In the past five years, I've read and researched and digested a lot of books about office politics in order to write my own. There have been some great ones and a few miserable ones. From a branding perspective, you have to appreciate authors who cut right to the chase and say what many are already thinking.
Jonathan Littman and Marc Hershon have created a masterpiece of office human relations: I Hate People: Kick Loose from the Overbearing and Underhanded Jerks at Work and Get What You Want Out of Your Job.
This is a fast read, filled with all of the pithy snarkiness (I mean that as the highest compliment) you would expect from two people of their credentials. They start out the book identifying the 10 least wanted individuals in the workplace and giving specific examples and strategies for each. These include:
- The Stop Sign - those wet blankets of progress
- Flim flam - the manipulator
- Bulldozer - resistance is futile
- Smiley Face - if you're happy and you know it... run!
- Liar Liar - self explanatory
- Switchblade - when you least expect it
- Minute Man - time stealer extraordinaire
- Know-It-None - they used Cliff Clavin from Cheers in the book; he's the benchmark
- Spreadsheet - they make obsessive compulsive look sloppy
- Sheeple - zombie followers
The great thing about this book is the authors crank through the problem identification and race right to meaningful solutions. My favorite was learning about the Soloist. Our office society has pushed so much team (Together Everyone Annoys Me) stuff onto us, that we've forgotten how to be the rugged individualist of the Teddy Roosevelt era.
Many people are "stuck" in jobs they hate right now because of the economy or other personal situations. I'd put I Hate People at the top of your reading list (OK, maybe after GUST), for handling difficult office situations. Because I never use my own books as required reading for classes, I've already decided that this book will be the new de facto text for my Drake Office Politics class.
Filled with brutal honesty, amusing anecdotes, and helpful strategies you can immediately employ, add this to your reading list. By learning how to hate people, you make actually start to like them again.