At first, I was a bit put off that more wasn't said in condemnation of the bully boss and that the onus was placed on the employee instead. Indeed, Tangling with Tyrants would have the employee turn inward and consider personal accountability in respect to what has contributed to the problems in the relationship. At that I grumbled, "if my boss is a bully and incompetent, why is it up to me to acknowledge what I could and should have done better earlier in addressing those concerns?"
As I read on, though, I began to see what Tony is getting at: Ultimately, it's up to me to handle my boss more effectively in order to bring about a real, practical change, because my boss surely isn't going to! I doubt she's even aware of her shortcomings.
As is reiterated in Tangling with Tyrants, in today's workplace, everyone is under the gun. Managers are being pressured by their higher-ups, and employees have to work faster to do more with less. In addition, many companies are in survival mode, with mass layoffs, outsourcing, and fewer jobs being the result. Accordingly, it's important for employees to at least try to understand the situation from the manager's point of view, which is impossible if the employee continues to make assumptions about their managers based on past interactions. Having an effective communication process with the boss is crucial, and Tangling With Tyrants provides concise, concrete, and well-thought out techniques for dealing with a difficult boss in a solid framework. This includes defining the characteristics of a Tyrant, Recipient (employee victim) and Participant (employee who collaborates with the boss), case studies (you are not alone!), and helpful examples, as well as step-by-step guidelines and exercises to get you going on the right track.
In deconstructing the relationship between employee and boss, Tangling With Tyrants shines a light on how the employee's behaviors and the boss's behaviors combine to bring about the tyrant/victim condition. Through a series of steps and techniques, the employee's thinking and perspective becomes more clear and focused, allowing her to lead from a position of power that she may never have experienced before in a working relationship. This approach ~ looking at two-way communication and profiles ~ contributes to understanding how power works in the relationship and shows the employee what she needs to do, and practice, in order to build a long-term plan for sustained success.
Tangling with Tyrants is deceptively short, simple, and easy to read, but it's packed with the tools you need to make a change. A companion workbook is also available:
Tangling with Tyrants®: Taming the Tyrant uses personal development exercises and ratings of management behaviors to provide you with the tools you need to build a results-oriented communication plan with your boss. You will explore various aspects of your communication style, as well as analyze your boss across eight critical management behaviors. The workbook is hands-on and engaging, and allows you to outline a solid strategy and long-term solution for dealing with any difficult boss.Amazon.com
I'm going to order the workbook and use it in conjunction with the book in the hope that I can finally and at least once before I retire get to enjoy my job at which I am so good but which I loathe.
Needless to say, I recommend this book to everyone whose job sucks due to a bad boss and who wants to better their life.