Retired surgeon Greg Baer, author of 17 books on love, reveals the power-hungry people that could destroy your workplace.

This Popular Author Warns Against Working With These 9 Toxic Colleagues

Retired surgeon Greg Baer, author of 17 books on love, reveals the power-hungry people that could destroy your workplace.

Staff Writer

Retired surgeon Greg Baer, M.D. once managed one of the busiest eye-surgery practices in the country. Yet despite all his accomplishments and wealth, he felt empty and unhappywhich led to his near suicide.

In his search for lasting happiness, he learned the life-changing principles that have led to the noble mission of The Real Love® Company which he founded: “We teach the real meaning of love, replacing anger and confusion with peace and confidence in individual lives and relationships.”

Now a successful author, speaker and entrepreneur for nearly two decades, the book that really caught my attention is Real Love in the Workplace: Eight Principles for Consistently Effective Leadership in Business.

In his second principle of “People Behave Badly Because They Don’t Feel Loved,” Dr. Baer says that a lack of genuine love in people, especially those in management roles, leads to an unhealthy pursuit of power and control over others.

“When we can control the behavior of other people, we experience a sensation of power that briefly gives us a moment of relief from our intolerable sense of hopelessness.” He adds, “Most of us abuse power every day, but we don’t recognize it because this behavior is so common in our culture.

Toxic work behaviors to be aware.

In order to identify the abusive behaviors of power that disrupts loyal workers and turns the workplace into a stifling, fear-based pressure-cooker, Dr. Baer lists several toxic behaviors that we may already be aware of, but don’t typically associate with the power he speaks of. It’s time to pay a closer attention — do any of these look familiar?

1. Gossip.

When people talk about others behind their backs, says Dr. Baer, they’re in a position to hurt them and exert control over their reputations. While your gossiping peers or coworkers won’t admit it, they enjoy that feeling of power and should be dealt with swiftly.

2. Withholding information.

Dr. Baer warns of such an individual who controls or hoards information: “You’ve had the experience of needing information from someone who enjoyed keeping it from you, or who parceled it out one morsel at a time. Your frustration gave the other person a feeling of power.”

3. Leaking secrets.

Dr. Baer writes, “Many of us love to share secrets, because in those moments we control the conversation.” As soon as you hear the words “Want to hear a secret?” come out of a coworker’s mouth, that’s a clear warning sign you’re working with a toxic person.

4. Abuse of authority.

Pay attention to your manager. Many abuse their positional authority to intimidate people into doing what they want, or to agree with them even when the team knows there’s a better course of action. Some managers fail to delegate on purpose to control all the decisions, even the smallest ones. Dr. Baer says, “That approach is inefficient and a waste of leadership, but it gives the manager a feeling of control (power).

5. Suppressing creativity.

When managers crush the great ideas coming from their employees that will improve a product or the business in some regard, it gives them a real sense of power, at the cost of disengaging and demotivating their employees.

6. Criticism.

Dr. Baer writes, “Finding fault with others is such an easy pastime, and for those with a need for power, each wound inflicted is a source of great satisfaction.”

7. Bullying.

According to Dr. Baer, one in six people suffer from bullying in the workplace which is costly for businesses due to absenteeism, diminished productivity, and healthcare. In the Information Age, says Dr. Baer, bullying is often done with knowledge. “The more we know, the more we can win arguments, put people in their place, and feel powerful.”

8. Obstruction of work processes.

Dr. Baer says people known for being a “bottleneck” in a process involving many of their peers or departments “enjoy the power of controlling the flow of things, of being able to slow everything down as they fail to finish their part of the job.”

9. Saying no.

Dr. Baer says, “Many people get a sense of power from exercising their veto power over decisions in their fiefdoms, whatever the size.”

The negative effects of using power.

For your coworkers or managers who exert power through these toxic behaviors, Dr. Baer warns that, while it may be exhilarating for them, there are certain negative consequences including:

  • People who achieve moments of power are never satisfied for long. When it wears off, they immediately lust for more — it becomes an addiction.
  • People in power have a constant air of desperation, not peace and contentment. Therefore, power never brings them lasting joy.
  • People who are power-hungry are selfish by nature. They only think for themselves and rarely for others or the wellbeing of the team or company.
  • People in power eventually become disillusioned and lose their motivation for working.
  • People who force others to do things their way produce resentment because others don’t like to be controlled.
  • When people are controlled by those in power, they lose their ability to independently make their own decisions and exercise their creativity.

Read Next


7 Crucial Things to Know About Bill Gates, Future Presidential Candidate

Another day, and still more evidence that Bill Gates is going to run for president.The latest proof: His recent media tour, including stops on ABC's Good Morning America, CNN, The Ellen DeGeneres Show,... (contd.)

15 Life Lessons I Learned by 50 (That I Wouldn’t Have Believed in My 20s)

What do 50-year-olds know that 20-year-olds often don't? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.Answer by Phyl Bean, Attorney at Phyl Bean... (contd.)

5 Tips for Being a Disciplined Investor

When it comes to building wealth, the average person has two options: earning income or investing. Most people require both a stable income and consistent investing to truly amass wealth over their... (contd.)

6 Keys to Attracting and Nurturing Breakthrough Innovators on Your Own Team

Breakthrough innovation is the dream of every entrepreneur, but it's still a scarce commodity. Selecting and nurturing people who are likely to help you in this regard is an even more elusive capability, and... (contd.)

Boost Your Brand With These 7 Creative Marketing Strategies for 2018

If you're anything like me, one of the biggest reasons you tune into the Super Bowl each year is to check out the latest and greatest commercials. I don't know about you,... (contd.)
- Advertisement -
Join Our Daily Newsletter
Sign up to get all the business news and intelligence that matters straight to your mailbox.
Join Our Newsletter !
Like This Article? Subscribe To Our Newsletter To Receive More Of Them Straight In Your Inbox
Contact Us.
Your Name
Thank you for your interest in Inc. Arabia. Please leave your contact details below, and we'll be in touch with you very soon.
Like This Article? Subscribe To Our Newsletter To Receive More Of Them Straight In Your Inbox