You are previewing Common Sense: Get It, Use It, and Teach It in the Workplace.
O'Reilly logo
Common Sense: Get It, Use It, and Teach It in the Workplace

Book Description

"He may have an MBA, but he's got no common sense." Assessments like that by a boss can stop a career dead in its tracks. Unfortunately, many believe that common sense is a trait you are either born with or you are not. This book dispels that myth. Through the pages of Common Sense: Get It, Use It, and Teach It in the Workplace readers will learn not only what common sense is, but how to acquire it and use it to enhance their careers, increase their confidence, and take better advantage of business opportunities.

Common Sense explores the use—and non-use—of common sense in the workplace and the world around us. It shows how you can become a person of great wisdom and good judgment by simply learning about all the ways people stumble in the thought process. Author Ken Tanner, a seasoned manager, consultant, and former regional vice president for two major U.S. restaurant chains, shows readers how to make better decisions, how to spot and avoid fallacious thinking, how to better assess ambiguous situations, and how to become a mature thinker with a knack for making the right move at just the right time.

Best of all, Common Sense shows how to teach this trait to others, especially subordinates and co-workers who can and will do nonsensical things unless you help them learn to reason through their decisions and actions quickly and confidently. The payoff? Your staff will make you look good, greasing the way for greater responsibility and opportunity. This book:

  • Takes you through an understanding of the term "common sense"—what it means and what it doesn't mean.

  • Shows how fallacies create barriers to using common sense.

  • Provides dozens of examples of the application (as well as rejection) of common sense in the business world and elsewhere.

  • Shows how to teach common sense to others.

What you'll learn

  • What common sense is and is not How common sense affects your daily life

  • How and why common sense leads to career advancement and opportunity

  • How to instantly improve your image of having good common sense

  • The many fallacies in thinking that can destroy common-sense thinking

  • How to teach common sense to the people you manage and work with

Who this book is for

Common Sense: Get It, Use It, and Teach It in the Workplace is for managers and employees who want to capitalize on opportunities, make the most of their personnel, and become more valuable to their employers. You can't get a degree in common sense, but you can still learn the discipline and teach it to others. Common Sense is an excellent choice for those who want to grab an advantage in the workplace through clear, rational thinking and a mature thought process.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Apress Business: The Unbiased Source of Business Information
  3. Dedication
  4. Contents
  5. About the Author
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Preface
    1. Common Sense: Not So Uncommon
    2. Help Wanted: People with Common Sense
    3. Common Sense Can Be Learned, and Taught
  8. CHAPTER 1: What Is Common Sense, Anyway?
    1. –CS –BS (Low Common Sense, Low Book Smarts)
    2. –CS +BS (Low Common Sense, High Book Smarts)
    3. +CS –BS (High Common Sense, Low Book Smarts)
    4. +CS +BS (High Common Sense, High Book Smarts)
    5. Summary
  9. CHAPTER 2: Perception Is Reality
    1. Ensure Others Perceive You as Having Common Sense
    2. Summary
  10. CHAPTER 3: Common Nonsense Based on Faulty Appeals
    1. Common Nonsense: Appeal to Authority
    2. Common Nonsense: Appeal to Common Practice
    3. Common Nonsense: Appeal to Ignorance
    4. Common Nonsense: Appeal to Pity
    5. Common Nonsense: Appeal to Flattery
    6. Common Nonsense: Appeal to Novelty
    7. Common Nonsense: Appeal to Tradition
    8. Common Nonsense: Appeal to Ridicule
    9. Common Nonsense: Appeal to Spite
    10. Common Nonsense: Personal Attack
    11. Common Nonsense: Spotlight
    12. Common Nonsense: Bandwagon
    13. Common Nonsense: Guilt by Association
    14. Common Nonsense: Generalizing
    15. Summary
  11. CHAPTER 4: Common Nonsense Based on Muddled Logic
    1. Common Nonsense: The Non Sequitur
    2. Common Nonsense: Biased Statistics
    3. Common Nonsense: Begging the Question
    4. Common Nonsense: Black-and-White Thinking
    5. Common Nonsense: Split the Difference
    6. Common Nonsense: Gambler’s Fallacy
    7. Common Nonsense: Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc
    8. Common Nonsense: Red Herring
    9. Common Nonsense: Straw Man
    10. Common Nonsense: Two Wrongs Make a Right
    11. Common Nonsense: Slippery Slope
    12. Common Nonsense: Tail Wagging the Dog
    13. Summary
  12. CHAPTER 5: Urban Legends, Conspiracies, and Other Perversions of the Truth
    1. Urban Legends
    2. The Internet
    3. Conspiracy Theories
    4. Why Do People Believe?
    5. Summary
  13. CHAPTER 6: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
    1. A Decision-Making Model
    2. On the Other Hand . . .
    3. A Supplemental System: Let Others Make Decisions for You
    4. Summary
  14. CHAPTER 7: Commonsense Behavior in the Office
    1. Common Sense Self-Behavior
    2. Commonsense Behavior with Coworkers
    3. Commonsense Relationships with Your Boss
    4. Commonsense Relationships with Your Customers
    5. Commonsense Office Politics
    6. Summary
  15. CHAPTER 8: Teaching Common Sense in the Workplace
    1. The Best Way to Learn
    2. Formalize Common Sense as a Goal
    3. Hold Regular Discussions
    4. Observe and Coach
    5. Assign a Mentor
    6. Play Games
    7. Group Training
    8. Have a Film Festival
    9. Other Lessons Learned from Films
    10. Summary
  16. CHAPTER 9: Understanding People
    1. Identifying the Bird
    2. The Creative Peacock
    3. The Wise Owl
    4. The Team-Building Dove
    5. The Bold Eagle
    6. So What?
    7. Using Bird Styles to Build a Team
    8. Summary
  17. CHAPTER 10: When Common Sense Fails
    1. The Perversion of Common Sense
    2. The Frustration of Applying Commonsense Principles
    3. Common Sense Has Its Limits
    4. How to Win at Jeopardy!
    5. Summary: The Downside of Common Sense
  18. CHAPTER 11: Coda
    1. Lost in the Crowd
    2. Takes a Licking and . . .
    3. Aristotelian Analysis
    4. Outside the Box
    5. A Drop in the Bucket
    6. The Millionaire
    7. Dear Abby
    8. The Long Walk Home
    9. How to Succeed in Business
    10. Grasping the Real Goal
    11. Perspective
    12. Panthers Above, Vipers Below
  19. Index