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John Gartner, Ph.D.
is a psychologist living and working in Baltimore and New York. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
There is hardly a business or organization in America where issues related to hypomania are not directly relevant to the bottom line. Hypomanics are simultaneously an enterprise’s greatest resource and their greatest liability. The creativity, energy, confidence and charisma of the hypomanic employee, manager, or CEO can drive sales, inspire team members an open up new markets. But on the flip side, their tendency to be erratic, arrogant or irritable can undermine team morale, and often leads to staff turnover.
I sometimes say hypomanics are from Mars and everyone else is from Venus. People of normal temperament often find the hypomanic to be a “jerk,” even if he or she is brilliant. While the hypomanic, on the other hand, can’t understand those who don’t share their pressured sense of urgency, nor understand why others take offense at their behavior. Yet these two groups of people depend on each other. Non-hypomanics depend on the hypomanic to be the rainmakers, driving innovation and aggressive expansion. While the hypomanic usually depends on key assistants to manage details they they overlook while focusing on the big picture. There will always be tension between these Martians and Venusians, but it can either be a creative tension or a destructive one. The capacity of the enterprise is to succeed is directly related to the ability of these two groups to get along.
The hypomanic often needs sensitivity training, to become more aware of how their actions affect others, and learn to delay impulsive speech and actions. On the other hand, others in the organization often need de-sensitivity training, to be less reactive to what can feel like an overwhelming outbursts. And usually, there is at least one person in the organization, typically an assistant, who needs to be the buffer between the hypomanic and others in the organization.
I work in conjunction with, Nancy Caplan, an attorney and professional mediator who has spent many years, in both business and personal contexts, mediating between strong-willed hypomanics and the people who work with them. We offer a cost-effective workshop, along with additional hourly consulting at reasonable prices.