Psychopaths are generally considered to be cold, unrepentant and selfish. In a workplace, these people are known to cause negativity by being uncooperative. They manipulate and sabotage others to help themselves get ahead.
But a new study reveals that not all psychopaths are harmful, as some with excellent social skills can enhance productivity at the workplace. Researchers from the University of Bonn in Germany analyzed 161 participants based on their social skills, work performance and also each employee's behavior was evaluated by at least two co-workers.
‘People with psychopathic traits who have excellent social skills can actually be beneficial in the workplace instead of a liability.’
The team found that there were two kinds of psychopathy. One is the "Primary Psychopathy" and the other is "Secondary Psychopathy". The study was published in the Journal of Management
People with the first type of character trait are fearless, can handle stress well and always want to get their way. This is called as "Fearless Dominance". People whose questionnaires indicated a high level of fearless dominance were described by their colleagues as helpful, cooperative and pleasant associates.
Individuals with secondary psychopathy characteristics were not helpful, had poor performance and manipulative. Their co-workers found them to be toxic and destructive in nature. Secondary psychopathics cause adverse consequences in the work environment.
The authors suggested that not all psychopaths should be feared as they do not exhibit antisocial behavior. Primary psychopaths can be selfless and may be excellent firefighters, life-savers, etc.