Customer Reviews: The Way We Work: What You Know about Working Styles Can Increase Your Efficiency, Productivity and Job Satisfaction
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on November 29, 1999
The Way We Work by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias
The Way We Work is a wonderful followup to Ms. Tobias's previous book, The Way They Learn. As an entrepreneur and educator, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing these learning styles translated into workplace applications. Not only does the book encourage evaluation of our own learning styles, but teaches us how to get along with those having different learning and communication styles from our own.
The author wisely discourages the use of labeling and cookie-cutter analysis, which is a refreshing approach. This is one I will quickly place on my recommended reading list for my students and colleagues alike. Well done!
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on August 8, 2009
If you have ever wondered how two supervisors or colleagues can react to the same situation totally differently, then you need to read The Way We Work by Cynthia Tobias (1999). This book outlines four dominating personality working styles, the differences between them, your own working style test, and how you can respond effectively and appropriately to situations with different dominating styles.
The working styles are broken down by two classifications: the way we perceive (concrete, abstract), and the way we order (random, sequential). The four styles are: concrete sequential, abstract sequential, concrete random and abstract random. The book lays out simple quizzes for the reader to identify his/her working style. The chapters then outline personality traits of the style and go into detail of the characteristics of an employee and boss of that style. For example, the abstract random boss may keep his/her desk cluttered and have a half-empty coffee cup sitting around with piles of papers and files all over the desk. They also tend to avoid conflict with others. The abstract random employee cares about others and has a difficult time working with those who are not happy.
Using the information in the book, one can have a deeper understanding of his/her working relationships (and personal relationships). Teachers could apply this information to students, particularly secondary students. Educators are continually collaborating in their field of work, and perhaps a better understanding of working styles would expedite and facilitate a positive and productive work environment.
The layout of The Way We Work (Tobias, 1999) is easy to read with visual charts to identify, and it provides quick-reference lists for the reader. A caution, this book should not "label" anyone and should be used simply for consideration and perhaps insight as to why people interact with others at a place of work the way they do. The author provides a brief description of Howard Gardner's work on Multiple Intelligences, which may be the basis of writing this book. Learning styles and working styles could go hand-in hand. The author references studies and researchers; however, the reader is not cloaked by academic jargon, which makes the book easy and enjoyable to read. The Way We Work (Tobias, 1999) book provides an insight to building a positive working relationship with others.
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on May 19, 1999
Forget over-priced feel-good sensitivity seminars. This book is full of common sense insights and ideas that will really make things better at work! Whether you are top level management, a worker bee, or somewhere in the middle you will benefit enormously by reading this book.
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on June 11, 2016
Cynthia Tobias is excellent at what she does every parent should be given One of her books to read when they leave the hospital with a new baby! And anyone that ever enters the workplace should be required to read her book, "The way we work"!
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on February 8, 2011
Simple and effective explanation of varied styles between managers and employees. Employs a summary of some great research presented in a simple and easy to understand format. It will teach all levels of staff to respect each other in a completely different way and learn how to communicate more effectively.
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on October 13, 2014
She is the most practical writer for work (and other) situations. I loved her tapes several years ago, and ordered the book to further study and ingrain them so I remember. Thanks!!
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on April 29, 2003
This was a wonderful book. I laughed throughout the entire book. It is so practical and applicable!
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on January 4, 2004
The book describes another knock-off copy-cat system of the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator and the MBTI's marvellous refinement, Keirseian Temperament. Wouldn't it be great if all these copycat system people, and the MBTI and Keirsian people, could get together and admit they are merely describing the same thing? Heck, the world might actually see the truth to these systems, once they're unified. But no, I guess there's money to be made by coining a new name for something and establishing a copyright for that new name.
Still, basically, it more or less all boils down to 4 basic temperaments, further extrapolating into 16 total types, no matter which system.
This book is brief and hence does not get into much of any depth, but it is useful for an introduction to the idea.
One thing humorous: The author is obviously a Sensing Perceiver on the MBTI (I forget what she calls it in her system) and admits that her type does not like being predictable or nailed down to anything; then, she spends the rest of the book hedging her bets and declaring that her type fluctuates and is really hard to nail down. (Something which MBTI most emphatically denies; still, it is typical of SPs to hate being predictable).
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