People plagued by tyrant bosses or troublesome co-workers can blame their families, says leadership coach and psychologist Sylvia Lafair. Lafair has identified 13 patterns of annoying office behavior and the family dynamics behind each. They include the abusive, micro-managing "persecutor," who likely comes from a background of neglect, and the "martyr," who'll do everyone's work and then complain about it. The "martyr's" parents likely gave up their dreams for their child, Lafair says.
Techniques that root out the childhood causes of bad behavior in the workplace and seek to counter them are gaining popularity, the Wall Street Journal notes. The chief of one California software firm says he used to be a monster boss until he realized that he was unconsciously imitating his tough dad. Now, he says, he's changed his ways and instituted a "no-jerks" policy at the company, which has since won awards as one of the best workplaces in the region.