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Thursday, January 17 , 2019, 8:13 pm | Fog/Mist 58º


Book Review: ‘Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant’

If you have or ever had a boss who behaves like a toddler, you're not alone; Lynn Taylor identifies behaviors and how to combat them positively

Everyone has one, or had one, or knows someone struggling with a seemingly intractable work situation. Your job would be perfect if it weren’t for this whiner or that morale-sapping power grabber. You can’t quit your job, and your friends are cutting you off before you can start on another venting session. Where can you go for help when you are out of ideas and the latest trend in office management is getting you nowhere?

Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant by Lynn Taylor
Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant by Lynn Taylor.

In her 20 years in the corporate world, Lynn Taylor faced the same questions. In her corporate life, Taylor observed that bosses often behaved like toddlers — and instinctively used parenting techniques to manage the situation. She then made the leap to identifying negative managerial behaviors and relating them to corresponding toddler behavior and developed comprehensive strategies for employees to use in dealing with them all.

Well-researched and thought-out, Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant identifies 11 types of bad behavior and how to combat them in a positive manner. Each chapter in the first section of the book deals with a different negative behavior and how to combat it.

Step one is the identification of behavior and an exploration of why it may be occurring. Step two offers side-by-side comparisons of toddler vs. TOT behavior, the do’s and don’ts of coping, and a bullet point summary of key strategies.

The second part of the text deals with Little Lost Lambs and the behavior traits typical of them. Does your boss live in a fantasy world? Is he or she helpless without you, or fickle and inconstant? Taylor gives concrete ways to “manage up” your manager, helping you remain productive while giving your manager the support he or she craves.

The third part of the text gives advice on TOT-isms from the manager’s point of view. Taylor explains why TOT behaviors are ultimately destructive to your company and how to combat them. This chapter includes surprising statistics indicating that most, if not all, employees are facing some type of TOT behavior from their management team and are afraid to address it. Fearful employees are devoting energy to fending off what frightens them, not moving the company forward.

Taylor’s message is that everyone, including you, is human and can fall prey to any of these behaviors at any time. Being able to identify behaviors and their triggers, and use of Taylor’s coping strategies, will increase productivity and bring out the best in every employee — from the top down. The goal is to turn weakness into strength and create a more competitive, compassionate and ultimately more profitable workplace for everyone.

For more information or to submit your own TOT stories and questions, click here to visit Taylor on her Web site, or click here to visit her blog.

» Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant

» By Lynn Taylor

» Wiley, John & Sons Inc.

» July 2009

» Hardcover, 288 pages

» ISBN-13: 9780470457641

— Carol Ann Chybowski, who received a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from UCSB, is an aspiring author with short stories in the local anthologies A Community of Voices. The former Santa Barbara resident resides in Southern California.

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