A client requested insight into dealing with a sociopath as a boss. In response, I wrote a series of Brainzooming posts on handling bad behavior in an organizational setting, including from a corporate sociopath and horrible boss.
One of the most important pieces of advice for working with a sociopath as a boss is to minimize one-off conversations and avoid decisions during them.
Well, quite frankly, a corporate sociopath won't hesitate to tell you one thing, then say or do something completely different later. If you don't have a witness or some way to hold the corporate sociopath to the decision, it's your word against theirs. And in business, at least to my point of view, you NEVER want to be in a situation where it's you and a horrible boss squaring off on a matter of opinion about what was said or done.
It's great that the client who inspired the original Brainzooming post has crafted a pretty intriguing scenario to gain distance from the corporate sociopath. Without providing details that could compromise identities, it looks like understanding a weak spot for the boss has allowed our client to create a non-traditional working arrangement. The intent is to minimize the potential negative impact this particular corporate sociopath can create. It's not a fail-safe approach, but it definitely creates more options for our client to react in a positive and self-protected way.
If you have a sociopath as a boss, I'll repeat a discussion thread that appeared in the original comments: get out of the situation if you have ANY opportunity to do so. Life is too short to deal with bad behavior in an organizational setting daily.
If you can't get out, however, I'd encourage you to go back and look at the Brainzooming post, using it to prepare your survival strategy. - Mike Brown
If you’re facing a challenging organizational situation and are struggling to maintain forward progress because of it, The Brainzooming Group can provide a strategic sounding-board for you. We will apply our strategic thinking and implementation tools on a one-on-one basis to help you create greater organizational success. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you figure out how to work around your organizational challenges.