The Truth About Managing People: And Nothing but the Truth

Overview The Truth About Managing People ... and Nothing but the Truth rips away the hype, fads, and clichés that keep managers from seeing the world as it actually is. Stephen P. Robbins, the world's #1 selling management textbook author, has distilled the results of thousands of research studies on human behavior into over 60 proven "truths" that can transform how you manage people—and the results you achieve. Drawing on the world's best research on the subject, Robbins delivers no-holds-barred advice and specific tactics for hiring, motivation, l See more details below
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Overview

The Truth About Managing People ... and Nothing but the Truth rips away the hype, fads, and clichés that keep managers from seeing the world as it actually is. Stephen P. Robbins, the world's #1 selling management textbook author, has distilled the results of thousands of research studies on human behavior into over 60 proven "truths" that can transform how you manage people—and the results you achieve.

Drawing on the world's best research on the subject, Robbins delivers no-holds-barred advice and specific tactics for hiring, motivation, leadership, communication, team-building, coping with change, job design, performance evaluation, handling conflicts, and much more. From start to finish, The Truth About Managing People ... and Nothing but the Truth offers wisdom and techniques you'll be profiting from long after today's management fads are forgotten.

Are happy employees better employees?
Why satisfaction and effectiveness don't necessary correlate
Are experienced leaders better leaders?
When experience is relevant—and when it isn't
Why "traits" don't predict employee success-and what does
How you behave matters more than who you are
Why teams often create negative synergy
How to reduce the impact of "social loafing"—and build teams that really work
Does participatory management really work?
Who wants to participate—and who doesn't?
Four job-design changes that can dramatically improve productivity
Key improvements you can start making right now
  • The truth about hiring, motivating, and evaluating employees
  • The truth about teamwork, participatory management, and communication
  • The truth about coping with change, conflict, and layoffs
  • The truth about leadership and human behavior

What do we know—really know—about management? What's proven to work? What conventional wisdom has proven to be utterly worthless? In a nutshell, what's the best way to manage people to get the results you're after? Now, Stephen P. Robbins—one of the world's leading management experts and the world's #1 selling management textbook author—distills today's most important management research into 64 principles you can use right now!

Along the way, you'll discover how to overcome the real obstacles to teamwork; why too much communication can be as dangerous as too little; how to improve your hiring and employee evaluations; how to heal "layoff survivor sickness"; even how to "learn charisma."

This isn't just "someone's opinion": It's the first, definitive, evidence-based guide to effective management. In The Truth About Managing People ... and Nothing but the Truth, Robbins delivers bedrock principles you can rely on, regardless of your organization, role, or title, throughout your entire management career.

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Editorial Reviews

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Distilled Knowledge For Better Management
Dr. Stephen Robbins has been teaching and writing about management for 30 years, and has become the world's best-selling textbook author in the fields of management and organizational behavior. In The Truth About Managing People, he has distilled his vast stores of knowledge about management into 63 "truths" that can lead managers and leaders to better organizations.

By challenging widely held beliefs and debunking many popular management myths, Robbins provides a clear view of management skills using timely research and the experiences of dozens of others to support his ideas. Along the way, he delivers advice about hiring, motivating, leadership, communication, team-building, coping with change, job design, performance evaluation, handling conflict and even how to develop charisma.

In the first part of The Truth About Managing People, Robbins offers no-nonsense lessons on finding the best candidate with a job interview. He writes that employers should avoid basing their hiring decisions on the traits of the candidate and instead should focus on the candidate's behavior. "The best predictor of a person's future behavior is his or her past behavior. So when interviewing candidates, ask questions that focus on previous experiences that are relevant to the current job opening," Robbins writes.

Realistic Job Previews
Another way Robbins explains that managers can find the right person for a job is by offering realistic job previews. Although most managers tend to paint rosy pictures of their organizations when describing a job to an applicant, Robbins writes that this tactic does not help eitherthe applicant or the organization. When an applicant hears nothing but positives about a job and finds that there are unexpected down sides in the course of the first few weeks, the new hire is likely to resign prematurely. This is why Robbins says managers should tell applicants about negative aspects of a job early, so they can either select themselves out of the search process, or they will be better prepared for the job if they take it.

The second part of The Truth About Managing People tackles the difficult subject of employee motivation. Here, he offers 12 answers to the most pressing motivation questions managers must ask themselves about their employees. To explain why many workers are not motivated to work, he places the blame squarely on the shoulders of managers and organizational practices, not employees. He writes that many employees lack motivation at work "because they see a weak relationship between their effort and performance, between performance and organizational rewards, and/or between the rewards they receive and the ones they really want." He explains that managers can better motivate their employees by strengthening these relationships.

In the third part of Robbins' book, he delivers the essentials about successfully leading people. He writes that the essence of leadership is trust. In times of change or crisis, people need personal relationships to turn to for guidance, and the quality of these relationships is primarily determined by the level of trust. To help leaders gain the trust of their employees, he says they must be open; fair; speak their feelings; tell the truth, even if it is something people don't want to hear; show consistency; fulfill their promises; and maintain confidences.

Hearing Is Not Listening
When tackling the issue of communication, Robbins writes that every manager must realize that hearing is not listening. Robbins suggests that an effective manager is also an effective listener who pays attention, does not interrupt and remembers. To help managers improve this skill, he offers several tips, including make eye contact, exhibit affirmative head nods and appropriate facial expressions, avoid distracting actions or gestures, ask questions, paraphrase, don't over-talk, and make smooth transitions between the roles of speaker and listener. He also reveals how each can be done properly.

Why Soundview Likes This Book
The Truth About Managing People is a great resource for managers because it consolidates essential skills into a reference guide that does not have to be read from front to back to receive its lessons. Instead, each idea is succinctly defined in two or three pages that stand alone as guidance on a particular topic. Plus, his brevity is a welcome addition to the format, and makes every point stand out against a background of simple explanations, evidence and examples. Robbins' ability to state his thoughts about better management in concise language makes this tiny book a huge asset for any manager who either wants to brush up on his or her skills, or anyone who wants to learn the best ways to effectively manage an organization. Copyright (c) 2002 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131460959
  • Publisher: Financial Times/Prentice Hall Books
  • Publication date: 8/1/2002
  • Edition description: Special Edition
  • Pages: 211

Read an Excerpt

Preface

Preface

Managers are bombarded with advice from consultants, professors, business journalists, and assorted management "gurus" on how to manage their employees. A lot of this advice is well thought out and valuable. Much of it, however, is a gross generalization, ambiguous, inconsistent, or superficial. Some of it is even just downright wrong. Regardless of the quality, there doesn't seem to be any slowdown in the outpouring of this advice. Quite to the contrary. Books on business and management have replaced sex, self-help, and weight loss as topics on many nonfiction best-sellers lists.

I've been teaching and writing about managing people at work for 30 years. As part of my writing efforts, I have read upwards of 25,000 research studies on human behavior. While my practitioner friends are often quick to criticize research and theory-testing, this research has provided us with innumerable insights into human behavior. Unfortunately, to date there has been no short, concise summary of behavioral research that cuts through the jargon to give managers the truth about what works and doesn't work when it comes to managing people at work. Well, this is no longer true. This book has been written to fill that void.

I've organized this book around key, human-behavior-related problem areas that managers face: hiring, motivation, leadership, communication, team building, conflict management, job design, evaluating performance, and coping with change. Within each problem area, I've identified a select set of topics that are relevant to managers and where there is substantial research evidence to draw upon. In addition, I've included suggestions to help readersapply this information to improve their managerial effectiveness. And at the back of the book, I've listed references upon which the chapters are based.

Who was this book written for? Practicing managers and those aspiring to a management position—from CEOs to supervisor wannabes. I wrote it because I believe you shouldn't have to read through detailed textbooks in human resources or organizational behavior to learn the truth about managing people at work. Nor should you have to attend an executive development course at a prestigious university to get the straight facts. What you get from this book, of course, will depend on your current knowledge about organizational behavior. Recent MBAs, for instance, will find this book to be a concise summary of the evidence they spent many months studying. For individuals who haven't kept current with research in organizational behavior or for those with little formal academic training, this book should provide a wealth of new insights into managing people at work.

You'll find each of the 63 topics in this book is given its own short chapter. And each chapter is essentially independent from the others. You can read them in any order you desire. Best of all, you needn't tackle this book in one sitting. It's been designed for multiple "quick reads." Read a few chapters, put it down, then pick it up again at a later date. There's no continuous story line that has to be maintained.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Pt. I The Truth About Hiring 1
Truth 1 Forget Traits; It's Behavior That Counts 3
Truth 2 Realistic Job Previews: What You See Is What You Get 6
Truth 3 Tips for Improving Employee Interviews 9
Truth 4 Want Pleasant Employees? It's in the Genes! 12
Truth 5 Good Citizenship Counts! 14
Truth 6 Brains Matter; or When in Doubt, Hire Smart People 16
Truth 7 Don't Count Too Much on Reference Checks 19
Truth 8 When in Doubt, Hire Conscientious People! 22
Truth 9 Here People Who Fit Your Culture: My "Good Employee" Is Your Stinker! 25
Truth 10 Match Personalities and Jobs 28
Truth 11 Manage the Socialization of New Employees 31
Pt. II The Truth About Motivation 35
Truth 12 Why Many Workers Aren't Motivated at Work Today 36
Truth 13 Happy Workers Aren't Necessarily Productive Workers! 39
Truth 14 Workforce Generations and Values 42
Truth 15 Telling Employees to "Do Your Best" Isn't Likely to Achieve Their Best 45
Truth 16 Not Everyone Wants to Participate in Setting Their Goals 48
Truth 17 Professional Workers Go for the Flow 51
Truth 18 Watch Out for Cyberloafing! 54
Truth 19 When Giving Feedback: Criticize Behaviors, Not People 57
Truth 20 You Get What You Reward 60
Truth 21 It's All Relative! 63
Truth 22 Recognition Motivates (and It Costs Very Little!) 66
Truth 23 Ways to Motivate Low-Skill, Low-Pay Employees 69
Truth 24 There's More to High Employee Performance Than Just Motivation 71
Pt. III The Truth About Leadership 73
Truth 25 The Essence of Leadership in Trust 74
Truth 26 Experience Counts! Wrong! 77
Truth 27 Most People THINK They Know What Good Leaders Look Like 80
Truth 28 Effective Leaders Know How to Frame Issues 82
Truth 29 You Get What You Expect 86
Truth 30 Great Followers Make Great Leaders 88
Truth 31 Charisma Can Be Learned 90
Truth 32 Make Others Dependent on You 93
Truth 33 There's No Ideal Leadership Style 96
Truth 34 Adjust Your Leadership Style for Cultural Differences or When in Rome 98
Truth 35 When Leadership ISN'T Important 101
Pt. IV The Truth About Communication 105
Truth 36 Hearing Isn't Listening 106
Truth 37 Choose the Right Communication Channel 109
Truth 38 Listen to the Grapevine 112
Truth 39 Men and Women DO Communicate Differently 115
Truth 40 What You Do Overpowers What You Say 118
Truth 41 The Case for Open-Book Management 120
Pt. V The Truth About Building Teams 123
Truth 42 What We Know That Makes Teams Work 124
Truth 43 2 + 2 Doesn't Necessarily Equal 4 128
Truth 44 We're Not All Equal: Status Matters! 130
Truth 45 Not Everyone Is Team Material 133
Pt. VI The Truth About Managing Conflicts 137
Truth 46 The Case FOR Conflict 138
Truth 47 Poor Communication Isn't the Source of Most Conflicts 141
Truth 48 Beware of Groupthink 144
Truth 49 How to Reduce Work-Life Conflicts 147
Pt. VII The Truth About Designing Jobs 151
Truth 50 There's No Such Thing as a "Good Job" 152
Truth 51 Not Everyone Wants a Challenging Job 155
Truth 52 Four Job-Design Actions That Will Make Employees More Productive 157
Pt. VIII The Truth About Performance Evaluation 161
Truth 53 Annual Reviews: The Best Surprise Is NO Surprise! 162
Truth 54 Don't Blame Me! The Role of Self-Serving Bias 165
Truth 55 The Case For 360-Degree Feedback Appraisals: More IS Better! 168
Pt. IX The Truth About Coping with Change 171
Truth 56 Most People Resist Any Change That Doesn't Jingle in Their Pockets! 172
Truth 57 You CAN Teach on Old Dog New Tricks 176
Truth 58 Use Participation to Reduce Resistance to Change 179
Truth 59 Layoffs Are as Tough on Survivors as Those Who Get Laid Off 181
Pt. X Some Final Thoughts About Managing Behavior 185
Truth 60 I'll See It When I Believe It 186
Truth 61 First Impressions DO Count! 189
Truth 62 People Aren't Completely Rational: Don't Ignore Emotions! 192
Truth 63 Beware of the Quick Fix 195
References 198
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Preface

Preface

Managers are bombarded with advice from consultants, professors, business journalists, and assorted management "gurus" on how to manage their employees. A lot of this advice is well thought out and valuable. Much of it, however, is a gross generalization, ambiguous, inconsistent, or superficial. Some of it is even just downright wrong. Regardless of the quality, there doesn't seem to be any slowdown in the outpouring of this advice. Quite to the contrary. Books on business and management have replaced sex, self-help, and weight loss as topics on many nonfiction best-sellers lists.

I've been teaching and writing about managing people at work for 30 years. As part of my writing efforts, I have read upwards of 25,000 research studies on human behavior. While my practitioner friends are often quick to criticize research and theory-testing, this research has provided us with innumerable insights into human behavior. Unfortunately, to date there has been no short, concise summary of behavioral research that cuts through the jargon to give managers the truth about what works and doesn't work when it comes to managing people at work. Well, this is no longer true. This book has been written to fill that void.

I've organized this book around key, human-behavior-related problem areas that managers face: hiring, motivation, leadership, communication, team building, conflict management, job design, evaluating performance, and coping with change. Within each problem area, I've identified a select set of topics that are relevant to managers and where there is substantial research evidence to draw upon. In addition, I've included suggestions to help readers applythis information to improve their managerial effectiveness. And at the back of the book, I've listed references upon which the chapters are based.

Who was this book written for? Practicing managers and those aspiring to a management position—from CEOs to supervisor wannabes. I wrote it because I believe you shouldn't have to read through detailed textbooks in human resources or organizational behavior to learn the truth about managing people at work. Nor should you have to attend an executive development course at a prestigious university to get the straight facts. What you get from this book, of course, will depend on your current knowledge about organizational behavior. Recent MBAs, for instance, will find this book to be a concise summary of the evidence they spent many months studying. For individuals who haven't kept current with research in organizational behavior or for those with little formal academic training, this book should provide a wealth of new insights into managing people at work.

You'll find each of the 63 topics in this book is given its own short chapter. And each chapter is essentially independent from the others. You can read them in any order you desire. Best of all, you needn't tackle this book in one sitting. It's been designed for multiple "quick reads." Read a few chapters, put it down, then pick it up again at a later date. There's no continuous story line that has to be maintained.

Read More Show Less

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