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Tangling with Tyrants: Managing the Balance of Power at Work Hardcover – March 3, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 132 pages
  • Publisher: PageFree Publishing, Inc. (March 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589615786
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589615786
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,796,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tony Deblauwe is the founder of HR4Change (www.hr4change.com) and has an extensive background working with individuals and corporations in the areas of organizational design, human resources management, leadership, and development. A certified coach, he received his Masters degree in Organizational Development and Human Resources from the University of San Francisco, and he has written articles for several trade publications including the Northern California Human Resources Association, Career Directors, and CareerSource magazine. Tony lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Customer Reviews

I found "Tangling with Tyrants" an extremely useful book, explaining a complex problem in easy to understand terms.
Joyce Reitman
As a life, business and wellness coach I believe this book will help everyone to learn more about how we interact with others and how to get better results in life.
Jeanette P. Gallagher
In today's stressful and demanding economic climate, the book provides knowledge for successfully dealing with various situations- on emotional and logical levels.
B. Nelson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Cinnamon Brown on August 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I would imagine that at least once in a person's career he or she will be subject to a rather difficult boss. It has happened to me four times now out of four jobs. You take a job and are excited to start the work only to discover that instead of a helpful and supportive manager, what you're faced with is an arrogant person who constantly makes you question your own self-worth. It's a difficult work environment and one that is not conducive to productivity. Tony Deblauwe in his book, TANGLING WITH TYRANTS: MANAGING THE BALANCE OF POWER AT WORK, discusses what we as employees can do to resolve this painful situation. This book is quite the useful tool and is full of great information.

Sometimes, it's hard for us to imagine our workplace being any different than it already is. We accept the reality of the situation and, especially in today's economy, keep trudging along and attempting to make the most out of a bad situation. Well, Deblauwe's point of view is that we don't have to just accept a negative work environment. If our boss is what's making our working lives miserable, there are solutions to the problem.

Deblauwe uses his experiences to outline what negative behavior looks like, how it affects the employee and how we can find a suitable compromise and increase the quality of our work environment. This is probably one of the most useful parts of the book, in my opinion. Deblauwe is now just another "expert" coming in and giving his opinion. He been there and done that. He's worked in Human Resources and seen other employees in the same situation. Deblauwe really seems to know what he is talking about and infuses TANGLING WITH TYRANTS with his knowledge.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. Davis on July 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Having worked in the field of law for over 10 years, I've certainly dealt with my fair share of workplace tyrants! But, as much as I'd love for Tony Deblauwe to come live at my law firm in order to teach tyrant-management skills to my co-workers, his upbeat new book Tangling with Tyrants - Managing the Balance of Power at Work is an excellent consolation prize, providing forward-thinking strategies in dealing with the inevitable workplace tyrant.

Deblauwe has been a workplace strategist and human resource consultant for years, and his experience shows. Tyrants takes the reader step-by-step through a process of determining whether or not you work for a tyrant, outlining typical tyrant behavior and our reactions to them, and providing fresh strategies for dealing with said tyrant. As Deblauwe rightly asserts "You can't change the person but you can change your approach."

Deblauwe outlines both the direct and indirect methods used by tyrants. Direct methods (as anyone who has ever been terrorized by one will recognize) include criticism and belittling, micro-management, magnification of their own power while directly or indirectly threatening your job. The indirect approach includes passive aggression, backstabbing, and taking credit for the work of others.

Deblauwe discusses emotions in the workplace and why tyrant bosses can cause us so much angst:

We perceive negative behavior from our superior as a threat; not only to how we work, but to how work makes us feel. Our feeling of self worth is difficult to discuss because emotion has no place in most corporate settings...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Laura Crawshaw, Ph.D. on September 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Tony Deblauwe's approach to dealing with an abrasive, domineering boss is both insightful and inspired. He avoids the path of the typical "survive your bully boss" books by providing the reader with a process for analyzing the dynamics underlying tyrannical workplace behavior and then offers specific steps to deal with the situation.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By F. G. Stapleton on July 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In a market saturated with business management books, few stand out as necessary or crucial. While the subject of the "bully boss" is overlooked in much of today's management-style canon, Tony Deblauwe offers a complimentary addendum to the recognition of employer-related stress.

In his book Tangling with Tyrants, Deblauwe focuses on the importance of feeling satisfied at work, and the need for a positive relationship with one's supervisor. The main issues to address when recognizing whether one works for a tyrant can be broken down to the bare principles of emotion, power and communication. Deblauwe contends that emotion usually affects the manner in which one handles their tyrannical boss. How one feels about work and their boss can disrupt day-to-day function in the workplace. Regarding power, many supervisors become tyrannical for a variety of reasons. Whether their supervisor is domineering or they have learned their behavior from another job, the abuse of power in a supervisor's role can be counterproductive and inefficient.

Communication appears to be the most essential component of effectively confronting a domineering boss, as the subject emerges repeatedly within the book. According to Deblauwe, the two components of effective communication are recognizing personal traits and how to develop effective conversation with your boss. This chapter, although short, clearly analyzes the personal techniques necessary to talk to your boss without creating conflict.

Deblauwe's insightful anecdotes set up meaningful interaction between the reader and book, and develop a commonality between anyone struggling with a tyrant at work.
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