Every office full of ambitious people has them. And we have all worked with at least one—the co-worker with an inexplicable ability to rise in the ranks.
“How do they do it?” we may ask ourselves or whisper to friends at work. They don’t have more experience. They don’t seem that brilliant.
But such co-workers may possess a dose of one of the personality traits that psychologists call the “dark triad”: manipulativeness, a tendency to influence others for selfish gain; narcissism, a profound self-centeredness; or an antisocial personality, lacking in empathy or concern for others. These traits are well-known for the bad behavior that they can cause when dominant in people’s personalities. At milder levels, however, they can actually foster skills that can help people rise through the ranks.
Those co-workers with an inexplicable ability to rise in the ranks may possess ‘dark’ personality traits, such as manipulativeness or narcissism.