The Asshole Survival Guide by Robert Sutton
- By Ian Bradley
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The catchy title perhaps belies the academic credentials behind the scholarly author of this very quotable book on coping with demeaning or critical bosses. Robert Sutton is a professor of Management Studies at Stanford and an author of numerous books on management, organizations and business psychology. Although not his latest book, The Asshole Survival Guide is a book that I recommend to many of my coaching clients beleaguered by bosses who shouldn’t be bosses.
The eye-popping research illustrating the nefarious effect of demeaning, critical or abusive management on health, creativity and even bottom-line performance of the subordinate workers and their organizations grabs the reader’s attention from the beginning. Thankfully, Sutton moves on to providing the rationale and specifics of numerous coping techniques from distancing oneself, fighting back, cognitive reappraisal and even revenge. Be careful about the later, since revenge often produces longer term negative rumination in the perpetrator than in the target.
If you’re depressed from negative interactions with your boss, or helping people who are, this is the book for you or them