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Get Out of Your Own Way at Work...And Help Others Do the Same: Conquer Self-Defeating Behavior on the Job Paperback – October 3, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This follow-up to 1996's Get Out of Your Own Way diagnoses 40 business situations in which workers exhibit symptoms of self-defeating behavior, from "Not Being Able to Take No for an Answer" and "Being Competent but Out of Touch" to "Not Delegating" and "Assuming Others Understand You." Goulston's focus, however, is not on workplace effectiveness but on "earning self-esteem-and its twin sister, success." He devotes a chapter to each workplace issue: first, highlighting a case study that refers to a client from his consulting practice or, tangentially, to one of his hospital patients and, then, explaining how to remedy the behavior. In addition, each chapter is topped off with an aphoristic "Usable Insight" and a to-do list of "Action Steps." People are inclined to commit "hari-kari at work," Goulston says, because of "fearful aggression" and "fearful avoidance," two traits that he traces back to humans' "early-neural, unthinking, animal nature." While his insights are pedestrian-his advice can be boiled down to "be more self-aware"-the structure of the book makes it easy to cherry pick chapters that may apply to you.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Corporate consultant Mark Goulston, M.D., has helped Fortune 500 executives, managers, and line workers achieve success. Selected as one of America's top psychiatrists for 2004-2005, he writes "The Leading Edge" column for Fast Company magazine, is an expert commentator, and co-authored Get Out of Your Own Way.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Trade (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399532854
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399532856
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,352,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Over his career as an organizational consultant, relationship counselor, and hostage-negotiation trainer, Mark Goulston has found what works, consistently, to reach all kinds of people in any type of situation. What it comes down to is "Daring to Care" which is the mission of the global community Heartfelt Leadership that he co-founded.

In his latest book, REAL INFLUENCE, Dr. Goulston along with co-author Dr. John Ullmen have interviewed more than 100 influential people and distilled a 4 step model that they have in common. As he explains, "We are in a 'post-selling/post-pushing' world where most people can't stand to either of these done to them and don't enjoy when they have to do it to others." He says, "There is a way to persuade without pushing and that is by positively influencing people, because influence can last a lifetime, whereas persuasion sometimes doesn't even last until the end of a conversation."

In REAL INFLUENCE you'll discover the first step in Dr. Goulston's and Dr. Ullmen's model which is to "go for great outcomes." That is far beyond where people want to go and be, to where and who they could be. It's about helping people see past a goal to possibility that is often game and life changer.

Mark Goulston is a psychiatrist, business consultant, executive coach, and a hostage-negotiation trainer for the FBI. A bestselling author whose books include "Get Out of Your Own Way" and "Get Out of Your Own Way at Work" and his last #1 international and #1 kindle best selling book, "Just Listen" Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone. He blogs or contributes to Harvard Business, Fast Company, Business Insider and writes the "Closing Bell" for C-Suite Quarterly Magazing and the Tribune syndicated column, "Solve Anything with Dr. Mark." Frequently called upon to share his expertise with the media, he has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Newsweek, Time, and Reuters; has offered commentary on NPR, CNN, and Fox News; and has appeared on the Oprah and Today shows. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By David McCormick on March 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I heard the author on a podcast and thought that what he had to say was interesting and relevant to identifying and changing self-defeating behaviors in a work environment. I think that the behaviors that he identifies in each chapter are relevant self-defeating behaviors and the writing is clear. However, I have been disappointed with this book for several reasons. Firstly, I think that the remedies proposed for each behavior are superficial prescriptions. For example, effetive delegation requires not just identifying a task to be delegated, but a multi-step process of identifying the task, explaining the task to the delegee, getting mutual agreement on what needs to be done, the time to complete the task, the resources availalble to complete it, and the expected standards at completion. No such framework is laid out. This is true of all the chapters in the book. Secondly, this would not be so bad if the author pointed the reader at other books or resources to flesh out these ideas. However, the book has no index and no bibliography or suggested references. This is an unpardonable sin in publishing, to my mind. No references and no index bespeaks a book rushed to market. Either that, or it's a tactic to get the author to consult to companies to give the specific information on how to remedy the behaviors.

I hope some of these criticisms can be addressed if there is to be a second edition of the book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Working stiff on November 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I read the the 40 chapters on self-defeating behaviors before I read the introduction to this book (I often read books that way due to my impatience). Goulston has an interesting spin on how and why we develop self-defeating behaviors which relates to how our support system responded to us when we faced challenges in childhood. He explains that our parents could have spoiled, criticized, neglected or supported us through those situations and that has a lot to do with whether we developed self-defeating or success developing behaviors (makes sense to me when I think of my upbringing). What I found most interesting after I read the introduction was realizing that Goulston was talking me through my self-defeating behaviors the way the supportive parent (I never had) would have. It was very therapeutic. Thank you Dr. Mark.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Goldsmith on October 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Peter Drucker has said "Half of the leaders that I meet don't need to learn what to DO - they need to learn what to STOP"!

Mark Goulston provides great insight into what we often need to learn to STOP doing. More importantly, he gives us some great guidelines on how to do this!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Note: I read this book when it was first published (2005) and recently re-read it, curious to see how well the material has held up. If anything, it is more relevant now than ever before.

Those who have read this book's predecessor, Get Our of Your Own Way, already know that Mark Goulston (who co-authored that book with Philip Goldberg) is an pragmatic empiricist who is eager to know what works...and doesn't...in the real world. He also wants to know why. Whereas in the previous book the focus is on how individuals can avoid or overcome self-defeating habits in general, the focus in this book has a wider scope: it is on how essentially the same principles can help individuals to avoid or overcome self-defeating habits in their workplace...and meanwhile also help associates to do so. They are also relevant to relationships with family members and personal friends.

Of course, the health of those relationships at work and elsewhere all depend on the health of one's relationship with one's self. That is why I selected the Wilde observation for the title of this review because it correctly stresses, as does Goulston throughout his book, the importance of positive a self-image and mindset, of behavior that is self-supporting rather than self-defeating. Pogo the Possum observed, "We have met the enemy and he is us." OK, but it can also be true that we can be our own best friend, not narcissist would but with humility as well as affection, respect, and trust. I think this is what Carl Rogers had in mind when suggesting that healthy people are comfortable residing in their own bodies. Not self-satisfied and smug, perhaps even arrogant, but comfortable.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John Baldoni on October 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
4. I am over the age of 13. The Fine Print:All submitted reviews are subject to the license termWhether you are just getting started, or are a successful CEO, you will find wisdom in the pages of "Get Out of Your Way at Work." Mark Goulston, an executive coach and practicing psychiatrist, provides insights into self?defeating behaviors that hold good people back. For example, the book delves into issues such as procrastination, failure to listen, an inability to delegate, and an unwillingness to delegate. Rather than simply diagnose problems, Goulston provides insights that can turn excuses into action steps that will enable all readers to benefit. Using a combination of stories culled from experience as well as theory made relevant, this book navigates the sometimes choppy waters of management to provide readers with some clear?sighted advice. What's more, Goulton provides action plans for readers to tackle individual issues and turn potential problems into practical solutions. Such insights will enable use to exert a sense of calm over ourselves and by extension over our workplace. So what's holding you back? Read this book today and start putting some of Dr. Mark's insights to work for you now.
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