Monday, December 2, 2013

A great book : I Wish I'd Known That Earlier in My Career

Finally yesterday I finished reading of Jane Horan’s book which is The Power of Positive Workplace Politics.

I participated Jane Horan’s seminar when I was at WIN Conference (Women International Network : at Prag in October this year. After the seminar at break, I saw her book on one of book stands. On the cover of book, it is written ‘I wish I’d known that earlier in my career’. It is definitely creating a curiosity with this title. So I decided to buy the book to know all secrets as soon as possible :)

There are several interesting topics which are becoming savvy, mapping power networks, managing perceptions, reputation, brand management, gender and culture issues etc. In each topic, Jane provided great tips on how to manage organizational politics positively through many good case studies. When you read these case studies, you really feel the reality and find many similarities from your work life.

Especially for cultural impacts on office politics, she emphasizes that communication styles can be different based on cultures. She says that senior executives from North America should keep in mind that in some Asian and European cultures, using questions or starting off with an apology is the way to begin a dialogue. This should not mean that people from these cultures have little executive presence or weak personalities. There are also good examples related with direct and indirect communication styles of different cultures. She says that she use below chart in her workshops, asking participants to express their feelings, perceptions and assumptions when working across direct and indirect cultures. If they are from a “different” culture, she asked how they feel working in an “indirect” culture and vice versa. The responses are below :

Direct about Indirect : Not trustworthy, evasive, beating around the bush, vague, ambiguous, reticent

Indirect about Direct : Arrogant, not credible, emotional, blunt, confrontational, insensitive

If you are not aware of these differences when you are working with different cultures, your behaviors may be understood wrongly and this can impact critical decisions about you at your organization.

Personally I enjoyed to read the book and found it quite interesting. Thanks to Jane Horan! I’d definitely recommend this book for those who are eager to manage their careers in a successful way. Good luck.

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