"We know all around us of people to whom others turn easily, or even spontaneously, when they encounter difficulties". Thus begins the first book French wrote about the "toxic Handlers" these generators "caring company", whose study comes to us from the anglo-saxon . The authors of this book, Gilles Teneau, teacher, researcher specializing in the management, and Géraldine Lemoine, a sociologist and consultant, examined with the method on this type of profiles "are endowed with empathy, who can act on their surroundings by hosting and managing the suffering", which would allow them "to facilitate the crisis management professional". Interviewed by Le Figaro , the two authors detail for us on this university work which tells us a little more about the fifty shades of human life office.
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LE FIGARO. - Why does the term "toxic handlers", that look pejorative, when it comes to profiles beneficial to human relationships?
GERALDINE LEMOINE. - "Toxic handlers" is the term devised by Peter Frost, a researcher at the university of Michigan, the original work on the subject. This term could be translated literally as "manipulator of toxins", which is fair enough, since it means people to be able to recover the toxin released by the suffering of others to help them. In the title of our book, we have added generators "kindness" to sum up their values, and their posture in a company.
How to recognize around the "good" colleagues, these so-called "toxic handlers", "bad"? Are there people you avoid at the office?
GILLES TENEAU. - The "toxic handlers" recognize around us as they instill the confidence around them and about them), because they create the link (within the team and between colleagues...), they know how to listen (for real! without pulling the cover to them) and they can even give meaning to hardships. Recall that we identify in the book are 3 types of generators of kindness - a bearer of trust, the more careful, who does not will not too, and who knows, however, give good advice - bearer of suffering, the more invested in the suffering of another, until sometimes losing himself - the bearer of compassion, one that implements all the stages: trust, link, listen, sense.
In the framework of my doctoral thesis, I proposed a tool (called the SRS, Strategic Resileincy Scoring) and questionnaires to detect the generators of benevolence and their characteristics. These have been specifically tested in the company.
As for the people to avoid at the office, everyone must ask the question of what it weighs-term relationships: what is the relationship I can have with that, to carry out my work/my mission...without this being detrimental to my physical and mental health.
What would be the type of employees the opposite to the category of Toxic handlers, "perverse narcissist"?
GERALDINE LEMOINE. - The term "perverse narcissist" has a dimension, psychiatric, or psychoanalytic that we have not studied in our work. The type of workers the opposite might be the "toxic boss" in a relationship between employee and manager. And in the context of a relationship between colleagues, it would be a difficult personality, as seems precisely the psychiatrist Christophe André, with all its possible diversities: the anxious, the paranoid, the obsessive,... and many others!
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What is the limit of the sociology of the caring? Can we lock people in boxes then same as altruism also depends on the economic context, personal, job, personalities, etc?
GILLES TENEAU. - In this work, we propose to describe people, which we have called the generators of benevolence, and who perform their actions in business. We have not placed it in boxes, we described their behavior, their posture, and for some their history. As have also, Norbert Alter with L es bosses atypical or Frederik Mispelblom Beyer and Catherine Glée in their book, manage and mentor otherwise . We speak well of this particular type of employees (individuals). Whatever it is, we do not say that the generators of benevolence in action in the company transform the company if it is itself "toxic" in its operation. Or even, we wrote that the work he and his organization should be at the centre of the challenge of a company in crisis.
In your definition of the profile of "toxic handlers", you speak of those with feminine values (according to our social construction): the sweetness, the compassion, the search for a compromise, the exposure of feelings, empathy... The "toxic handlers", they are not further embodied by women, according to your experience?
GERALDINE LEMOINE. - According to our experience, no. It is, in fact, that we met men as well as women carriers of these values, or, as we may also say in the book, these "capabilities" that you mention. Indeed, the generators of benevolence in action in the company, man or woman, develop these features, to combat the suffering of the other and provide solutions to it. Their common points are resident there and also, generally, in a passage through suffering to the heart of their lives.
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The businesses are primarily created to generate a profit and not caring, at least that this benevolence to go in the direction of profit. Do you not think dreaming of a world of care bears, cut off from reality?
GILLES TENEAU. - We are really attached to describe the employees, the people we have encountered, not a concept of "all benevolent". We operate both in companies, we know very well that we are not in the care bears. However, we are betting that identify the generators of benevolence, recognise their role and take care of them may be the guarantee of a better flow and in some cases, a possible resilience in the organizations etc., when the subject of the work is préalablement explored!
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