By Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster
Warner Business Books, 2006 $22.95
The authors of Working with You Is Killing Me hit upon a central truth about the working life early in the introduction of the book: “Work, the actual activity of doing a job, is often fairly uncomplicated. It's the people at work — bosses, coworkers, clients and vendors — that present the real challenges.”
This guide for the frustrated, burned-out, and just-about-to-flip-their-lid workers of the world, pegs the problem players pretty well: the incompetent colleague, the boss who expects you to be a mind reader, and all the other cast of characters who seem to take delight in making you an emotional wreck.
Basically, you'll be able to tell early on if this book is for you. Read on for some real-life examples of poor working stiffs who feel trapped, or “hooked” into negativity in their jobs. The purpose of the book is to help you to “unhook.” The main idea is that changing your reaction can change your life. Not exactly an earth-shaking theory, but the book offers some great detailed advice that you can refer back to when situations occur.
The book acts as a guide to making nasty work situations workable. Bits of dialogue found throughout the book can be helpful, when, for example, someone else is trying to take credit for your work at a big meeting and you're struggling to find the right way to speak up. The strategies in the book seem like they would be very effective against workplace troubles, focusing as they do on what's going on both inside your head and physically when difficult situations arise.
The content is appropriate for those high up on the ladder and those near the bottom rungs as well. Negative energy can be a real drain on any business, so anything that can help diffuse conflict is a valuable tool for a bosses and employees alike.