Well, I’ve really lost my momentum with my summer reading. It was a bit ambitious, but doable none the less until I found out I was accepted into grad school. Now, I feel like there is just too much to do in too little time. Such is life.

Dealing with Difficult People by Roberta Cava is a book I read a few weeks ago as a required reading for our management team at the store I work at. We are required to read atleast 3 books together each year. We tend to focus on management books and every once in awhile we read a customer service book. I love the idea of reading a book with the group and discussing it. We are assigned a chapter or two at a time, we meet for about an hour each week and discuss what we got out of the book. It is a time for learning, but I usually feel like I learn more about my coworkers than I do about management, which is far more important to me. Discovering more about the people I spend 40+ hours a week with helps me relate to them and enjoy their company more. I learn far more about them during our book discussions than I do day-to-day.

The general consensus of this book was that we did not like it, to this end we discussed topics unrelated to the book more than issues related to it. The book repetitively uses feedback techniques to work through problems. Everything and every situation can be solved with feedback. Make sure you clarify that you understand what someone is saying to you and make sure they understand what you are saying. This summarizes up the book for the most part. The author gives examples of situations/people and implements feedback to get you through it. The examples are very textbook in that they are predictable and simple. The ‘solutions’ are unrealistic in that if you were to follow them whomever you were speaking with would ask you if you were a therapist and/or crazy. My biggest complaint about the book was the repetitiveness of it and the impractical suggestions of how to handle problems.
After having read this book, I do not feel like I am better equiped to handle difficult people, but I do actively use feeback in my daily life now. It is helpful.

As a group we gave the book a B (*** 3 stars). I personally gave it ** (2 stars).
However, I do recommend reading books together, be it with coworkers, friends, family, peers, etc because you are bound to get something out of the experience. But if you pick a mediocre book, you will just learn more about the views, feeling and opinions of the people you are reading it with- which can be invaluable (I say this in risk of sounding terribly sappy).