Key books on solving problems with and protecting yourself from bad bosses, managers or supervisors, organized by theme areas.
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Reviewer/Reader Feedback: "The book, "Your Rights at the Workplace - The Things Your Boss Won't Tell You", shows how to identify on-the-job discrimination or harassment and offers legal suggestions for dealing with it. Author and practicing civil rights attorney Leo James Terrell examines workplace situations that include on African American engineer whose complaints of verbal harassment by coworkers and supervisors are ignored by management; and a highly qualified registered nurse who's passed over for a promotion in favor of a colleague involved with the boss. Through case studies like these, Terrell illustrates the "snares, traps and pitfalls your employers can use to oppress and otherwise shatter your life at work."
Reviewer/Reader Feedback: "a guide to dealing with bullies, backstabbers, incompetents, harassers, and other office offenders. Every office has one...and sometimes, more than one. They can make you dread getting up in the morning even if you like your job-and they can interfere with everyone's efficiency and productivity. Dr. Leonard Felder explains how to deal with them, get the respect you deserve, manage relationships, and keep the workday running smoothly."
Reviewer/Reader Feedback: "None of the insights are new: we all know that people resist change, don't walk the talk, don't understand their business, aren't team players, ad infinitum. But most business books are either too dense to read easily or are too trite to be relative. Gray Matters is in between and comes close to a bulls eye. I especially like its part 3: 'the Seven Deadly Workplace Sins.'"
Reviewer/Reader Feedback: "This book has an amazing way of unearthing and organizing all those painful feelings you feel if you are being controlled, or "told who or how you are" in a forceful way by another human being. If you have low self-esteem as a result of believing in someone who wants nothing more than to control you, than you need this book to help free yourself from the controller's delusions. Reading Controlling People is more like witnessing, allowing you to experience a huge reality check as you come to realize that you're nowhere near alone, and to trust your own "creative force". The book is genius in its logical explanation of why people become abusers, and, how, if you've been abused, you can find a realistic path toward self-healing."
Reviewer/Reader Feedback: "Is your boss abusive or just a jerk? Grievance specialist Healey explains how "abused" employees can end mistreatment in the workplace."
Reviewers/Readers Comments: "Using insights based on a psychological approach, especially Maslow's theories of self-esteem, Lipman-Blumen (The Connective Edge) offers numerous examples in both politics and business of toxic leaders who have survived crises and received accolades despite their obvious flaws... The book's strength is the detailed psychological approach to examining the phenomenon of loyalty to toxic leaders."
Reviewer/Reader Feedback: "If I had read this book MUCH sooner (such as when the bullying FIRST started), it would have helped me emotionally. I would have realized MUCH sooner what was happening, and known that I wasn't crazy. I could have fought back sooner, and would have known how, and which strategies to use. I also would have kept detailed records of each bullying incident, and I would have gotten witnesses' statements. In short, if you are even questioning yourself about whether bullying is happening to you, or not, BUY THIS BOOK."
Reviewer/Reader Feedback: "This is a practical guide to overcoming bullies in the work place. The biggest cause of workplace stress in the UK is generally acknowledged to be bullying. A recent civil service college survey stated that almost every person in the civil service had been bullied at one time. Taking a simple, straightforward approach, this book looks at how to recognize a bully, how to protect yourself, how to gather evidence, and what steps you should take to avoid it happening in the future."
Reviewer/Reader Feedback: "Starting from very basic skills of setting goals (personal and company), and effective communication it moves into more advanced skills such as reading your boss, your boss's work style, and "the Care and Feeding of a Boss." I particularly liked these more advanced chapters giving tools to review and recognize your boss's working method, evaluate and categorize behaviors he uses, and you use in response, and approaches to use that will mesh the two working styles into a team. Learning what bosses want, (and what they don't want) was also very helpful and gave me several items to implement in my own job: communicating about completed assignments, praising my boss to encourage specific behaviors, and how to improve in needed areas. I am grateful that I do not need the chapter covering dreadful bosses, but it was very enlightening and a very good review of choices that can be made in those circumstances."
Excerpt: "Every year, millions of Americans become victims of emotional abuse inflicted at work. They are damaged to such an extent that they can no longer accomplish their tasks. Co-workers, colleagues, superiors and subordinates attack their dignity, integrity and competence, repeatedly, over a number of weeks, months, or years. At the end, they resign--voluntarily or involuntarily--are terminated, or forced into early retirement. This is mobbing--workplace expulsion through emotional abuse. Ironically and sadly, the victims are portrayed as the ones at fault, as the ones who brought about their own downfalls."
Reviewer/Reader Feedback: "I've seen a lot of books and training programs that purport to teach people to be more effective communicators. Most teach tried-and-true, but old-and-generic, understandings and skills that help people become somewhat more effective. They do not, however, teach people to be really effective in those few important communication challenges that really matter. That is the contribution of Crucial Conversations. In my consulting practice, I've noticed repeatedly that many managers and executives don't take on the tough issues or don't handle them well or, even worse, handle them in a way that creates positive harm in their relationship with others. When I talk to them about their situations, I find that they know they can be better communicators on tough issues; they just don't know how! That's where Crucial Conversations adds real value."
Reviewer/Reader Feedback: "Work abuse is the dehumanizing of people through patterned ways of interacting at work. This includes systematic denial that the abuse is happening, as most abusive managers consider such poisonous treatment to be 'the way the world works.' Work abuse can affect a whole organization, or it can be focused on one individual scapegoat. What's worse, our society as a whole tends to reinforce this attitude, placing the blame on the traumatized victim. When the abuse cannot be redressed at work, it often reappears at home as addiction or family violence. Intended for individual workers and their families, therapists who help them, and managers and union leaders responsible for work systems, this book explains how and why work abuse happens and offers a practical plan for healing, including in-depth case studies, exercises, and worksheets to guide the reader."
Reviewer/Reader Feedback: "Is it you? Are you really just too sensitive to harsh words on the job? Or is it abuse? The authors share personal experiences and walk you through defining the problem, developing a remedy and placing this type of abuse into the larger social context. The workbook format allows you to objectively view your situation and to take appropriate action. Stop feeling powerless; stop feeling as if there must be something wrong with you."
Reviewer/Reader Feedback: "Suzette Haden Elgin, nationally recognized linguistics expert and author, applies her acclaimed techniques for combating verbal violence to common on-the-job situations. Forceful yet non-threatening, her proven strategies will empower workers of every level to recognize verbal abuse, gently defuse it, and replace it with courteous and effective communication."
Reviewer/Reader Feedback: "The number-one reason for a firing, report a number of studies, is not incompetence. Rather, it's a murky area that, for lack of a better name, is called "personality differences." Behavioral and management consultant Bramson addresses the issue of correcting behavior before a pink slip arrives. First he outlines the commitment to change and then the steps needed for change, which range from figuring out goals to repairing one's image."
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