Inside the Mind of a Super Jerk

Bullies and jerks at work are finally being taken to task. Although there has not yet been an “Anti-Jerk Revolution,” there has been significant media coverage of the true havoc caused by a toxic employee. Companies are taking steps towards a more formal recognition of the problem, too, by implementing Respectful Workplace Policies. I’ve seen a greater attention being paid to the issue by the increased number of speaking engagements that I do on the topic. Instead of being retained to teach managers how to recognize and stop sexual harassment, I’m now asked to teach the same skills for spotting and stopping workplace bullying.

There have been a few interesting pieces recently, which have taken a different perspective on the question of workplace bullying. Instead of asking how to recognize the behavior when it starts, they look to what causes the conduct in the first place. Toni Bowers, at TechRepublic’s Career Management blog, for example, posted about the nature of power in the workplace and asks whether the first taste of power is addictive enough to turn a perfectly normal colleague into an intolerable bad boss.

For a slightly different take on the question of “why,” the always prophetic marketing guru Guy Kawasaki tells readers how to use the DSM-IV-TR to determine if it’s all in your mind or whether your boss really is crazy.

And, of course, the man leading the Anti-Jerk Revolution, Bob Sutton, has a blog full of insightful posts on the root causes of bullying behavior, as well as answers to the question of how to deal with bullies and save your sanity.