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Book Talk #2

13 Apr

Recently at a book talk at the Richmond Heights Chamber of Commerce an interesting and informative story came up.  One member asked how to deal with a difficult co-worker.

Someone noted that they once worked with a person who took a “cheapshot” every time she saw him, always a nasty, disrespectful one-liner.  This was very upsetting, especially when it was in the morning.

The person decided to change the nature of the interaction with this difficult person.  Every day on the way to work he thought of some pleasant, respectful comment to use and he wisely moved into the interaction fast, made the comment and departed.  Over several weeks the person’s behavior toward him began to change and others in the workplace noticed it.  Eventually the two became working colleagues and when the former “difficult person” left for another job she wrote him a two page letter about how fine it was to work with him.

Think about this:  What you give is what you get.  She lived in a world where everyone she knew either responded in kind or they avoided or fled from her.  He modeled a new and more effective way to interact with others.  All it took was a plan, some effort and patience.  The benefit was that he immediately felt better because he knew he was doing the right thing.

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Book Talks (1)

6 Apr

I have been doing book talks around the Midwest and having some interesting experiences.  Last week I visited three Caribou Coffee locations in the Twin Cities and did book chats.

At one store the manager and I visited about Beyond Luck.

She noted that what really helped her was the explicit, practical advice as well as the “unbook” organization.  She could go to any topic anywhere and find a useful idea to help her solve people problems.

I asked her what was the most useful information she had learned from the book so far.  She mentioned the first article in the book, Some basics of an effective management style. A really boring title – it should be called the “Manager from Hell”.  She was fascinated by the list of 11 management practices that employees find disrespectful and incompetent.  I compiled this list over many years from employee surveys, interviews as well as from observations in the workplaces.

#1 Sarcasm (“tearing flesh” in Latin),

and

#11 E-mail offenses too many to enumerate.

For an example of lousy e-mail etiquette go to: Reply All: The Button Everyone Loves to Hate.

To see the other nine, go to Beyond Luck, click on “Preview the Book” and scroll to The Basics of an Effective Management Style.

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