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Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes, the book is well written and interesting.
Have you listened to any of Wes Bleed’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Any additional comments?
This was an interesting book. Purchased to assist a friend working through challenging issues in their workplace. This will help in our discussions.
The key is to remember that work is...well...work. Work is often complex and challenging. Moving through those complexities and challenges can also be very rewarding. Here are a few tips from the book and personal experience;
1) Set firm boundaries. Generally bullies bully because they see kind behavior as permissiveness. It's not fair, but it's a reality.
2) Remove expectations about how other people 'should' be acting. Just because a person is a manager, ceo, president, owner, chairman etc - does not necessarily mean they have an innate understanding of what to do or how to do it - this includes seeking out and listening to advice.
3) Beware of the principle of least effort. Because the environment is toxic, it allows a good deal of confusion. Anyone knows it's simple to get away with just about anything when a million and one things are distracting everyone from everything except the really big stuff. Don't get sloppy and give the environment permission to drag down your personal performance.
4) Deliver your best each day. If, while working, you are ruminating about the stresses of the job are you truly giving your work the best attention? Of course the answer is no. Many people want to blame their boss / workplace at this point - 'the boss makes me so angry it is distracting'. You are in control of your emotional reactions, not your boss / workplace.
5) In conjunction with number 4 - stress, anxiety, toxicity, abuse all take a very real toll on the human body and psyche. It's unlikely the environment or the person / people will change anytime soon. Give up the ghost of a Utopian work situation and deal with the reality that you must always be prepared to seek greener pastures.
6) Toxicity has the ability to ruin organizations. Mismanaged and poorly run organizations are incapable of consistent performance in lean times. As the money dries up, toxic management starts pointing fingers rather than seeking viable solutions to core issues. Ultimately these organizations fail, or make sweeping cuts or just languish until the next cash influx can make the numbers look good against their muddled 'toxic heavy' bottom line.
7) No matter what, never adapt. Always challenge yourself to take your game up a notch. Always challenge yourself to bring your best self to work. Never follow the path of least resistance. Work while you are at work - it is after all what you are getting paid to do.
8) Keep your resume updated. Keep your options open. Keep the feelers out. Mismanaged companies fail and even the best companies change. Healthy organizations outsource, restructure, or invest in new tech that eliminates specific skill sets. Keep your skills sharp and your resume up to date.
9) Your job is there to support your life and help you achieve your goals. Life is not there to support your job. Do not give your life to your job. Spend time doing things you enjoy. Leave work at work, conclude any overtime or special projects - and get on with the joy of living life. “Every second you spend thinking about someone else’s dreams you take time away from your own.” – Yogi Ramen. Adapted to this context - every second you spend ruminating about someone else's business, work, performance - you take time away from your dreams, and personal fulfillment.
10) Most importantly - take care of your SELF. In the midst of every toxic moment at work, do what you need to do to remain professional. Always preserve your self. Never do anything that is not representative of who you are. You'll feel better for preserving yourself, and avoid looking like part of the problem.
One final note of advice - CYA. I don't recall this being a piece in the book, but ensure you document as much as you can. Toxic people and organizations enjoy ambiguity, so when you are presented with specifics (in an email, meeting etc) document them. Save the email that says "You do not need to spend so much time on validating the accuracy of the quarterlies. It was a once and done thing." Record the date, time, location and note anyone else present for the conversation detailing how "That guy's an idiot. I need you to remember that it's personal between me and him." In addition to writing things down, do your best to have at least one witness present. Not only will it help you in any toxic work issues, it will also aid in compartmentalizing your work life. It will have been written down, done, concluded and you can get on with your life. A professional journal is an excellent idea for anyone really. Not just a CYA document, but a living document helping you to benchmark your own progress.
Overall this book helped contextualize many of the items I've been trying to communicate to my friend. I believe the text has helped to organize my thoughts and will add value to future discussions on this topic.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I have a lot of selfish and negative coworkers I was struggling to keep a positive attitude. this book helped me learn what I could do to improve my situation and I feel much happier at work!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
While the narration is not too bad I did not find the content very useful at all. More of a collection of other people's stories than a practical reference. All you really get from listening is that if your job is toxic or stressful, then leave before it is too late. Some may find it helpful. I, unfortunately, did not.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
It does start out a bit slow, focusing mainly on anecdotes from various people's experiences. However, it does evolving into examining the choices these people made and their outcomes and giving some practical advice on the topic of difficult bosses and toxic workplaces. Most of the advice and analysis comes in the last 1.5 hours, and includes things to look out for to identify a toxic boss/workplace.