I think this book came at an interesting time in my life. As of May first I was promoted to a manager position. With that, I felt all the good feelings of getting a promotion; respect, raised self esteem, and heightened sense of power. After hearing about the tendencies of many assholes, I wanted to make sure that I wasn't turning into said asshole. I started by thinking of tendencies of past managers. I thought about what I liked, what made me achieve better results, and what I didn't like. I also that a lot about how I addressed other employees. I have made it a habit to think about the interactions of the day on my drive home. This has helped me tremendously.
I think that, like many things, its harder to not be the asshole. It is always easier to fly of handle and freak out on an employee or store clerk when things aren't going your way. It takes work to be patient, stay calm, and communicate. My situation is a little unique because, while I am the manager of my branch, I am also the youngest of the employees. I have to monitor my attitude and actions because I don't want to be written off as child that hasn't experienced anything.
I'm not sure if this topic was in chapters 3 or 4 (I'll admit it, I bought the audiobook), but I wanted to talk about the authors emphasis that this book is not letting bad performers off the hook. Many times when I talk about conflict resolution ideas and other human resource strategies, I see a few eyes glaze over with thoughts of "pansy" and "weak" ideas. Many people fail to see the advantages of removing the bully from the work place. They also look at those that complain as cowardly, or under achievers. However, this book is not about accepting mediocrity. It is about providing for a fair and respectful workplace that allows for a profitable and more efficient work place (something I believe all people should enjoy). After all, if rules and theories like those in the book are going to grow through the workplace, they need to be advantageous in areas other than employee satisfaction.
I would also like to thank my wife for proof reading the title of my discussion. "Jerk" is a much less awkward word than the author would have used when talking about inner awareness.
First, congrats on the promotions. Second, I left off a sigh as I hoping your story didn't end with you in fact becoming the A-hole!
I wanted to talk about the authors emphasis that this book is not letting bad performers off the hook. Many times when I talk about conflict resolution ideas and other human resource strategies, I see a few eyes glaze over with thoughts of "pansy" and "weak" ideas.
This is important and I am glad you sated this. I think it is easy for people to think either I A) be the A-hole or B) they walk all over me. I think that is firstly wrong and secondly incorrect seeing things as either-or. This world is not as definitive as sometimes people believe or say.
As professionals, this is a tough task of assisting other see they can still be effective yet not be a A-hole at the same time. As managers, there's many options and having tools from the Mediator's Toolbox can help prevent the inner A-hole from coming out. :)
Finally, I think your self-reflection you do on your daily ride home is crucial. Looking back on you actions and the actions of others (while also being mindful to not be obsessive of constantly second guessing yourself!) is what make's become better and better at what we do. This is the practice of a Reflective Practitioner.