People Styles at Work...And Beyond
Making Bad Relationships Good and Good Relationships Better
Authors: Robert Bolton, Dorothy Grover Bolton
Pub Date: May 2009
Print Edition: $19.95
Print ISBN: 9780814413425
Page Count: 240
Format: Paper or Softback
Edition: Second Edition
e-Book ISBN: 9780814413432
Buy the book:
BOTH AT WORK and at home, success and happiness depend on relating
to others across a chasm of significant differences. If you could figure out
how to bridge the gap between yourself and others, you could make your
life—and theirs—much easier, happier, and more productive. How to do
that is what this book is about.
The differences between people are a major source of friction. For example,
our friend Michelle does everything in a rush. She walks fast,
talks fast, decides fast. And she completes projects in a flurry. As luck
would have it, she’s often teamed with John, who is very deliberate.
John walks slowly, talks slowly, decides slowly. Although these differences
may not seem like a big deal, if they’re not managed well they’re
likely to erode Michelle’s and John’s working relationship. You’ve undoubtedly
seen how differences like these can undermine cooperation,
hamper performance, and add considerable stress to people’s lives.
This book shows how you can manage those kinds of differences in
ways that enhance your relationships, increase your productivity, and add
richness and spice to your life. It’s about making people differences work
for, rather than against, you.
There are three parts to the book:
• Part One: Understanding Yourself and Others
• Part Two: Style Flex: A Key to Improved Relationships
• Part Three: People Styles and Family Relationships
Part One: Understanding Yourself and Others provides a pragmatic
way of understanding the differences between people. Rather than delve
into esoteric psychological theory, it provides a straightforward, practical
explanation of what you need to know to relate more effectively to others.
Chapter 1 notes some of the differences between the four people styles
and how those differences can lead to people problems. Chapter 2 describes
the people styles model and explains how it can help you relate
more effectively to people very different from yourself. Chapter 3 helps
you capture data for identifying your own style. The two dimensions of
behavior that are key to understanding yourself and others are highlighted
in Chapter 4. With this background, Chapter 5 guides you
through an assessment that shows how you come across to other people.
The four people styles are described in Chapters 6 and 7. Chapter 8 depicts
each style’s tendency toward certain strengths and weaknesses.
Chapter 9 describes backup styles—the four dysfunctional and relationship-
straining ways in which people of each style react to excessive stress.
In Chapter 10, you’ll learn how to cope productively both with your own
and with other people’s stressed-out behavior.
Part Two: Style Flex: A Key to Improved Relationships shows how to
create more productive interactions by applying the knowledge of yourself
and others gained in Part One. Chapter 11 introduces you to style
flex, a way of creating common ground with people very different from
yourself. Style flex is the intriguing ability to be true to yourself while
relating to someone else on that person’s wavelength. The four steps involved
in flexing to another person’s style are presented in Chapter 12. In
Chapter 13, you learn how to identify another person’s style. Chapter 14
describes how to use style flex in several special situations. The final chapter
of Part Two describes basic flex—three personal qualities that undergird
Parts One and Two are equally applicable to personal and work relationships.
However, the people styles model has some unique and beneficial
applications to personal relationships. So Part Three: People Styles
and Family Relationships discusses applications of the people styles model
to two of these types of personal relationships. Chapter 16, ‘‘The Art of
Loving Someone Very Different from Yourself,’’ shows how to forge an
even better relationship with your domestic partner. In Chapter 17, you’ll
find style-based parenting guidelines that will help you have more enjoyable
relationships with your kids while helping them increase their selfesteem
and develop their unique strengths.
There are four appendices—one for each of the four styles. The appendix
for your style presents specific guidelines on how to flex to persons
of each of the four styles.
Many of the concepts in this book will come not as news but as
reminders. We’re often told that this way of organizing interpersonal data
helps people sharpen insights they’ve already gained from their life experience.
This familiarity makes it easier for readers to implement the relationship-
enhancing methods found in these pages.
We hope the concepts and methods presented in this book will enrich
your life and relationships as much as they’ve enhanced ours.
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