Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Renee Evenson
“A more effective way exists to handle conflict at work. Entering into a constructive conversation to resolve any problem as it occurs is the only way to demonstrate your ability to interact well with others all the time … and increase your odds of success,” Renee Evenson states in the introduction of her book, Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Difficult People.
At two hundred and twenty-six pages, this paperback book is targeted toward employers and employees who are trying (usually desperately) to mend relationships, accept responsibility, learn from mistakes, and successfully deal with difficult people including perhaps themselves.
After a short introduction, the book is divided into two parts: phrases and actions that produce successful work relationships and how to resolve and strengthen conflicting work relationships. Although there is no reference or topical index at the back of the book, it does include an author biography.
Evenson, a consultant specializing in workplace communication and conflict-resolution strategies, recognizes all jobs have interpersonal problems and issues but she feels they can be resolved quickly through using key phrases to get along with one another.
After dissecting the wrong way of solving conflicts, explanations of using the “I” word through understanding, apologizing, compromising, resolving, and reconciling are correct ways to approach problems via using body language, facial expressions, voice tone, and assertiveness.
Her five steps to effective resolution are to think first, better understand, define the issue, offer the best solution, and agree on it. Each chapter in the second half of the book has point-by-point references of these five steps involving over twenty employee issues and ten boss or management positions. The final chapters include when you as an worker are at fault and how to apply the same five steps for resolution.
Take whining employees. First one must try to think of a way to head them off at the pass before they can start whining. When they whine, one could confirm by understandingly agreeing using the “I” phrase and define its personal affect. By suggesting talking it out and working on changing, a compromise is met. In the end, thanking them for discussing solutions will let them agree more easily.
Dealing with a backstabber, bully, gossiper, know-it-all, loudmouth, slacker, or wimp at the workplace is trying and arduous. Having an abusive, controlling, inconsistent, passive, reactive, or unethical boss sometimes is unbearable. By using these simple, realistic communication skills, one can learn how to analyze, listen, ask questions, plan, and agree in a professional, rewarding way.
This book was furnished by AMACOM in lieu of an unbiased review.