A savvy psycho-communicative guide to finding authentic partnerships at work.


A hands-on approach to finding dignity, meaning, and success in the workplace.

Silver is an independent business and leadership consultant who holds a doctorate in education, and Franz, a former human resources consultant, is an industrial and organizational psychologist at St. John Fisher College. In this collaboration, the authors propose a methodical system to enable transparent, collaborative, and mutually beneficial partnerships between managers and their teams. Dysfunctional workplaces, they write, are plagued by the “Dreaded 4 Ds (dissatisfaction, disengagement, despair, departure),” and the authors present a three-part approach to combat these problems. The first part involves cultivating the correct mindset, one that strives for coordination, coequal responsibility, and mutual accountability. The second part is a model referred to as ERTAP—empathy, respect, trust, alignment, and partnership—which serves to create and maintain the system’s positive effects and workplace satisfaction. Finally, the authors discuss the “Workplace Covenant,” a signed document that delineates obligations and expectations, including personal integrity and regular dialogue; importantly, the document is subject to periodic review. The authors draw on years of research, both their own and that of others, to create a program that can improve “the manager’s leadership, the maturity and self-management of the team, and even the culture of the organization.” Though the book is not designed for a general readership, Silver and Franz write with common sense and empathy, prizing decency over power in order to break down barriers to communication in a hierarchical context. Both managers and employees should experience common support, a sense of appreciation, and viable avenues for success. Some readers may quail at the suggestion to sign their names to a written covenant, but the authors make it feel like putting one’s name to a petition or declaration one believes in—just as they understand it will take time and observation for the process to gain traction with some participants.

A savvy psycho-communicative guide to finding authentic partnerships at work.

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-03-202011-2

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Routledge

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2021

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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

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.


“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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