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Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work Paperback – May 8, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Snakes In Suits is a page turner, written in an engaging and entertaining style, all the while conveying lots of new information on the topic. The book is structured in a somewhat unique way, as well, making it both a good book for the general reader as well as a must-have for the business reader. The fact that it is also well indexed is a plus, making it easier to refer back to topics in the future.
The authors make the point early on that "serial killer" psychopaths, those who make the headlines and crime show plot lines, make up only a small percentage of those in society who actually have a psychopathic personality. And, the rest of these people are living and working in the cubicle right next to us. To their credit, the authors carefully avoid the sensationalism that often characterizes books and articles on this topic. Their approach is even handed, balancing scientific evidence with an easy-reading style.
Each chapter begins with a case---drawn from the authors' real-life experience, no doubt---that includes dialog among the players (psychopath and victim alike). The reader becomes the "fly on the wall" watching and listening to what is going on.Read more ›
I'm not a mental health professional or scholar, so I can't say whether the characterization of "psychopath" is accurate; in my understanding, the more accurate term is "sociopath," unless actual physical violence or criminality is involved, but the definition is for those in the field to dispute or determine. Besides, in the absence of conscience, I would guess it's a slippery slope from the one to the other.
What I like most about this book is that it isn't merely focused on case studies, or on the havoc these personalities can wreak on their individual victims. Yes, the Ah-ha! moments when you finally recognize the manipulator and his/her tactics can be comforting, and it's great to finally see through these snakes' distortions of reality. However, the real contribution of this book, I contend, is that it addresses the collateral damage these monsters can do within an organization: crushing overall employee morale, eroding confidence in the company's internal ethics, and ultimately diminishing employee performance and retention of good "talent." (HR professionals, take note.)
I also appreciated that the authors don't give "band-aid" solutions to the victims. In my own case, after reading this book and assessing the damage done me by a snake in my sphere at a corporation I had loved working for, I sadly realized that the time had come to cut my losses and reinvent my professional life elsewhere.Read more ›
The authors give plenty of examples, and plenty of tell-tales of psychopaths. Sure, you may see one or two signs here and there of others around you - but as they point out - you need to see a repeated pattern of many of the signs to be sure that you're dealing with the real thing.
Therein lies the real benefit of this book - to give you the tools to make the assessment in advance or as the situation unfolds - not after the fact. Armed with that, you can protect yourself from the machinations of the corporate psychopath. Being a little distrustful of everyone also doesn't hurt - until proven otherwise of a long period of time. Over the years, I've observed that one mistake people tend to make (which makes them vulnerable to the psychopath) is that they look to have 'friends' at work. Find your friends elsewhere - and go to work for the paycheck and career advancement.
I take issue with some of the conclusions of the authors (personal opinion - I'm not in a position to professionally disagree) - that the psychopath can ingratiate themelves with senior magagement to the extent that all criticism of them is brushed off. Sure, in some cases that maybe true. But in most cases, some dark hints or FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) can work both ways - both for and against the psychopath. The key, as they point out - is to establish your own reputation and relationships throughout the organization and steer clear of the psychopath.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Did not really talk much about sociopaths in the corporate setting and how corporations may prefer to employ them as the title seems to imply; rather it talks about hiring... Read morePublished 4 days ago by John
Extremely useful insight into the many characters in a work environment and how to spot and manage the snakes amongst us.Published 7 days ago by Nozicelo Ngcobo
Well written, enjoyable to read and full of insightful examples and clearly well presented information. This topic is the topic of topics.Published 1 month ago by Martha
Still reading, brings up lots of points to keep a look out for at work and why somethings are done at work.Published 1 month ago by Stephen
Required Reading for my Organizational Behavior course. Required for a massive presentation on the last nightPublished 1 month ago by Jeffrey H Bowen
An interesting subject, but extremely poorly dealt with by the author. Just a few trite stories - almost certainly pure fiction and nonsense. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Floccinaucinihilipilification
"Snakes in Suits" is too vague and unscientific to be useful to an advanced audience, without the research, documentation and clarity expected of a serious book. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ladders
This book is just bad. After warning about the true danger of psychopath, the book gives us techniques that clearly don't work with them. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Anon Reader