The authors provide a very readable integration of organizational behavior concepts and research findings illustrating the “hard skills” in managing people. This is a lively and concise primer targeted for individuals who often reach positions in organizations that require less reliance on their technical skills and more reliance on their ability to manage people. It is also for leaders who want to update their skills in managing in today’s new economy with its highly demanding and stressful environment that includes global competition, pressure to improve product quality, significant change in the workforce demographics and almost daily changes due to the increased reliance on technology.
People problems are among the most difficult issues that new leaders face. Some think that people skills are just common sense, or something that we can learn from our own experiences with others. The problem is that common sense is not so common, and at the same time, human behavior often contradicts conventional wisdom.
If you believe that people can make or break an organization, then it is critical to know something about human behavior. Such knowledge will be useful to you when selecting and training employees, increasing motivation, improving decision-making, reducing stress, and enhancing teamwork. Managers cannot be professional psychologists, but they need to know enough to manage from sound principles rather than from myths and guesswork.