretend it doesn’t exist. And quite often, they’ll do things like, they’ll pay off the people
who are being bullied, and they’ll insert a clause into that payoff,
into that contractual arrangement, whereby they’re not allowed
to talk about it. So it all gets swept under the carpet. The bully, in the meantime,
gets promoted, and they’re the only one that’s
left in the organization. But there are many ethical
and financial reasons why bullying should not be swept
under the carpet, and some of these are to do
with individual reasons. So, the negative effects, the psychological effects on the individual
concern are quite devastating. So, they feel humiliated, belittled, their careers quite often
get ruined or disjointed. They’ll try and withdraw
from the workplace, they’ll seek other jobs, and they end up in lesser positions,
or unemployed, or in jobs they don’t really want to do. And their confidence and motivation
is destroyed at a personal level. But it also has an effect at a corporate
level or an organizational level as well, because there’s a typical
fight-or-flight response to being in a conflict situation
or to being bullied. So, in terms of flight, people withdraw
their time and effort. So, they’ll stop doing overtime, they’ll
stop their extracurricular activities, in terms of commitment to the organization
and helping the organization grow. And they’ll fight back in terms of things like
counterproductive work behavior. So, typically, if the bully
is your manager, or your supervisor,
or your boss in some way, you take him or her
as a representative of the company. And, therefore, your revenge is not
on them particularly, as an individual. It tends to be against the company. So, you’ll stop working properly,
you’ll sabotage normal work processes, you’ll withdraw your effort and your
commitment, as I said, to what you’re doing. And the result of all that is just
further conflicts within the organization. The ethical and moral climate
of the organization starts to diminish, and that has knock-on effects in terms
of how you treat your suppliers, how you treat your tax returns
and everything else to do with the company. So, reading some of the literature
on bullies and bullying, there seems to be a sort of unspoken,
underlying sense of bewilderment, “Who are these people? Who are these people
that enjoy watching people get hurt?” ‘Cause it doesn’t seem
a normal thing to do, a normal thing to want to do or to enjoy
doing, and they clearly enjoy it. Reading about bullies, the words that are used to describe them
are on the screen there. So, they enjoy hurting other people,
they’re cruel, they’re selfish, they’re parasitic, Machiavellian, and you start to get in the literature
a lot of words to do with a dissocial personality. So, antisocial personality disorder,
sociopathy, psychopathy and lots of these words
are similar to words used to identify corporate psychopaths. Well, corporate psychopaths
are those psychopaths who are about 1% of the population, and just by the way, who go into
organizational and corporate positions, rather than into a criminal career. And psychologists have slowly
come to realize that those from better socioeconomic
backgrounds, perhaps with a good education, good family background, work out
fairly early, that it’s far easier to get the power, the prestige,
and the money that they want from a corporate career
than it is from a criminal career. And so, they go into
the corporate world. So, the same words are used
to describe them, these psychopaths, as I used to describe bullies,
with the exception that psychopaths, the outstanding thing about psychopaths
is they have absolutely no conscience. So, there’s nothing that inhibits them,
in terms of how they behave. They can be totally ruthless
and sleep perfectly well that night, because nothing they do bothers them,
because they don’t have a conscience, and there’s no feeling,
no emotion in their lives. So, having realized that there’s
probably a large link between psychopathy and psychopaths
and bullying, I thought it would be interesting
to do some research to see how large that link actually is. So, I took a psychopathy measure from reading 200 and odd psychology
papers on psychopaths, and embedded it
in a management survey of management behavior,
firstly doing this in Australia. And what I found was one
of the most outstanding things. I found that psychopaths seemed to account for around 26%
of all bullying in that particular sample of managers,
of Australian managers. It was 346 managers,
research carried out in 2008, I think. And there were quite a few other
interesting statistics there, as well. I mean, under normal managers, employees encountered bullying
less than once a month. If there were corporate psychopaths
in the organization, then bullying went up to
more than once a week. 1.3 times a week,
I think it was. – And I measured lots
of other things as well, besides bullying, but that was the interesting thing
for the purposes of today – Because those results were so dramatic,
I repeated it again in the U.K. And – Let’s get the right slide.
That one – And I found even more bullying
in the U.K. than I found in Australia. And I found that psychopaths
and corporate psychopaths were accounted for more of that bullying
than they did in Australia. So, up to 36% of all bullying is down
to the presence of corporate psychopaths in an organization, in this sample. And the knock-on effects,
more yelling, more arguments, more disruption, more conflict,
then, when psychopaths are there, compared to when they’re not there. So, under normal managers,
everything is, in terms of conflict, everything is lowered,
and much more sedate, and much more smooth, and much less chaotic,
and less confusion. So…
Where are we? In conclusion, I think that what I’ve — Having established the link between
corporate psychopaths and bullying, it starts to explain some of the big
questions that are to do with bullyings. For example, why is it so pervasive
in all companies, around the world and in all countries? Well, the answer to that might be that, because psychopaths are 1%
of the population. If we assume they are normally
distributed across the whole population, then, in every major company
there will be psychopaths. And if there are psychopaths,
there will be bullying. So, that explains why bullying
is so common. The other thing it explains is
why bullying occurs in the first place. Psychopaths bully for two main reasons.
One of them is predatory. So they do it because they like it.
They do it because they enjoy it. They do it because they like
to see people squirm. They like just to hurt people,
they like to damage their careers, and that’s the thing that’s hard
for the rest of us to understand. It’s enjoyable. That’s one
of the reasons they do it. The other reason they do it is
what I’ve called instrumental bullying. So, they’re doing it quite often to create
confusion and chaos all around them, so that they can forward their own
political and social and career agendas, while everybody else
is emotionally distracted. So, it creates a smokescreen for them
to get on with what they’re really doing, which is gaining power, and influence,
and prestige, and money within the corporation. So, anybody, for example, a boss
looking down on this whole situation of bullying and emotional reactions will see that the only person that seems
to have kept their cool is this psychopath, because he started it all
in the first place. And therefore, the only person
that seems like they want… deserves promotion is the psychopath. So, that’s why it helps
to answer the question of why psychopaths seem
to get promoted at the hierarchy more than ordinary people do. Because they create
confusion around them and that enables them to forward their
own agenda to promote themselves. So, if you link it
at an organizational level, companies like Enron, which was
the biggest fraud in history at the time, before the global financial crisis
and things like that, was reported to have a culture
of bullying within it. And they bullied their agencies,
they bullied their advisers, they bullied their suppliers to keep them
in check and to stop them asking questions, so that they could perpetuate this massive
fraud that was going on for years. So, it’s a means to an end,
as well as an end in itself. And I think bullying in corporate banks,
for example, and linking it to the global
financial crisis, was very evident as well. There is a culture of, “Don’t ask questions,
or you’ll get into trouble.” So, no ethical questions
are allowed in these institutions, and it enables them to get on
with what they’re doing, with their fraud, and it prevents people from exposing it. If anyone is interested in finding out
more about any of these things, those are the things to look up
in your search engine. Thank you for listening.
Goodbye. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Bullying and Corporate Psychopaths at Work: Clive Boddy at TEDxHanzeUniversity

  1. These nutcases are typically inept and incapable of doing the work; so they bully to draw attention away from their lack of skill, which is also why they go into management.

  2. I've had so much stolen from me by online bullies that what they've left me with isn't worth living for. One day you'll actually care that I caught you all. I own all money and can afford to kill all you thieves legally and thoroughly

  3. I'm going to eat your throats out of your lying bodies. I defend America. You provide it nothing but you leech off my people and you'll die for exactly that lack of foresight of who I am
    .

  4. Currently experiencing this right now. Indeed it is poisonous. Behind this smile is a crushed and broken self-esteem. It makes me drag myself to work. The enthusiasm has already worn out. Sometimes I feel, if I have to consult a psychiatrist. This bullying really stresses me out no matter how hard I try to just ignore it. I may not just be cold blooded

  5. They're obsessed about power and they think we will give up and won't revolt …back and the funny thing is they think they're winning just because they have used all the power to abuse us ….they don't know that it won't work on all …

  6. There was a recent psychological research made which showed psychopaths always end becoming an owner of powerful position s like manager CEO etc of an corporate or political parties all those cared and nurtured joined charitable organizations and became psychologist s, human behaviour researchers etc who earns nurturing the societal engineered victims of psychopaths

  7. I am a former Teacher from New York City…..I was bullied by a clique of teachers….I was dedicated and cared about my students.. I worked in the community in which I grew Up….Just my presence seemed to ruffle feathers….( I worked hard)……I was bullied so brutally that I became depressed…..the leaders have sycophants….( flying monkeys)……and then there were " innocent bystanders"……..By the grace of God I found a book titled" MOBBING… that explained almost to a T the tactics used to psychologically abuse me………………………….at the time..( the year 1998).this topic was not tackled about and I very often was not believed……..Just to add .. the head bullies…also bullied the students and parents ( many of whom were immigrants)……………I could not believe myself how many cruel , toxic teachers there were…..very often the ones with the worst morals were in the "IN" group…. this was my experience with the culture of my school district….the Lower East sIde of Manhattan..

  8. I just got transferred out of a department run by a psychopath. If I ever have to work with another I'll just start looking for another job.

  9. One of the simple red flags nobody ever talks about is when a person interrupts over and over and absolutely refuses to let you finish a sentence. This is a behavior you can spot the very first day you know a person, and it's a danger sign you should not ignore. Get away fast–ask for a transfer, or look for another job if necessary, just get out.

  10. The bestest video on corporate bullies. High functioning sociopath psychopath are corporate bullies.

  11. Been there, had that done to me. All in the name of unspoken entitlement… a diluted form of colonialism, I conclude.

  12. I'm going Tru this at work I got promoted n then I got call to the office n my supervisor said your stressing out.. I'm what you said.. remember your stressing out I got sent home cause they said I made a huge mistake I ask for evidence they never showed it to me I got blame of it when I can prove it… I got sent back to my old posición I got falsely accused then they start rumors on me my supervisor told me how come I bail no where to b found..I responded your being misleaded n more important your spreading rumors… I get attack 3 times a week it's like they r Killin my reputation how can I stopped this

  13. Here we are in 2019 and this talk explains so much about the American President. Bullying, belittling, name-calling, creating chaos all around. Those who see it are left confused, bewildered and beaten down; those who support him are wrapped in praise and smiles. Yet children are torn from parents and put in cages – a true psychopath. The only missing point of this presentation is that psychopaths and sociopaths succeed in climbing to corporate leadership because whey will gladly hurt anyone to please the corporate decision makers. Sociopathy is built into our corporate culture in America due to corporate law. By law, the first order of business is to generate maximum profit – no matter the damage to people in the process. This explains the behavior of big tobacco, big oil, American drug companies, Monsanto and so many other corporations. Until our corporate law is changed to elevate to good of the public and employees above profit, sociopaths will continue to rule and to foment damage.

  14. My view is that for these reasons HR should be extra protected by employment law so that they cannot be intimidated.

  15. I think a law needs to be created around toxic management. If companies got sued for mental distress, I’m sure they would start caring more

  16. Beauty and medical and our educational system is plagued by these types of people. It's contributing to the tolerance for this behavior

  17. This is a big problem everywhere not just in a work place but in company's with clients a lot places Do u think is it a form of jealousy ?

  18. Yeah, look at the Wells Fargo fraud. They can even try to bully you into breaking the law or ripping off customers. He called it bully and psychopath, but look up narcissist. Find out about the different types and tactics. Unfortunately, these people are usually found in upper management. I think it is because they are willing to get as much money out of the customer and anyway the can. Like, borderline false advertising, increasing price and lying, because if it isn't in writing they can be "misleading".

  19. Yet hiring managers get fooled by their charm and hire them. Then here I as a shy person am unemployed.

  20. The bullying legislation in Australia is not worth the paper or is written on . Repeatedly , I’ve seen in my own workplace complaints of bullying being ignored and bullies protected

  21. Psychopath are way more common than people think. Most politicians are, and always have been. Learn the traits and you can spot them and predict them easily.

  22. My backbiting manipulative counterpart and i reapplied for our positions. He was declined whilst i was accepted. Now i will be his superior and he my subordinate. Karmas is real bitches

  23. Nah its all to do with money. The people at the top put pressure on the lower members of staff to produce results. This in turn causes stress leading to bullying which it filters down to the weaker individuals.

  24. My relative had a female psychopath boss at a huge telecommunications company. Years later when everyone was laid off, the egotistical psychopath looked like a disheveled bag lady!

  25. I have been bullied from the first my starting working date & continue almost a year. I just resign & the bosses are very sorry to what happened but they didn't do anything about it. Fine.. I find my peace.

  26. I worked mostly in women's collectives and it's the same. There are only few people with psychopathic tendencies in every collective, but these will made the all work environment toxic.

  27. We had this exact situation at the company I work at just a few years ago. The person who eventually ended up being our Controller was so toxic & harassing to anyone she deemed weak that she pushed many people out of the company. Complaints to HR & management were ignored. Eventually the company underwent an audit where it was discovered that the management was involved in some pretty shady dealings & that managers were turning a blind eye because she was managing the books for them. The psychopath was able to survive firing by claiming to just be following orders, but once the management changed & she no longer had the leverage to get away with tormenting people around her she was miserable. Ironically she ended up quitting because she claimed that the environment had become toxic to her. Once she left the entire atmosphere of the office changed. So many people either ignored or went along with the toxicity I think because it was easier to go along then to risk being her target. Just for the record, I spent 3 years as her target & reacted just as described I withdrew from coworkers & stopped caring about the quality of my work. I blamed the corporation that refused to protect me from this person even though I had been a dedicated employee. It becomes very much like an abusive relationship that I couldn't afford to leave. Although there's new & better management in place, the damage is done & i just cant see the company as deserving my loyalty.

  28. So the bullies take an already existing problem and make it worse.

    On another note:

    This guy has taken an endlessly fascinating subject, and made it crushingly boring.

  29. The absolute worst job sectors for bullying are 1) Construction. 2) Culinary or kitchen work in restaurants. 3) Greenkeeping and golf course industry. 4) Military.

  30. Management must implement an effective Human Resources Department where job applicants with attitude problems should be rejected instead of being employed. Choose attitude over skills, because Skills can be trained, but attitude cannot be.

  31. been through this behavior in nz i spoke out about a bully called j j and was threatened by management so took redundancy .. they then made me sign a gag agreement saying i counldnt tell the media my story or i wouldnt get my redundancy check .. and drew was a lead bully and married a hr person called le …. made it hard to get work for a while … the same electric co still has problems with this type ..

  32. The reason is corporate business they have way to much access to people personal information and they have over stepped there boundaries So much so they have become controlling thinking they own you its Shameful and truly become a bully

  33. HR is the US is a joke. They are there to protect the company and laugh off the worker who is being bullied, which in turn makes the problem worse. So all that's left is that the worker has to leave.

  34. Bullying and Psychopathic behaviour is a result of capitalism, exploiting labour for capital equals power over others.

  35. You cannot remove people out of the equation, when it comes to money. Money is linked to emotion and needs – this drives self interest.

  36. I genuinely believe that sociopaths and psychopaths are MUCH more prevalent in our society but they fly under the radar simply because they are good at hiding there true self.

  37. When each company has to show 10% growth year on year and that too every year, no-one can avoid it. Choose between getting bullyed or gettting fired.

  38. Psychopaths tend to be very intelligent so they will appear in the leadership positions in high numbers. I’ve noticed that it is middle management that houses these people and not top managers. There is a limiting factors to bullies. To gain success you can’t screw over everyone else and not expect revenge or abandonment from your peers. When I was in the army we often avoided Majors who were older than the others. If you want to go higher than a Major you need to network well. Sooner or later you will meet someone you screwed over and they may have rose faster in the ranks than you. Then sweet revenge destroys the psychopath.

  39. …out of that 1% (seems like an underestimate to me) who don't go for criminal or corporate "careers", probably choose the military!

  40. Someone should do a research about bullying in the school system; lots of Principals and Admins are psychopaths. And they are the ones who are in charge of our kids' education!

  41. Bullies crush your passion and motivation for the work that you do. They’re toxic on so many levels and are often pathetic excuses for human beings.

  42. wait..you were bullied by someone more than likely descended from ex convicts shipped over from uk..course they didn't know how to behave

  43. All great and accurate info. Only trouble is if the company doesn’t care about this information and doesn’t take action it’s all for nothing.

  44. I worked for a few, my career track has been wholly disrupted. More information should be forthcoming so people are aware. It is devastating.

  45. I am working as a project assistant whereby i have to collect data… I was sent to the field to collect data…. My data is about waste so i have to take everything from the dustbin and sort it out and then weight the stuff. It a messy job… But its ok coz i nees money… I get paid 345 usd per month including transportation fees. Today i was at one of the site they sent me to… Usually i bring my own food. But each time they say no u can eat at the staff canteen. Today i was having lunch… After my work has been done. After lunch a guy approached me and told me i am not allowed to eat here. And who i am… I felt bad. I felt down. It was in a bussy part here the entrance of the canteen i was shocked… Even tho i was told to come here to eat… I said sry am sry i wouldn't do it again. The man was very angry. He ask why r u here. I explained what i am here for and that the hr know about it. Later today i got a call from my supervisor and got scolded for eating other people food. Me beinf a person who is always responsible and care about so many things that normal people don't have been treated like this. I always try my best but things like this keep on happening.
    I can't leave i am in contact and i need the money for the time being but still have not been paid since 4 months…. I really wana suicide… . If anyone read this. I hope that at least u are better. . 😢

  46. Tell them to back the f up the first time they cross the line and they wont bother you again. They are also cowards, they always poke around looking for the weakest link. (I worked 15 years in a US government job)

  47. I have been verbally bullied in Perkinelmer llantrisant factory south wales uk for the past 7 month by a tempory employee and i am a full permenant member..?

  48. I started with a small company ~75 employees and everyone was on the same page getting their job done. We were bought by a very large EEC based global corporation and I saw many examples like this. I actually was able to build a case against a VP who was an egomaniac; he treated plant mangers as his slaves. The day he was terminated, operations changed significantly. Unfortunately there were other similar to him, so I found another small company and have been there 20+ years. From my personal experiences, when the owner is directly involved, I see less of this.

  49. I encountered bullying behaviour in a supervisor, who was supported by those I reported it to. I eventually had to transfer to another department I was only believed when 2 other colleagues filed a grievance stating the same issues I did in my grievance.

  50. You have to beat the psychopath at their own game, it doesn't deserve any less than absolute destruction, it takes planning, they're smart and cunning, but it's not impossible. Do not allow yourself to be intimidated, be prepared to walk away from the job, be prepared to turn violent at any point, a psychopath is not human, they are actually sub human, so you don't have to feel remorse for it.

  51. Companies need to require anyone who goes into management to take a personality disorder test. I don't know if they have invented a personality disorder test that has an honesty algorithm yet. Who wants to be a billionaire – please invent this and hire me as a sales person.

  52. He's overthinking this. I've noticed bullies can't deal with physical confrontation. A well delivered punch to the stomach leaves no mark and is very effective. Done out of camera view it's your word against his. Giving him his choice of weapons to finish it later, off company property can be very revealing. Bring friends, he will if he comes. If that fails, there is always the industrial accident.

  53. china people working hard to make money in USA and Western world they love to talk say at TED talks.

  54. I've dealt with four office bullies in my life during my career. Three were managers, and one was a co-worker. All were women. Is this a coincidence? I am a man, by the way.

  55. I had a boss get upset about 10 months into the job that I couldn't do something that I learned my first week there and hadn't done it since. I asked for him to give me a hint or throw me a bone, and he refused. He wanted me to send him an email telling him that I agree that I didn't know how to do the thing he asked. I said ok, fine. (just to get him off my back). He said now. I said, okay, I"ll get it to you in a second. He said, no, now. I said you mean right here, as you stand over me?…you're making me uncomfortable. I let HR at headquarters know and they said "well, this sounds like you are screaming 'victim, victim, victim'. They watch out for each other.

  56. 🤓🤓🤓Bullies take advantage of their victims through isolation and fear. If you are an introvert, learn to socialize, always put bullying and bullies on blast. And in this day of easy information access, learn how to protect yourself from bullying there is good information out there. But, never! never! be silent when it comes to bullies, instead get more savvy on how to put bullies on blast!👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽🤔🤔🤔🤔

  57. Be good, dangerous, and disciplined. Bad people prevail when good people do nothing. Don''t be nice.

  58. Damn he is my lecturer 😂I actually thanks him for introducing this concept to me 👌👍🏻🙋🏻‍♀️

  59. I am going through this right now and every word of this talk is true as word of God. Now, what to do to deal with everything that's going on? Bullies have to have a weak point, a weakness, an achilles' heel somewhere. What is it? Does anyone know? The organizations dismiss these problems, infact they blame the victim and harassment intensifies if one chooses to stay on after making a complaint. Any one got any ideas on how to deal with these people (apart from excercise, meditate, develop hobbies etc etc)??? Some one please help

  60. Tips Keep a secret diary, tell someone outside of work who you are close to and is trustworthy, they could perhaps help in some way, and it is good to talk to someone independently, avoid talking to colleagues about it you can't always trust them, make sure you are not alone so there are witnesses, check glassdoor for employee reviews BEFORE you take on the job

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