It's All Your Fault at Work
It's All Your Fault at Work
Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.
2015 Axiom Business Books Award Winner! Bronze Medal: Human Resources Category
No, it’s not just your imagination—more and more people in the workplace today have high-conflict personalities. Co-workers, clients, even bosses are behaving in narcissistic or bullying ways, choosing targets and then placing blame on them, treating them with disdain, or otherwise acting in aggressive, inappropriate ways. Some go so far as to spread damaging rumors, harass, or directly sabotage their targets, among other extreme behaviors. These are not people who are just having an occasional bad day; these are people who display a repeated pattern of high-conflict behavior. And they aren’t just difficult; they are the most difficult of people. Some have true personality disorders, while others have only some traits of these disorders. Either way, they can make your life at work stressful, frustrating, and extremely challenging.
“This book belongs in every leader’s library. Although I believe there’s a pearl of good in everyone, some people’s pearl is hard to find. You may not be able to change a high conflict personality, but by using Bill Eddy’s and Georgi DiStefano’s techniques, you’ll be able to keep the focus on solutions rather than arguments.”
—Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Leading at a Higher Level
The good news is that their behavior is not about you—it’s about them. What’s more, you can learn strategies and techniques to deal with them more effectively at work. Based on Bill Eddy’s high-conflict personality theory, he and co-author, L. Georgi DiStefano, expertly define the problem so you can recognize potential high-conflict people (HCPs) in your own work life. They describe the key characteristics of HCPs and the typical behavior patterns of five main types of high-conflict personalities. Then they walk you through their proactive approach for minimizing conflict and keeping interactions with HCPs as peaceful as possible. You’ll learn about—and see examples of—how to use a simple, proven four-step method to help calm HCPs, analyze your options, respond to hostility, and set limits on extreme behavior. While you cannot ultimately change someone else’s personality, you can adapt your own behavior and respond to the person in different ways that make things better at work for yourself, the high-conflict person, and your organization.
Publication date: 2015
Publisher: Unhooked Books
Binding: soft cover
Coauthors: Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq., and Georgi Distefano, LCSW
ISBN (print): 9781936268627
ISBN (ebook): 9781936268634
Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq., is a lawyer, therapist, mediator and the President of High Conflict Institute. He is an international expert on managing disputes involving high conflict personalities and personality disorders in court. Eddy is a Certified Family Law Specialist in California and the Senior Family Mediator at the National Conflict Resolution Center in San Diego. Previously, Eddy was a Licensed Clinical Social Worker providing therapy in psychiatric hospitals and outpatient clinics. He is on the faculty of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law and the National Judicial College.
L. Georgi DiStefano, LCSW, received her BA with highest honors from Richmond College, City University of New York, and her Masters in Social Work from State University of New York at Stony Brook. Ms. DiStefano has served as a clinician, program director, trainer, and consultant throughout her career. She has worked as a trainer for NASW on alcohol/substance dependency and has been invited to speak on her work at international conferences. It's All Your Fault At Work is her third book.
Collections strong in books on business management will find the narrowed focus and insights especially important in It's All Your Fault at Work. More and more workers have high-conflict personalities: the business manager's challenge is on how (or if) to manage them. As narcissistic or bullying people dominate the workplace and spread discard, it's important that managers not only understand the signs and effects of these personalities, but realize their options in responding to workplace hostility and how to set limits. This book packs in specifics, from responding to misinformation and considering who in the workplace fits the description of a 'high conflict personality' to making the most of workplace atmosphere and re-directing conflict to more positive results. No manager should be without this analysis. —Midwest Book Review, June 2015
Praise for It’s All Your Fault at Work!
“Bill Eddy’s model for high-conflict personalities has proved an invaluable aid for us when working with our toughest employee relations cases. His practical advice provides a very useful framework for recognizing and understanding different workplace personalities and developing the most effective approach to handling them.”
—Keith Epstein, senior workplace investigator, Intel Corporation
“In today’s global economy, increased collaboration forces more complexity and turbulence upon us. In this environment, high-conflict personalities struggle more than ever to manage their extremes and maintain control of their lives and their relationships with others. As extreme behaviors proliferate, we are tasked with being more measured in our response. Bill Eddy and Georgi DiStefano offer an impressive practical tool for all of those caught in the dysfunctions of our modern workplace. Recommended to all global executives dealing with conflict and change!”
—Giuseppe Carella, managing director, Thunderbird School of Global Management
“Bill Eddy and Georgi DiStefano manage to combine their advanced knowledge and skills to produce practical and workable tips. Easy to read, understand, and use—a really useful and helpful book.”
—Professor Tania Sourdin, director, Australian Centre for Justice Innovation (ACJI), Monash University
“It’s All Your Fault at Work presents expertly crafted strategies and techniques for dealing with difficult people in the workplace, where it is not possible to ignore them or walk away. Here are clear, concise, commonsense interventions for managing a wide array of dysfunctional personality traits and personality disorders. Their user-friendly educational approach is based on a deep understanding of the dynamics of high-conflict people in all their manifestations. The authors provide sage advice that encourages a productive focus not on how to deal with the problem behaviors but, instead, on how to set realistic goals and objectives for managing such issues. Based on their experience and expertise in mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, and mediation and dispute resolution, this book transfers their knowledge to the real-life everyday work environment—offering an important reference guide for all of us.”
—Karenlee Robinson, MS, MHA, retired CEO, Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital
“Every employment manager should have this book within easy reach for help in reducing tensions and conflict with certain employees—the ones nothing seems to work with, the employees Bill Eddy has identified as high-conflict people. The methods in this book and Bill’s state-of-the-art trainings are just the antidote for dealing with toxic workplace environments that these employees create.”
—Dennis Sharp, president, Sharp Resolutions
“Bill and Georgi have given me a sturdy key to turn the lock on the door that had seemed, at the time, permanently stuck shut. They invited me to think about how to take an insurmountable pile of thorny, irrational issues and turn them into professionally astute moments of respectful action. The key has never turned without some amount of labour, but it has been made less effortful with a healthy dollop of insights, options, and solutions.”
—Colleen Doylend, corporate learning and development specialist, Alberta Electric System Operator
“L. Georgi DiStefano, LCSW, is weaves a career of counseling and coaching experience this book and her seminars, and her real-life examples help managers and employees grasp the learning objectives quickly. Georgi’s content is ‘spot-on’ in terms of what’s happening now in the workplace, and how to apply her techniques and skills right away. She is a rare gem when it comes to resources that enhance the organization, its people, and ultimately its capabilities. As a member of the executive team and someone who is responsible for Human Resources, I rely upon Georgi to understand and support our company’s learning priorities and she never disappoints!”
—Teddi Reilly, MBA, vice president of Human Resources, D&K Engineering, Inc.; president, San Diego Human Resources Forum
“Managers need tools and training to work with high-conflict personalities (HCPs) and situations with confidence. The authors have developed practical and easily remembered methods and techniques that help managers recognize a possible high-conflict personality, keep calm, gather information, and know what to do next.”
—M. A. Brown, Senior Professional in Human Resources, (SPHR)
“I have consulted with Georgi DiStefano for years, and her advice and counseling in dealing with challenging customers has been extremely beneficial. It made a difference in how I dealt with these customers. With her insight, I realized they could not be changed, but by using the methods outlined in the book, I was able to sustain manageable, long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with them. These effective techniques have a wide application in the workplace.”
—Debbie Jackson, CEO, ASI, a software design and computer network integration company
“Bill Eddy has done it again! We all deal with difficult people and bad behavior but are often at a loss of what to do when confronted with it in our own lives, whether at work or at home. Bill and his co-author, Georgi DiStefano, provide a succinct overview of the five common personality types along with tips, strategies and numerous examples for how to deal with them. The diagrams illustrated help us understand that high conflict behavior is a range of behavior on a continuum. The examples provided of HCPs such as Frank Underwood in the House of Cards and the in-depth look at Steve Jobs really helped drive the points home. The MAD, BAD, RAD, and CARS acronyms are useful in remembering the simple, step-by-step approaches available to keep us sane in insane encounters. And, I love the emphasis on “feed forward” instead of “feed-back” when communicating and how it ties into the workings of the brain. The humor woven into this serious topic create a sense of hope and empowerment that something can be done to deal with these difficult behaviors and high conflict people. Kudos! An invaluable tool to everyone in the workplace!”
—Dr. Debra Dupree, LMFT, President / Founder, Relationships at Work, Inc.