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Starting Over.Mating in CaptivityMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MotherstylesMurder in the InnMysterious CreaturesNecessary NoiseOdd Girl OutOpenOpening to Love 365 Days a YearOphelia's MomOrgasmsOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustOvercoming Your Difficult FamilyParenting and the Child's WorldParenting on the GoParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerParents and Digital TechnologyParents Do Make a DifferencePassionate MarriagePlanet JanetPreventing Misbehavior in ChildrenProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Raising AmericaRaising ElijahRaising Kids in an Age of TerrorRaising Kids in the 21st CenturyRaising Resilient ChildrenRay's a LaughRelationship RescueRelax, It's Just SexRespect-Me RulesRomantic IntelligenceRoom For JSecrets of a Passionate MarriageSelf-NurtureSelfish, Shallow, and Self-AbsorbedSex Addiction: The Partner's PerspectiveShidduch CrisisSickenedSingleSlut!Socrates in LoveSomeone Like YouSong for EloiseSpecial SiblingsSpiritually Healing the Indigo Children (and Adult Indigos, Too!)Staying Connected to Your TeenagerStaying Sane When Your Family Comes to VisitStop Arguing with Your KidsStop SignsStop Walking on EggshellsStop Walking on EggshellsStrong, Smart, & BoldSummer of the SkunksSurviving a Borderline ParentTaking Charge of AngerTelling SecretsThank You for Being Such a PainThe Anti-Romantic ChildThe AwakeningThe Bastard on the Couch CDThe Birth of PleasureThe Brief Couples Therapy Homework Planner with DiskThe Bully Action GuideThe Burden of SympathyThe Commercialization of Intimate LifeThe CorrectionsThe Couples Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe DisappearanceThe Dream BearerThe Educated ParentThe Emotional RevolutionThe Employee Assistance Treatment PlannerThe EpidemicThe Ethics of ParenthoodThe Ethics of the FamilyThe Gay Baby BoomThe Good DivorceThe Guide for International Intercultural Couples and Families Intercultural MarriageThe Healing Journey for CouplesThe Hostile HospitalThe Husbands and Wives ClubThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Introvert AdvantageThe Little FriendThe Love HexagonThe Moral Intelligence of ChildrenThe Neuroscience of Human RelationshipsThe New I DoThe Normal OneThe Nurture AssumptionThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe Other ParentThe Philosophical ParentThe Psychology of Parental ControlThe Real Rules for GirlsThe Reflective ParentThe Right to Be ParentsThe Secret Lives of WivesThe Spider and the BeeThe State of AffairsThe StepsThe Story of My FatherThe Velveteen FatherThe Virgin BlueThe Visitation HandbookThe Whole ChildTo Have and To Hurt:Two Is EnoughUnderstanding MarriageUnderstanding the Borderline MotherUnhitchedUntrue Up in FlamesWe've Got IssuesWhat about the KidsWhat Goes UpWhat Is Secular Humanism?What It Means to Love YouWhat Our Children Teach UsWhen a Parent is DepressedWhen Mars Women DateWhen Someone You Love Is BipolarWhen Someone You Love Is DepressedWhy Are You So Sad?Will You, Won't You?WomanWorking With Emotional IntelligenceWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!
Weisinger, the author of Anger at Work, has divided this work into two parts: Part one deals with ways to recognize and get in touch with our own individual feelings, being aware, distinguishing between sensory data and appraisals, etc., while part two deals with the application of this knowledge in the workplace. The appendix includes a way of scoring your own emotional intelligence to discover which competencies need improvement. The goal is an emotionally healthy work environment full of "shiny, happy people." Definitely falling into the category of management theory, this work shows how difficult going into management these days is. One must be part social worker, psychiatric nurse, psychologist, psychiatrist, philosopher, and crisis interventionist.
The goal of this book is not served by just reading it and just putting it away on the shelf. It is abundant with tips and exercises that may become valueless unless they are remembered and acted upon. Otherwise, they degenerate into mere adages. Many principles of cognitive therapy form the basis of these ideas. Weisinger shows how unclear thinking habits such as irrational thinking, mental filters, generalizations, etc., distort our perceptions of events and prevent clear communication.
Weisinger has analyzed the real process of communication and taken a microscope to it. Reading this, I was struck by the real difficulties in effectively guiding others in getting the job done. So many elements figure into the equation that failure of any one of them can cause the process to go awry. The learned skills of sensitivity, dynamic listening, skillful criticism, assertiveness, all work together to ease the sharing of ideas and feelings.
The latter part of the book distresses me somewhat. Being a manager in the workplace seems almost to be the domain of psychiatric nursing. One is walking on eggshells all the time. The manager is expected to be responsible for the emotional well-being of employees. It seems to me hiring a live-in mental health counselor of some sort or another would be better. Is the employee someone to be manipulated with behavioral therapy techniques? Do we really have to get this far into it? If this is true, most employees have learned the wrong lessons in life. Maybe this is the point.
It appears to me we are attempting to quash any individuality by following some of these precepts. Any negativity must be rooted out. It reminds me of the first job I ever had. I washed dishes at Connors restaurant on Telegraph Avenue in Detroit. Part of my job included sweeping up and mopping the dining area. I remember the first (and probably the last) time I did it. The owner of the restaurant happened to be standing there while I was mopping the floor. "Put a smile on your face when youre working out here." I believe I asked him why and he told me in so many words that the customers wanted to see smiles. He was lucky I didnt throw the mop at him. Apparently, in todays world it is not enough just to do your job anymore, either. Not all of us are as forthcoming with communication of our feelings and thoughts. Although I am in full support of the principles of emotional intelligence on an individual basis, somehow it puts me off when we start treating employees like Pavlovian dogs, to be guided carefully down the path to workplace righteousness by dispensation of the appropriate emotional biscuits.
Nevertheless, as a guide to EI at work, this book is excellent. If one is wading through an emotional minefield, I guess that knowing where the mines are is better than ignoring them; knowing how to defuse them gently, even better.
Neal Gardner has an associate degree in medical secretarial technology and another in health services management. He is also a musician and a consumer of mental health services.
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