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Taming the Abrasive Manager: How to End Unnecessary Roughness in the Workplace

Book Description

Taming the Abrasive Manager is an ideal resource for managers, human resource professionals, coaches, and anyone who works for or with an abrasive boss. Executive coach Dr. Laura Crawshaw— known as the “Boss Whisperer” for her work in this field—shares her discoveries on how to tame the deep fears that drive abrasive managers to attack their coworkers. In her straight-shooting style, Crawshaw offers invaluable insights gained from her encounters with abrasive bosses in corporate jungles who aggressively defend against threats to their dominance in the high-risk business of survival. These insights, combined with lessons learned from employees and organizations who have successfully reined in their unmanageable bosses, provide realistic solutions that will improve the workplace for everyone.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. The Author
  3. Introduction
  4. 1. Abrasive Bosses and the Working Wounded
    1. 1.1. It Only Hurts When I Work
    2. 1.2. To Kick or Not to Kick
    3. 1.3. The Costs of Abrasion
    4. 1.4. A Bleeding Heart Is Born
    5. 1.5. Working Wounded on the Last Frontier
    6. 1.6. Armed Defense
  5. 2. Boss Whispering
    1. 2.1. Boss Whispering
    2. 2.2. My Apprenticeship in Emotional Literacy
    3. 2.3. My Education Continues
    4. 2.4. Definitions and Categories
      1. 2.4.1. The Adequate Boss
      2. 2.4.2. The Annoying Boss
      3. 2.4.3. The Abrasive Boss
      4. 2.4.4. The Avoidant Boss
      5. 2.4.5. The Aberrant Boss
    5. 2.5. Additional Reflections
    6. 2.6. Abrasive Boss Identification: A Test
  6. 3. Abrasive Boss Behavior What They Do
    1. 3.1. Mark
    2. 3.2. The Big Five
    3. 3.3. Diagnosis: Bastard?
  7. 4. Bears, Bosses, and Business: Survival Through Dominance
    1. 4.1. 1. They Just Want to Go About Their Business
    2. 4.2. 2. Their Business Is Survival
    3. 4.3. 3. Dominance Pays
    4. 4.4. 4. They Defend Against Threats to Survival
    5. 4.5. You'll Pay If You Get in Their Way
    6. 4.6. Socratic Whispering
    7. 4.7. Crusaders for Competence
    8. 4.8. Actual Aggression Versus Threat Display
  8. 5. On the Origins of Abrasion: Why They Do It
    1. 5.1. Identifying Incompetence: Ducks Versus Quacks
    2. 5.2. Differential Diagnosis and Treatment of Incompetence: The Adequate Boss Approach
    3. 5.3. The Abrasive Boss Approach
    4. 5.4. The Evolution of Abrasion: A Case Study
    5. 5.5. The Lesson: Survival = Competence at Any Cost
  9. 6. Blinder Than Bats: Why They Don't See
    1. 6.1. Social Sonar
    2. 6.2. Accurate Empathy
    3. 6.3. Perceptive Pedagogy and Empathic Adequacy
  10. 7. Why We Don't Take Bulls (or Bosses) by the Horns
    1. 7.1. The View from Below
    2. 7.2. The View from Above
    3. 7.3. Management's Mechanisms of Defense
      1. 7.3.1. Denial
      2. 7.3.2. Displacement
      3. 7.3.3. Delay
    4. 7.4. (Dis)Trust Building
    5. 7.5. To Flee or Not to Flee
  11. 8. Can Bosses Change Their (Blind) Spots?
    1. 8.1. See Spot Change
    2. 8.2. Journey of a Greenhorn Boss Whisperer
    3. 8.3. Straight from the Coworkers' Mouths
    4. 8.4. Climate Change
    5. 8.5. Where There's a Will, There's a Way: Evolution of Soft Spots
  12. 9. Blinders off: How Management Can Make Them See
    1. 9.1. Collecting Perceptions
    2. 9.2. Beware the Hog-Tie Hitch
    3. 9.3. Presenting Perceptions
    4. 9.4. Don't Forget You're a Threat
    5. 9.5. Hearing Hearsay
    6. 9.6. What Works: Presenting Feeling as Fact
    7. 9.7. Disarming Defenses
      1. 9.7.1. Disarming Denial
        1. 9.7.1.1. The "I Didn't Say It" Denial
        2. 9.7.1.2. The "I Didn't Do It" Denial
        3. 9.7.1.3. The "That's Not What Happened" Denial
      2. 9.7.2. Disarming Projection
        1. 9.7.2.1. The "It's Their Fault" Projection
        2. 9.7.2.2. The "It's Your Fault" Projection
        3. 9.7.2.3. The "It's the Company's Fault" Projection
      3. 9.7.3. Disarming Rationalization
        1. 9.7.3.1. The "It's Necessary" Rationalization
        2. 9.7.3.2. The "It's Noble" Rationalization
        3. 9.7.3.3. The "It's Common" Rationalization
      4. 9.7.4. Disarming Miscellaneous Defensive Dodges
  13. 10. Limits on How Management Can Make Them Care
    1. 10.1. Next: Limits on
    2. 10.2. Making the Business Case
    3. 10.3. Threatening Consequences for Continued Abrasion
    4. 10.4. For Every Action There Will Be a Reaction
    5. 10.5. We're Doing This for Your Own Good
    6. 10.6. The Case for Early Intervention
  14. 11. Risky Business: Taming the Boss You Work for or with
    1. 11.1. Arctic Anxiety
    2. 11.2. Defense Disclaimer
    3. 11.3. Five Strategies for Subordinates and Peers
      1. 11.3.1. The Soothe Strategy
      2. 11.3.2. The Reverse Threat Display
        1. 11.3.2.1. The "That's Not What Happened" Denial
        2. 11.3.2.2. The "It's Your Fault" Projection
        3. 11.3.2.3. The "It's Necessary" Rationalization
      3. 11.3.3. The Abrasion Alert: Making Management See
      4. 11.3.4. The Abrasion Alarm: Making Management Care
      5. 11.3.5. Mass Mutiny
  15. 12. The Choice to Change Will the Horse Drink?
    1. 12.1. Two Stories
  16. 13. Ending Unnecessary Roughness Preventing Workplace Abrasion
    1. 13.1. With Respect to Respect
    2. 13.2. Curing Conduct Disorders: A Prescription
      1. 13.2.1. Develop a Code of Conduct
      2. 13.2.2. Communicate the Code
      3. 13.2.3. Live the Code
      4. 13.2.4. Enforce the Code
    3. 13.3. A Final Note
  17. A. Are You Abrasive? (Self-Test)
  18. References