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93 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a study of the pathological personality
This is an astounding, essential reference when it comes to understanding and dealing with psychopathological individuals in the workplace. They are FAR more prevalent than most people imagine, and especially in positions of power and authority, to which they naturally gravitate.

As the authors point out, psychopaths rarely take the form of 'Hannibal Lectur',...
Published on 23 July 2007 by sleepyvinny

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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for diagnosis...
The subject of this book will come as no surprise to the corporates amongst us. It has been quite clear that in leaving management to the talentless we have encouraged a class of psychopaths to colonise us. However, apart from those with a professional interest, most people will turn to this book at the point where they understand their career is being destroyed by a...
Published on 23 Nov 2011 by Dr. G. SPORTON


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93 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a study of the pathological personality, 23 July 2007
This review is from: Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (Paperback)
This is an astounding, essential reference when it comes to understanding and dealing with psychopathological individuals in the workplace. They are FAR more prevalent than most people imagine, and especially in positions of power and authority, to which they naturally gravitate.

As the authors point out, psychopaths rarely take the form of 'Hannibal Lectur', but are much more likely to come in the guise of a slick, fast talking, charismatic high-flyer, who ruthlessly backstabs and manipulates his way into positions of power, for personal gain. Basically, they are invisible to anyone who does not have the knowledge of how they operate (ie: the majority), and this is what makes them so lethal.

Psychopathy is not a 'mental illness', it is a personality disorder, and as such, psychopaths are usually free of the normal quirks and neuroses of normal people, and instead operate under the blinding inertia of unquestioning self-confidence, without a hint of self-examination or internal doubt - for the psychopath, emotions are simply used as a dramatic tool, in order to evoke pity, guilt, fear or self-doubt in others, for manipulation purposes; and are completely lacking in connection to any deeper meaning.

This book is founded on extensive experience and clinical studies; eg. the Hare Psychopathy Checklists PCL-R; and builds on the established work of Hervey Cleckley ('Mask of Sanity', also recommended). It pulls back the curtain, shows all the tricks, how they work in practice in the modern corporate environment, and how to defend against them. It describes in some detail the scary surreal reality that the psychopath inhabits, in which conscience and emotion are somehow 'pretend' - how their brains are activated in a completely different pattern (as shown on ECG studies) - everything is a coldblooded 'game' of oneupmanship and self-interest, regardless of consequence.

Thoroughly recommended to anyone in a position of responsibility of assessing people - recruitment or management; and also to anyone studying psychopathy and its implications in the real wold.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for diagnosis..., 23 Nov 2011
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Dr. G. SPORTON "groggery1" (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (Paperback)
The subject of this book will come as no surprise to the corporates amongst us. It has been quite clear that in leaving management to the talentless we have encouraged a class of psychopaths to colonise us. However, apart from those with a professional interest, most people will turn to this book at the point where they understand their career is being destroyed by a psychopath, and here is where my disappointment lies.

Whilst I think the book helps the diagnostic process, and the examples enable the reader to confirm for themselves the behaviours as psychopathic, the people who would get the most out of this book work in HR. Given that they hire these head-cases in the first place, I can but suggest this as required reading on one of those many HR qualifications that people seem to get, but this remains a bit frustrating for those dealing with a workplace psychopath.

There are two main reasons for this. First is the professional over-caution suggested before coming to a diagnosis. When so many of the examples indicate HR professionals and psychologists have been long fooled by the cunning ways of the psychopath, and bystanding co-workers (or extras, as the authors correctly describe them) seem to have more of an idea, this doesn't seem much consolation. The second is the absence of any serious advice on how to deal with them effectively. By adopting the strategies in this book, you MAY survive one, but not without spending years avoiding them by keeping an artificially low profile (they ruin you anyhow that way), or learning how to cope with copping it in the neck on a regular basis. This really isn't good enough. Even the long running scenario in the book ends in the triumph of psychopathy.

Is this all there is? Are we condemned to be victims of nasty types because a criminal mind is cleverer than a rounded, normal one? Having already been a victim of one of these cretins, with a promising career ruined to show for it, I was hoping for more decisive strategies now I find myself faced with another. He isn't interested in me (my career is already ruined), but I was hoping for some psycho-busting techniques that would provoke him into outing himself, or provide better protection for my co-workers than simply sucking it up.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Most Essential Works on Psychopathy, 14 Mar 2008
This review is from: Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (Paperback)
"Snakes in Suits" is one of the most essential works on psychopathy, as well gives the reader the working knowledge of how psychopaths operate in the job industry, especially in the corporate workplace. Not only will this book to help the reader to understand how corporate psychopaths operate, but it will give a great deal of insights and helpful tips on how to deal with them and how to protect oneself from them.

I give high praises to Hare for this work on the subject. This book is well written and easy to read as well an eye opening experience. I surly would recommend this book.

Psychopaths are ruthless, emotionless, and consciousness individuals to which they only serve themselves at the expense of others. All words coming out of their mouths would be lies, and if you are appeared as "important" or special to them, it is a safe bet that they are using you.

With this book as a tool and a guide, the readers would be able to identify each pathological individual and understand them more clearly as well to protect oneself from them. I would recommend the readers to study other works that discussed with the certain aspects of the study on the psychopaths, including "Without Conscience" (by Robert Hare), "The Mask of Sanity" (by Hervey Checkley), "The Sociopath Next Door" (by Martha Stout), "In Sheep's Clothing" (by George Simon), and Andrzej Lobaczwski's "Political Ponerology." With these works, one will have a good deal of working knowledge of the phenomenon of psychopaths in our world, in our governments, in our workplace, in our neighborhood, and even in our homes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars unconvincing, 13 Dec 2013
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The authors aren't necessarily stretching the truth here, but they put so many disclaimers and hypotheticals into the work that it's hard to decide what's really being said. Also it is quite belaboured and repetitive - could be easily condensed into a few pages. I found myself skimming through sections. Was hoping for something meatier considering how interesting the premise is.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Important and necessary, 8 Feb 2009
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This is an important and necessary companion to Dr Hare's earlier 'Without Conscience', which was a loud wake-up call to those who were unaware of the psychopath problem and just how prevalent it was. Where the first book fell short was that it outlined the problem effectively and convincingly but failed to deliver adequate advice in how to deal with the situation. The result for the reader was a sort of learned helplessness.

'Snakes In Suits' makes up for this failing, with detailed guidelines in identifying psychopathy and dealing with it, particularly emphasising the corporate world but with implications going far beyond.

Among the shortcomings of the book though is a poor fictional or semi-fictional narrative, the segments of which appear sandwiched between chapters. It does its job but is simply not well-written. Another drop in quality is a tendency to draw on newspapers and anecdotes for source material, which somewhat cheapens the impact of the book. The reader can buy their own tabloid if that is what they want.

But these are quibbles. 'Snakes In Suits' may lack the elegance and economy of the earlier book, but it more than fills in the gaps and provides an effective map through the perils of psychopathy in everyday life. If you get this, it is worth purchasing 'Without Conscience' also at some point; and to complete the picture Phillip Zimbardo's 'The Lucifer Effect' is a must.

These books portray a very dark world but they also give us clues how to live in it, and it is interesting that the one piece of advice common in all three is that we need to know who we are. Now if only schools put self-knowledge on the curriculum...
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5.0 out of 5 stars For those who are trying to outsmart HARE and Babiak ..., 22 July 2014
By 
Elfin H "T H" (London Border - Essex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (Paperback)
Having read this book twice and some of the reviews & comments (earlier - most viewed ones) I feel compelled to stand up for the co-authors :
1. Paul Babiak (PhD)- Organizational Psychologist, (and HR expert) and
2. dr Robert Hare - professor of forensic Psychology - creator of the standard tool for diagnosing psychopathology.

Starting with dr Robert Hare. He dedicated all his life relentlessly researching and developing Cleckley's theory who was already a pioneer in attempting clarifying issues in the field of psychopathology [The Mask of Sanity]. Hare's research is not fully conclusive -partly because of the rigorous and robust brain studies are still ongoing in Canada and the US, nevertheless this is the best we have so far and if you are those 'smarty pants' who are trying to outsmart both Hare and Babiak - why don't you start further-developing rather than finding shortcomings regarding i.e. the language of the book ('cheap' -really ?) or not answering the question : 'how to psycho -busting them?' . As I recall - Hare had some 'help' to simplify the academic style -so that a wider audience -'simple souls' with no master degrees- could access it. When authors write books like this -it is hard to strike a balance between 'eloquence and banality'. I personally think that it is very well written re: 'standard English' - informative, enlightening, practical, clear -no unnecessary page filling sentences, no ambiguity.
With regards to the Big Question - how to defeat them ? I think if you read in between the lines you do find techniques on how to catch them out (and 'combat' them) and make sure it's not the 'HR who hires' - HR should 'just cross check' re: Interpersonal skills/ Values/ Career Goals etc ..(page 146-147) but it should be an Executive decision jointly with other expertise. If your company can afford one - do hire a Psychologist - either an Occupational Psychologist or a Clinical Psychologist - some OP-s are freelancers and are available for recruitment purposes. Don't just delegate it Human Resources who focuses on the 'first impressions = business acumen + presentation' (see Helen's case study).
I will elaborate more on Organizational Manipulation later ...
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The best thing about this book is its title, 16 Oct 2010
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This review is from: Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (Paperback)
A great title, who wouldn't be intrigued by the prospect of finding out about the psychopaths at work? However, I found the book to be very light, more in the dreaded vein of "pop-psychology" rather than a serious useful work. Yes the authors did cover the key elements but the over generalisation and over dramatic tone of the work undermined what is a serious subject. The authors had worked hard, but it seemed their effort had gone into making a 100 pages of useful text expand into the 200+ pages they finished with. To be fair to them, publishers seem to struggle with the concept that 100 pages of useful text will sell just as well, if not better than 200, 300 page works that are over long. For anyone interested in this area I would suggest reading Robert Hare's original work, "Without Conscience". For a useful view of people in work who are exhibiting potential psychological disorders, Manfred Kets de Vries has produced some more considered and better written works in this area. For a related piece of work which demonstrates how a really good book can also be short, look at David Owen's work "The Hubris Syndrome" which is superb.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book to be in the every company's first day Orientation program, 4 Nov 2007
By 
P. Rao "Rao" (US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (Paperback)
we know politics and often we are the victim of them and many go on doing them with a feeling of sin and hopelessness believing that this is the only way one can survive. This book is for all the 94% of the population who are not psychopaths. This books written in simple language with wonderful examples and It surely gives you the ability to recognise the psychopaths and most importantly how to survive the dangerous psychopaths who always hides in the magic of slogans to bite the next victim.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Am illuminating and fascinating read, 24 July 2011
This review is from: Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (Paperback)
The book is written in plain English so that everyone can read it, and I could not put it down. Perhaps this should be given out as a survival manual. The number of psychopaths is arguably increasing and we should all be aware of the affect that they can have on people and society.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for every working person, 30 Dec 2007
This review is from: Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (Paperback)
This books gives a wealth of insight into how to deal with psychopaths in the work place. It clearly outlines how the psychopaths with the use of lying, manipulation and charm often easily manages to get pass the screening interviews for high powered jobs in the workplace. It describes the whole process by which the company and the whole workplace becomes toxic due to the psychopath's influence and it offers the steps and solutions to counteract in order to protect oneself and also for businesses to protect themselves.

Yes a powerful book, that adds to the other book by Robert Hare called "Without Conscience".
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Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work
Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work by Robert D. Hare (Paperback - 7 Jun 2007)
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