Dealing with Difficult People (HBR Emotional Intelligence Series): A book review by Bob Morris

Dealing with Difficult People (HBR Emotional Intelligence Series)
Various Contributors
Harvard Business Review Press (May 2018)

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

HBR Press has a new series of anthologies (nine volumes thus far) of articles in which contributors offer proven research that shows how our emotions impact our work lives, practical advice for managing difficult people and situations, and inspiring essays on what it means to tend to our emotional well-being at work. Uplifting and practical, these books describe the social skills that are critical for ambiguous professionals to master.

If you were to purchase reprints of the eight articles in this volume separately, the total cost would be $79.60. Amazon now sells the volume for only $13.38.

According to the HBR editors of this volume, “At the heart of dealing with difficult people is handling their — and your own — emotions. How do you stay calm in a tough conversation? How do you stay unruffled in the face of passive-aggressive comments? And how do you know if you’re difficult to work with? This book explains the research behind our emotional response to awful colleagues and shows how to build the empathy and resilience to make those relationships more productive.”

Briefly, Mark Gerzon explains how to resolve a conflict by determining if it is “hot” or “cold.”

Holly Weeks explains how to take the stress out of stressful conversations.

Tony Schwartz reveals the secret to dealing with difficult people.

Amy Gallo explains how to stand up for yourself when dealing with a mean colleague.

She also explains why the best way to deal with a passive-aggressive colleague is to avoid accusations.

Rebecca Knight explains how to work with someone who’s always stressed out by celebrating their victories.

Liz Kislik explains how to manage someone who thinks everything is urgent by helping them to see the consequences.

And Manftred F.R. Kets de Vries advises who hate their boss to “manage up” when your personalities clash.

If only one idea in one of these articles helps you to deal with — or at least improve relations with — an especially difficult person, the purchase price of this book is worth every penny and then some.




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