Since I finished several books in the last few days of April, I haven’t had a chance to write up reviews for them, so this review’s going to be a mini review to fit it in. It’s a great book, and though it is a business book, which I don’t normally want/choose to read, it was for a Reading Challenge, so I gave it a go.
Ask a Manager – Alison Green
Alison Green writes as an manager and an advice columnist and this book is a compilation of her advice on various topics that she has been asked over the years. The topics range from “How do I tell my co-worker to stop asking me so many questions,” to “How do I ask for a raise.” The book is arranged in four sections: how to deal with co-workers, how to deal with managers/bosses, how to handle interview questions, and how to manage co-workers as a manager. She also includes some interesting questions she’s received over the years, such as “What do I do when my boss thinks he’s a shaman and has been putting curses on my coworkers.” There’s a lot to unpack there! If there’s any question you’ve ever had about how to handle a tricky situation at work, this book is definitely a good source for advice.
As I was reading this book I was thinking that I would probably want to buy it to add to my “work material” section of my bookshelf. It’s got some really great advice in here for how to deal with all sorts of things and I found Green’s answers to be very insightful and reasonable.
One of the things that is so terrifying about confronting co-workers or managers or anyone at work is that you don’t want to create tension or have to worry about what your co-workers will think of you after. The way Green helps you approach a situation is very respectful and well-meaning, often making your “complaints” sound more like a “it’s me, not you,” situation to keep the awkwardness to a minimum. Such as, if your co-worker wears a perfume that is really strong and is affecting your allergies: “Hey, your perfume is really great, but unfortunately I have really sensitive allergies that make it difficult for me to handle certain scents. Is there a way you could use less or wear a different perfume when at work?” All the responses seem very reasonable and not confrontational at all, which is great, since I’m sooo not a confrontational person.
I think I liked the content of this book, but reading it all together wasn’t the most fun (because hey, it’s hard to make business a fun reading experience!). However, I think this book is really useful and I would definitely consult it if I had any issues at work that I wanted to address.
Long story short, I would definitely recommend this book if you have any concerns at work, either with coworkers, managers, or if you are a manager yourself. Green’s advice is really great and could really help turn a not great situation into something much better.
4/5 Stars 👩💼👨💼🤝💼
Have you read Green’s book before? What’s your worst/weirdest workplace conversation or happening? I work in a children’s library, so not too much weirdness happens, but I’d love to hear any of your stories! Let me know your thoughts on this book or about work in the comments below!