A practical guide to recognizing, adjusting for, and dealing with difficult people in the workplace.
This book focuses on a subject that many people encounter on a daily basis. In many instances, and especially at work, it’s simply not possible to walk away from unpleasant people; therefore, one must make certain adjustments to one’s mindset to lessen the impact of their disruption. Patterson offers the titular “Rule #1,” which defines such people as “crazy”—not in the clinical sense, but an “everyday brand of crazy”—and provides 10 rules for interacting with such people in one’s career. The book seems to be split into two main parts: the first highlights warning signs to recognize when Rule #1 is in play; the second provides strategies and tools to help readers navigate through tough situations. Each creatively named chapter outlines various scenarios of dealing with “crazy” people, and provides relevant stories and examples; for example, “Rule #4: Count the Bricks,” focuses on how Rule #1 people have a distorted view of progress, and “Rule #8: First Guy on Paper Wins” notes the importance of a paper trail to ensure a clear recollection of facts when faced with “crazy” people’s “faulty memories.” However, Patterson’s “Rule #2” provides the most telling clue that one is dealing with a difficult person: when they “will not remember saying things that you know they said…and they will remember hearing things that you know they never heard.” Such behavior, the author says, will inevitably result in one asking oneself, “Am I crazy?” Using his three decades of business experience as a foundation, Patterson does a good job of identifying such trying situations and providing useful solutions.
A helpful, hands-on approach for preserving personal sanity and professionalism when dealing with irrational co-workers.