July 13, 2007


I'm not sure what motivates the office bully. It doesn't gain them more respect, acceptance or a harder working team. I've met personalities in regular life who get what they want out of intimidation, abrasiveness or, worst of all: passive aggressive behavior . So, I guess, on the surface they may seem, and consider themselves, successful. But I also know what people say about them. How they are REALLY thought of; not well! And I also see the quality of their life and it's not so appealing to me. I have to think that if someone is intimidating me and using that wicked passive aggressive behavior, imagine what they do to their family. Yuck.

Robert I. Sutton published a book this year with Warner Books entitled: The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't. Please forgive some of the language in this review from Publishers Weekly, but, quite frankly, if we think it why can't/don't we say it?

"This meticulously researched book, which grew from a much buzzed-about article in the Harvard Business Review, puts into plain language an undeniable fact: the modern workplace is beset with assholes. Sutton (Weird Ideas that Work), a professor of management science at Stanford University, argues that assholes—those who deliberately make co-workers feel bad about themselves and who focus their aggression on the less powerful—poison the work environment, decrease productivity, induce qualified employees to quit and therefore are detrimental to businesses, regardless of their individual effectiveness. He also makes the solution plain: they have to go. Direct and punchy, Sutton uses accessible language and a bevy of examples to make his case, providing tests to determine if you are an asshole (and if so, advice for how to self-correct), a how-to guide to surviving environments where assholes freely roam and a carefully calibrated measure, the "Total Cost of Assholes," by which corporations can assess the damage. Although occasionally campy and glib, Sutton's work is sure to generate discussions at watercoolers around the country and deserves influence in corporate hiring and firing strategies."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Kai Ryssdal interviews the author of No Asshole so listen here. I especially like the description of the "kiss up, kick down" mentality. Boy, don't we all know someone like that? I know a few.

Anyway, this is a post to offer support and empathy to all those who may be in the middle of their worst day ever...or something like that. Chin up.


tiffany said...

i quit my last job mainly due to one nasty, passively aggressive person. I think i'll order this book for my former boss (and friend) who doesn't know what to do with that employee.

Stacie said...

Just ran across your blog from EmilyStyle. Glad to see a review of this book. I should have bought it a long time ago! I may run out and get it today. Did it help you deal with your bully though?