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The Workplace Whisperer

The_Workplace_WhispererThe Workplace Whisperer Recommends:

As a writer, it is necessary to continually research my chosen topic to ensure my work is relevant and useful to readers. In this process, I frequently come across books I believe are valuable for visitors to my web site. Therefore, in the interests of promoting material that furthers the cause of changing the toxic workplace, this month I’ve decided to review and recommend a recent release on the subject.
The book I’ve chosen to review this month is titled, “Games At Work: How To Recognize and Reduce Office Politics” by Mauricio Goldstein and Philip Read (2009). This book covers the sordid topic of office politics – a dangerous sport being played every day in toxic organizations around the country. One cannot underestimate the incredibly powerful (and destructive) influence office politics can have on work environments, and I believe Goldstein and Read’s book offers a practical, user-friendly guide for both identifying and understanding office politics. “Games At Work” puts office politics into perspective, presenting the cold hard facts on the way games are played in organizations while also supporting readers to recognize games they’re unconsciously engaged in. Goldstein and Read name and explain the twenty-two most common games played within teams and by supervisors. Most importantly, this book offers insightful strategies for reducing workplace games and their negative impact.
“Games At Work” is an informative read for those looking to understand how hidden agendas and individual manipulators operate in organizations. I liked that the authors gave equal attention to both the personal and the corporate factors which promote toxic politics in the workplace. I also appreciated that they presented this information in a straightforward, intelligible fashion. Overall, I believe this book provides an excellent overview of office politics and recommend it for both employees and managers who are looking for ways to address and diminish poisonous politics in their workplace.
Without addressing office politics, we can never truly change the toxic workplace, and in order to really tackle office politics, we must increase our knowledge of how they operate and how to combat them. So if you are up against some toxic politics in your workplace and haven’t read “Games At Work”, it’s definitely worth a look. From the workplace whisperer’s point of view, it contains some vital information that can get you pointed away from the damage caused by workplace games and in the right direction. Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Games of the Month

Token Involvement

To play Token Involvement, a manager conducts opinion surveys, focus group, or involvement meetings to communicate that "your opinion matters", but these activities are done only to make people feel involved rather than actually to involve them. The real intention is just to get rid of the complaints and for managers to show their management that they´re doing the "right" thing-involving their people in the decision-making process. The same game is played when leaders involve their direct reports supercially, soliciting their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on thei own view. Cynicism becomes employees´ultimate response to this game, and they lose respect for management. Perhaps evens worse, when management really needs employees to be committed and contribuing to a major project, they have great difficulty securing this involvement.


Praise for Games at Work

jacopoA terrific read not only for senior leaders and executives but also for employees seeking growth in complex organizations. Goldstein and Read dissect the interpersonal dynamics that affect a company’s performance, provide a framework to understand the games that are commonly played in businesses around the world, and offer practical tools to correct these behaviors and improve the organization’s effectiveness.

Jacopo Bracco Executive Vice President DIRECTV Latin America

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