Belbin, Meredith R.  Team Roles at Work, 2nd edition, Elsevier, Oxford, 2010.

Team Roles at Work is a short introduction to the Belbin approach to team work and to using the nine team roles in practice. I was somewhat disappointed not to find more information about the measurement of team roles but the website does provide some of this information (see I also expected more in-depth information about the roles and the understanding they bring to team dynamics. However, the book concentrates on one-on-one relationships and their possible outcomes. The book does provide a useful introduction to the topic, but for the price, it’s a bit thin. See more here.

Brown, Paul, Joan Kingsley and Sue Paterson, The Fear-Free Organization: Vital insight from neuroscience to transform your business culture. Kogan Page, London, UK: 2015.

In this book, the authors seek to demonstrate how fear, a powerful emotion that tend to override others, gets in the way of individual performance at work. As a consequence, it also affects organizational performance negatively, and it especially damps down efforts in implementing change. One of the questions they are trying to answer is how we manage and lead in such a way as NOT to induce fear? See more here.

Clemmer, Jim. Moose of the Table: A Novel Approach to Communications @ Work. Bastian Books, 2008.

See review here.

Fleenor, J.W., S. Taylor, et C. Chappelow, Leveraging the Impact of 360-Degree Feedback, San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer, 2008.

Great description of the basics of using 360-degree feedback tools.

Hathaway, Patti, Feedback Skills for Leaders, 3rd edition, Crisp Fifty-Minute Series, Thomson NETg: Boston, MA, 2006.

This book contains the explanation of the DASS/DASR model for feedback which I have used a lot in training. It offers great guidance on how to word feedback to make it as effective as it can be.

Hough, Karen. The Improvisation Edge: Secrets to Building Trust and Radical Collaboration at Work. Barrett-Koehler: San Francisco, CA, 2011.

Interesting little book from a former professional actor and improvisor who uses her skills to consult client on improving business relationships.

Kindler, Herb. Conflict Management: Resolving Disagreements in the Workplace, 3rd edition, Crisp Fifty-Minute Series, Thomson NETg, Boston, MA, 2006.

This is another Crisp Fifty-Minute Series volume that is greatly worth its price. It proposes nine approaches to manage conflict and disagreements that are defined on a two-dimensional grid where the two dimensions are viewpoint (from firm to flexible) and interaction (from neutral to involved). While it may look at first sight to be very similar to the Thomas-Kilmann conflict modes, it addresses conflict in different ways. I especially liked the conflict resolution guidelines, with its 4-step process (explore-plan-prepare-implement). This book provides the reader with a self-assessment, many examples, and case studies for role-plays. This guide can be used as a convenient participant’s booklet in training or as a self-study guide. While I felt somewhat uncomfortable with the nine approaches in the beginning, especially compared to Thomas-Kilmann’s 5 conflict modes (which I have been working with for nearly 10 years), I really liked the down to earth conflict resolution approach.

Kroeger, Otto and Janet M. Thuesen. Type Talk: The 16 Personality Types That Determine How We Live, Love and Work. Dell, New York, NY, 1988.

This is definitely one of my favorite books on the MBTI for its clear, simple and lively description of the implication of personality preferences in various areas of our lives. Includes a short appendix on the history of typewatching.

Lencioni, Patrick. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA: 2002.

This short “leadership fable” lays out basic principles of how things best work together to achieve their purpose. See blog post here.

Lloyd, Sam R. Developing Positive Assertiveness: Practical Techniques for Personal Success. 3rd edition. Crisp Fifty-Minute Series. Thomson NETg, Boston, MA, 2002.

Like all Crisp series books, it is very practical. It can be used for self-study, or as a source book for training on this topic. It is divided in 7 parts. The first part describes what is assertive behavior. The second and third part focus on the cognitive and emotional drivers of behaviors. In the 4th part, the author provides advice on changing behaviors by describing the characteristic of assertive, nonassertive and agressive behaviors. He also specifies what language choices correspond to each one. Parts 5 and 6 turn to 4 ways of being assertive and how to effectively communicate in each. Finally, part 7 focuses on assertive confrontation, which is directly applicable to giving effective feedback and managing performance at work. The book contains a number of self-assessment and quizzes as well as suggested application exercises.

Tulgan, Bruce, FAST Feedback, 2nd edition, HRD Press Inc.: Amherst, MA, 1999.

FAST stands for Frequent, Accurate, Specific, and Timely which is everything feedback should be. This books suggests ways to provide feedback to positively improve performance in the organization. I particularly like the self-assessment tools and tbe practical examples that highlight how to strike a balance between empowerment and guidance.

Ulrich, Dave and Norm Smallwood, Leadership Brand: Developing Customer-Focused Leaders to Drive Performance and Build Lasting Value, Harvard Business School Press: Boston, MA, 2007.

    • Emphasis in on leadership as an organizational capability rather than on the competencies and characteristics on individual leaders, hence we are talking about features of the organizational culture and how they are projected to the outside world.
    • Definition of leadership brand, p. 5: “the identity of the leaders thoughout an organization that bridges customer expectations and employee and organizational behaviour » = p. 6 “sustainable leadership advantage”
    • Not only individual leaders that create value, but it is the strength of the “leadership bench”
    • So developing leadership is not only an individual journey, but there is also a process that must take place in the organization
    • Conclusion p. 228:  “The book reframes how to think about and reframe leadership. First, focus on the outside in instead of the inside out. Outside in means that customer (and investor) expectations should frame, focus, and influence customers, they are more likely to be doing the right thing. Second, focus not only on the personal attributes of a noble or successful leader but on leadership, or the cadre of leaders within your company. Based on these two principles, a leadership brand bridges the firm’s identity in the mind of those outside (customers and investors) with the behavior of its employees. When an organization has a leadership brand, customers have positive images of the firm, investors perceive the firm as possessing intangible value, employees feel more committed, and leaders are creating enormous value.
      “Yet leadership brand for the company begins with leadership brand for the person. Until every individual leader is able to demonstrate and live a personal brand that is congruent with the desired company brand, the company brand is unreliable. The journey to leadership brand begins with the self.”

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