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Leaders often have a relatively small set of schemas and a corresponding set of modes through which they shift over a course of time. Paul, our CEO, did have a “Healthy Adult” mode (wise, emotionally accessible, reasonable, rational, thoughtful) in which he operated a significant amount of the time; he also had a “Demanding Parent [Critic]” mode (with unreasonably high expectations and rigid standards) into which he shifted when he thought subordinates where underperforming. Daniel experienced, a third, “Bully” mode in which Paul directed sarcastic, demeaning comments at his subordinates. This mode often is associated with the “Punitiveness” schema, which results from early experiences of being punished for even minor misdeeds. About 15% of our sample of leaders reported it was mostly or completely true that they had the “Punitiveness” schema.

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