Book Summary: How To Work With Just About Anyone
"I just can't seem to get along with this person!"
Every office has that one difficult person to work with, who
affects productivity due to a terrible attitude, chronic
tardiness, or simply drives everyone else up the wall. Here
is the answer to common problems in conflict management.
Dealing with negative behavior, whether at work or at home,
can be solved with three steps:
Get to the heart of the matter.
Determine what problem-solving methods to avoid so you don't
perpetuate the conflict.
Choose a different, surprising approach to solve the problem
and keep it solved.
Finally, here is your key to some peace and sanity in the
workplace, drawn from forty years of research and professional
experience in consulting on the prevention and management of
How difficult behavior is reinforced:
People use the same solution that never brings new results.
The answer is to try something radically different. Employ a
totally new approach and choose your response carefully.
Why we fail to change negative behavior:
1. We are caught in the web of our own logic.
2. We don't realize we are doing the same things over and over.
3. We can't think of anything better to try.
This three-question formula can lead you to a new strategy:
1. What is the primary problem? Be specific. How exactly does it affect productivity?
2. What have you been doing about your problem so far? Identify the logic of your favorite solution.
3. What do you need to do instead? You need to undo what your ineffective solution did. Attack with a brand new set of weapons.
Focus on the facts. Figure out what the heart of the matter is:
1. List all the issues affecting you.
2. Decide which issue or who in particular is bothering you the most.
3. Encircle the issue or person's name on your list.
4. Focus on what you circled. List all the things that bother you about this person.
5. Now pick the problem to work on. If you could only fix one item on the list, and had to live with all the others, what would you choose?
6. Then with the particular problem chosen, spell out specifically: Who is doing what that presents a problem, to whom, and how is this behavior a problem?
The 4 ways to get bogged down in "whys" and therefore confused
by superfluous issues:
1. Focusing on possible reasons for someone's behavior
2. Speculating about what the person is up to
3. Labeling behavior instead of describing it
4. Worrying about who is right or wrong
Use reverse psychology!
1. Do something unexpected. Sometimes shock tactics or being brutally honest works.
2. Encourage the person to keep doing what it is that is irritating behavior. It is strange but encouraging people to continue their irritating behavior gets them to stop it.
3. Have fun experimenting with your new approaches!
4. Tell someone not to change what he is doing.
5. Create consequences or let the natural consequences of his negative behavior occur.
6. Urge someone to do the annoying actions even more
New Conflict Management Techniques
1. Do not offer a long list of reasons why someone should change. Simply tell them what needs to be done. The more you
rationalize or argue the more they will resist. You will be
wasting time and energy.
2. In the face of constant criticism, silently take note of what is being said, then read the notes back - instead of actively defending each point.
3. Make statements ("Unless it creates a problem for you, I'm
going to do X")
4. Give a specific compliment to the other party in a conflict.
("I like the way you presented your report - your lineup of
facts made it easy to follow") It catches them off-guard and
makes him/her less defensive.
5. Excuse yourself for a minute in the midst of a heated discussion to go to the toilet instead of escalating the argument.
6. Hold back for thirty minutes instead of rushing to fix a problem for someone else.
Other "happy workplace" tips:
1. Keep an open mind about why the person behaves in such a manner.
2. See both sides of the situation, not just yours.
3. Be very specific when analyzing the problem. Make a mental
videotape of the behavior.
4. Notice when it isn't happening. Understand why. You may have
overlooked something you did that didn't result in the other
person's annoying behavior.
5. Find someone with immunity and see how he or she successfully handles the troublesome behavior that you're struggling with.
By: Regine P. Azurin and Yvette Pantilla
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Regine Azurin is the President of a company that provides business book summaries of the latest bestsellers for busy executives and entrepreneurs.
Since 2009 VIDA has tracked the review coverage of major print publications to analyze how many women and gender minorities are represented.
For the 2017 VIDA Count, they looked at 15 major print publications over the course of the year. Even though many, if not all of the publications also have an online presence, they only counted the reviews in the print versions because it is "too easy to confine women, gender minorities, and other marginalized writers to cost-effective web platforms, which frequently pay differently (or don't pay at all), compared to their print counterparts."
Of the 15 publications, only 2 published 50% or more women writers: Granta (53.5%) and Poetry (50%).
Five had women representing between 40% and 49.9% of their total publication: Harper's, The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, The Paris Review and Tin House.
The majority, 8 out of 15 publications, failed to publish enough women writers to make up even 40% of their publication's run in 2017: Boston Review, London Review of Books, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Nation, The Threepenny Review, and The Times Literary Supplement.
The New York Review of Books had the most pronounced gender disparity with only 23% of published writers who are women but it was close to gender parity in terms of contributors, with 47% women.
Renowned surgeon and best-selling author Atul Gawande will lead a major new company aimed at reducing health-care costs, a joint venture by Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway.
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Gawande, a Harvard physician and writer for the New Yorker magazine, has written on issues at the core of American health care, including why it is so expensive and how to improve end-of-life care. He will take charge July 9.
A Massachusetts Institute of Technology investigation has cleared author and creative writing professor Junot Díaz to return to the classroom for the fall semester. The Associated Press reported that "the inquiry into Díaz's actions toward female students and staff yielded no information that would lead to restrictions on Díaz's role as a faculty member at the university in Cambridge."
Oxford University Press is asking members of the public to submit local words, phrases and expressions from around the world for inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary:
"Whether you're in Manchester, Mumbai, Manila, or Massachusetts, the OED would like to hear from you. Please use the form below to tell us about the words and expressions which are distinctive to where you live or where you are from. We're looking forward to reading your suggestions."
After writing novels on artificial intelligence, neuroscience and genetics, Powers' has turned to trees with The Overstory. While on a hike through the Great Smoky Mountains, he talks to The Guardian about environmentalism and not having children.
Seattle officials repealed a corporate "head tax" on Tuesday "that they had wholeheartedly endorsed just a month ago, delivering a win for the measure's biggest opponent--Amazon--and offering a warning to cities bidding for the retailer's second headquarters that the company would go to the limit to get its way," the New York Times reported. The tax would have raised about $50 million a year to help the homeless and fund affordable housing projects in a city where the homeless population is the third largest in the country, after New York City and Los Angeles.
Amazon has come under fire for removing reviews from its online book listings, with some customers having had all their reviews removed or being blocked from posting further reviews on Amazon.
Authors, bloggers and publishers have criticized the development, with many sharing their frustration through the #giveourreviewsback hashtag. Amazon has blamed temporary "technical issues".
Mike McCormack has won the International Dublin literary award for his novel Solar Bones
The judges hailed it as "formally ambitious, stylistically dauntless and linguistically spirited". It is written in a single sentence that flows over 270-odd pages, and spans a single day: All Souls' Day, when, according to superstition, the dead can return to the land of the living. Solar Bones
is narrated by Marcus Conway husband, father, civil engineer, a man gripped by "a crying sense of loneliness for my family" and a ghost, a factor that, for McCormack, explains the experimental form. ("A ghost would have no business with a full stop," he once argued. "It might fatally falter and dissipate.")
In an extensive article in the New York Times, John Kidd reports on "The Strange Case of the Missing Joyce Scholar."
Two decades ago, a renowned professor promised to produce a flawless version of one of the 20th century's most celebrated novels: "Ulysses." Then he disappeared...
Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been awarded the 2018 PEN Pinter prize. She was hailed by Harold Pinter's widow, the biographer Antonia Fraser, as a writer who embodies "those qualities of courage and outspokenness which Harold much admired".