by Sarah Noll Wilson ‧ RELEASE DATE: Feb. 1, 2022
An upbeat and insightful guide to confronting behaviors that hinder success.
Awards & Accolades
A blueprint for dealing with problem avoidance in organizations.
The title of executive coach and debut author Wilson’s nonfiction debut addresses the metaphorical “elephants in the room”: the many ways that people tend to avoid dealing with seemingly unsolvable issues in businesses and other organizations, which only allows those problems to worsen and multiply and cause unnecessary tension and stress. As Wilson notes, the signs of such elephants are many and unmistakable: People become quiet, organizational team members make knowing eye contact with one another, questions about issues go unanswered, and so on. She goes on to detail the different types of elephants, which represent avoidance, blame, deflection, and other unhelpful behaviors. The book aims to propose strategies for understanding signs and smoothing out the underlying problems that they bring to light. Humans bring emotions to everything they do, she notes, and owning up to this is a key element of her strategies: “When we can acknowledge and own our part of creating the elephant, even if it is tiny, and share that with the other person or team,” she writes, “we create an invitation for them to see and own their part.” Wilson’s book is tremendously compassionate and engaging, full of whimsical, uncredited cartoon images to illustrate its points and text insets for easier reading and discussion. The book often circles back to its strongest central tenet: self-knowledge. “In my experience,” Wilson writes, “exploring and owning your role is the hardest of all the questions to explore.” Readers dealing with tangled organizational or team problems will find a good deal of cleareyed good sense in these pages.An upbeat and insightful guide to confronting behaviors that hinder success.
Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2022
Page Count: 296
Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing
Review Posted Online: Feb. 23, 2022
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
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by Jonah Berger ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 7, 2023
Perhaps not magic but appealing nonetheless.
Want to get ahead in business? Consult a dictionary.
By Wharton School professor Berger’s account, much of the art of persuasion lies in the art of choosing the right word. Want to jump ahead of others waiting in line to use a photocopy machine, even if they’re grizzled New Yorkers? Throw a because into the equation (“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?”), and you’re likely to get your way. Want someone to do your copying for you? Then change your verbs to nouns: not “Can you help me?” but “Can you be a helper?” As Berger notes, there’s a subtle psychological shift at play when a person becomes not a mere instrument in helping but instead acquires an identity as a helper. It’s the little things, one supposes, and the author offers some interesting strategies that eager readers will want to try out. Instead of alienating a listener with the omniscient should, as in “You should do this,” try could instead: “Well, you could…” induces all concerned “to recognize that there might be other possibilities.” Berger’s counsel that one should use abstractions contradicts his admonition to use concrete language, and it doesn’t help matters to say that each is appropriate to a particular situation, while grammarians will wince at his suggestion that a nerve-calming exercise to “try talking to yourself in the third person (‘You can do it!’)” in fact invokes the second person. Still, there are plenty of useful insights, particularly for students of advertising and public speaking. It’s intriguing to note that appeals to God are less effective in securing a loan than a simple affirmative such as “I pay all bills…on time”), and it’s helpful to keep in mind that “the right words used at the right time can have immense power.”Perhaps not magic but appealing nonetheless.
Pub Date: March 7, 2023
Page Count: 256
Publisher: Harper Business
Review Posted Online: March 23, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2023
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by Daniel Kahneman ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 1, 2011
Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...
A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.
The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.
Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011
Page Count: 512
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2011
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011
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