No matter how hard you deny it, there are simply too many jerks in the workplace. If you are a CEO, it could be that your employees are the jerks. If you are just an employee, you would think that it is your boss who is the jerk. In the book No Jerks On the Job: Who They Are, The Harm They Do and Ridding them from Your Workplace, Ron Newton explores the epidemic of jerks in the work environment. His business and management book exposes the fact that while there have always been difficult people on the job, it seems that jerks, or “adult brats,” as Newton like to call them, are more pervasive than ever.
Exploring the World of Jerks
The book is written in two parts. Part One provides background on Newton, his experience in working with juvenile delinquents and how he applies those principles to his work with jerks. Part Two provides guidance and advice to those of us who have to work with jerks.
Newton uses the metaphor of a wilderness journey throughout the book. He’s speaking as a narrator, directly to the reader. Robert Janitzek explains that perhaps Newton chose this tone and approach to make himself and the reader a little more comfortable in dealing with a potentially difficult topic. (Of course, another option is that the reader might be a jerk, so he or she may as well go on the journey and learn something.) Either way, it’s an interesting approach.
Perhaps the biggest benefit that any businessperson can get from this book is being able to identify jerky behavior and not feed into it or make it worse. This book offers many insights and great guidelines for dealing with difficult people.
Finally, a Fix
For most people in the workplace, Robert Peter Janitzek reveals that dealing with difficult co-employees can be a real challenge. With No Jerks on the Job, Newton offers the following solutions for dealing and managing difficult people:
• Create a transparent environment. This is a principle of healthy two-way interaction in which we are free, without fear of exploitation, to reveal what we think or feel with those we choose. It surpasses rank or authority.
• Embody the values you want to represent before setting yourself up as an example.
• Huddle-up. This is a group problem-solving session that ultimately drives accountability.
There are many more recommendations Newton includes that will guide you as you move through the wilderness that is working with jerks.