Terrence Gargiulo on Taming Difficult People
How timeless tales teach us how to handle beasts at work.
August 15, 2008
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From Tibet to Mexico to the Balkans, every culture has its own cherished folktales. While originally made up to reinforce morals and good behavior, these stories aren't just for kids. Many fables featuring whimsical creatures and talking animals have much to teach grownups about handling slackers, connivers, ogres, and other dreaded real-life figures in our workplace. In the Land of Difficult People: 24 Timeless Tales Reveal How to Tame the Beasts at Work (AMACOM 2008) by Terrence L. Gargiulo and Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D. presents 24 fables taken from around the world, each exemplifying the best methods to use when dealing with the different kinds of difficult people at work. Gathered from around the world -China, Japan, Persia, Morocco, Denmark, Germany, France, Russia, and other countries, as well as Celtic and Native American traditions- these treasured yarns offer valuable lessons for anyone with interpersonal troubles on the job. After each tale, Gargiulo and Scott provide a brief analysis, drawing parallels between the fable's animals and real world behavior that wreaks havoc on organizations. They wrap up with a list of practical tips and proven tactics for dealing with domineering supervisors, destructive colleagues, and overly independent employees. The book introduces eight common types of personalities who make work a nightmare. Terrence L. Gargiulo, President of MakingStories.net, is a speaker and consultant on the role of narrative in organizations, whose clients include Coca-Cola, GM, the Harvard Business School, and the US Coast Guard. He is also the author of On Cloud Nine: Weathering the Challenge of Many Generations in the Workplace. He lives in Monterey, California. Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D., is the founder and director of Changemakers. She has written numerous books, including A Survival Guide for Working with Humans and A Survival Guide to Managing Employees from Hell. She makes her home in Oakland and Santa Monica, California.