Monday, April 11, 2016


Short Notes From:
Dealing with Bosses and Coworkers Who Brain You Dry
Albert J. Bernstein, PhD.
McGraw Hill Education
258 pages
Know Yourself
It would be more useful to know which of three (3) differing attitudes you hold about work.  Within most overall organizational cultures, there seem to be three (3) separate and often competing subgroups that are remarkably similar in thoughts and behavior from one organization to another:
1.     Rebels:
Who pride themselves on their technical skills and ability to handle crisis but do not like being told what to do.


  • Tend to focus on the technical aspects of the job
  • Pride themselves on know-how
  • Prefer to think on their feet rather than in a brainstorming session
  • Do not like to be told what to do
  • Do not consider management or sales to be skills
  • Have a touch of Antisocial about them
  • Thrive on excitement
  • Have a hard time making themselves do boring, everyday tasks
  • Have a good sense of humor
  • Bravery is the greatest strength
  • Make decisions quickly and live with the consequences
  • Great at seeing through everybody’s affectations (behavior, speech, or writing that is pretentious and designed to impress) but their own
  • Have no patience with Histrionics motivational rallies or the politic games so beloved by Narcissists

2.    Believers:
Who work hard and play by the rules, expecting that their effort and responsibility will help them go ahead.  Usually they are disappointed, because hard work, in and of itself, is seldom rewarded.
  • Believe in truth, justice, hard work, fairness, motivation, and work ethic
  • The core of any organization
  • Talk the talk; walk the walk
  • Share some of the more positive traits of Histrionics and Obsessive-Compulsives
  • Try to be positive
  • Pay attention to day-to-day details
  • Do their homework, even when no one is checking
  • Greatest vulnerability is thinking that everybody else is playing by the same rules
  • Playing politics is seen as evidence of character flaws
  • Openness to new learning is the greatest strength

3.    Competitors:
Who live by the unwritten rules.  They understand and use politics to get things done.  Sometimes politics uses them.
  • Recognize external contingencies
  • Understand and use politics
  • Think in term of hierarchies, alliances, and knowing whom you need to influence to get things done
  • Ability to make things happen is the greatest strength
  • Masters of observational learning
  • Figure out what to do by watching people who are effective and copying them
  • Pragmatism personified
  • Always on the lookout for what works
  • Excel at picking up good ideas and running with them
  • Observational learning is the greatest weakness

Members of each group believe that they are the only ones who are doing things correctly.  Each of these groups has its own automatic ways of thinking and acting at work.  Each is good at some tasks and not so good at the others.  Knowing where you fit can help you understand yourself in relation to other people.  Recognizing your automatic responses may help you slow down your thinking enough to decide whether they are working for you.  Everybody has some aspects of everything we measure, and nobody can be placed neatly into any particular category.  Emotional vampires always approach from your weak side.

Inspirational quotes from the book:

To get stronger,
you need to exercise the ability to shift your perception,
to see things the way other people might see them,
especially people who may not see things the way you do.
Insularity (ignorance of or lack of interest in cultures, ideas, or peoples outside one's own experience)
is everyone’s weak side.

To be continued……
Coming up next: vampire type-antisocial

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