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Peter Stucki

1) While I agree that toxic people are contagious, I'm wondering about encountering the bona-fide mentally ill: the sub-clinical narcissists and sociopaths.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Associaion, one has a 3% chance of encountering a sociopath.
2) Since prevention is better than trying to cope with a toxic situation, I would like to urge you to establish an equivalent to Glassdoor.com, that allows us all to contribute firm names and to list them according to degree of workplace toxicity using, perhaps, a survey instrument you have devised?

Bob Sutton

Thanks for telling me about the link, I think it is fixed, but as you will see, it is sort of a weird online interface.

Bob

CHOI, Jae-Hoon

The link to 'Value Rich' is missing. http://www.valuerich-digital.com/valuerich/spring2007/

martin

Actually, i think that by thinking, all the time, "I can be, with no special condition, a full-time asshole" is the very best way to avoid that conduct.
The case with nazism is similar. If you think they were all crazy and malignant, then you feel sort of immune. But if you think "they were people, just like me, who got into an spiral of terror", but focusing specially in "people like me", it is more unlikely that getting into that spiral is possible.
Congrats on your work, i like it a lot.

Dean

To quote from Jen Smith - "The people at the top of organisations set the standard for how everyone behaves. If they want an organisation that works well together they have to exhibit the behaviours they want to see in their employees: respect, cooperation, getting the best out of colleagues."

This is so true but very often overlooked especially by those at the top. There was a time that I did not believe this but as I saw what happened to me in a small business I ran and then later saw in an organization I worked for I saw the reality, and it is stunning in its effect. This is something that can be managed for good, and it takes discipline, desire, and commitment along with a large dose of awareness. In my experience a person really has to have a deep commitment to make any headway.

I think that out of this for whatever reasons, probably human nature, AH poisoning either flows or is facilitated

Cat O'Donnell

Good post! In light of that, how does one get hearing aids? By listening to a-holes!

Wally Bock

Assholes are indeed us. Or at least assholes have been me at several points in my life. And it seems true that the contagion factor works to make those around an asshole more asshole-like without them having to make a conscious decision.

My experience also tells me that asshole behavior spills over from one part of life to another. A person who's set upon by a bully at work develops anger that may come out at home or when the person behind the counter at the fast food restaurant doesn't move fast enough.

Jen Smith

The last job I held was in the most dysfunctional organisation I'd ever come across. Everyone behaved as though they were the only person in the organisation, no respect for anyone, no attempt to coordinate how any problems got solved. The chairman of the company was an arsehole, not only did he not consult with anyone but didn't even tell anyone when he'd made major decisions that affected them. The people at the top of organisations set the standard for how everyone behaves. If they want an organisation that works well together they have to exhibit the behaviours they want to see in their employees: respect, cooperation, getting the best out of colleagues. I'm self-employed now and life is so much better! I wish this book had been published at the time I was employed so I could have sent a copy to that chariman.

Knud Sinding

For some reason the cartoon reminded me of an all-out fictional asshole, Professor Dolores Umbridge. One hopes few real life specimens have similar powers.

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