From Publishers Weekly
Clinical psychologist Mandel's premise is crystal clear-readers have the power to end their workplace misery: "It doesn't matter who you work for, or who you work with...." The text lays out simple steps to change, including anecdotal examples and workbook-style exercises to help readers "stop responding to people in the workplace from a childhood-oriented perspective and to get rid of old defenses that don't really help in workplace settings." Mandel works hard to keep the text simple and psychobabble-free, which readers will value but may occasionally find condescending, especially as Mandel is not so adept at avoiding cliché business buzzwords: "The more you claim ownership of your choices, the more empowered you become, and the more fulfilling your life will be." Though packed with practical advise and ideas, Mandel doesn't turn up anything particularly innovative; still, many readers will benefit from Mandel's straightforward advice.
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Now if TV/radio spokesperson, author (Healing the Sensitive Heart,
2003), and psychologist Mandel could take a lesson or two from PR people, her prose just might be a bit smoother and easier to understand and embrace. Unfortunately, Mandel's fallen into the more-is-more trap which, combined with a bit too much psychological noise about childhood bruises like dysfunction and all kinds of abuse, does not encourage even skimming. Yet, density aside, the premise shines through: our experience at work can be the sum total of all our learned experiences and behaviors. Her exercises help define the issues and provide new actions to adopt, beginning with a test on how "the old stuff affects you in the workplace" to ending with a confidence-building scenario. It is all about self-awareness--and the courage to change, whether initiated individually or implemented with the help of a counselor. Barbara JacobsCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved