Tangling With Tyrants by Tony Deblauwe

About the Author:

During his career in Human Resources, Tony has worked through many complex people and business challenges to yield lasting results for customers. His interest in high-tech and how technology impacts people has given him insight into what it takes for people to succeed in a virtual economy.

Tony grew up in an eclectic family just a few blocks from Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California. The son of Belgian immigrants, his father is a former college professor of art, language and history. His mother is an entrepreneur having worked in haute couture fashion design. Tony's exposure to several world perspectives fuel his cultural awareness and understanding.

Tony believes in collaboration of perspectives and ideas to yield successful results. He applies his expertise in human resources, organization development, and coaching to provide solutions that strengthen ways of working and achieve beneficial outcomes.

For more information visit: http://www.tanglingwithtyrants.com/

About the Book:

Do you dread going to work because of your boss? Quitting is not always an option and feeling like a victim of a bad boss only robs you of productivity, job satisfaction, and power. Career strategist and workplace expert Tony Deblauwe has spent years coaching weary employees how to be more effective with difficult bosses, and he has compiled his experiences into this indispensable guide.

Tangling with Tyrants®: Managing the Balance of Power at Work offers practical techniques that show you how to build a communication process that will turn things around to help you build successful outcomes. You’ll get guidance on addressing direct and indirect bad boss behaviors, developing the right approach, and achieving mutually beneficial outcomes. By applying the techniques in this book, you will be equipped with the right tools to handle your boss and create the results you want.

I was lucky enough to get the author to agree to answer some questions. This is what he had to say:

Could you please tell us a little about your book?

Tangling with Tyrants deals with a subject that many people struggle with—how to work and communicate effectively when reporting to a bad boss. The bad boss, or “Tyrant” as I define it, is a mix of characteristics both direct (e.g. bullying, demeaning, micro-managing) as well as indirect (e.g. incompetent, absent, passive-aggressive).

The book acts as a guide to show people how to effect change in the relationship working under a Tyrant boss profile. The goal is to build a sustainable approach that reduces conflict, improves ways of working and builds mutually beneficial outcomes.

Did something specific happen to prompt you to write this book?

I reported to a bad boss early in my career. It was tough because it was my first real job in my field of expertise (Human Resources). The first meeting with my boss was over in five minutes. He told me he didn’t care for HR people telling him what to do and that his people and more importantly, his boss, knew he was an excellent manager.

I was shocked and upset over this meeting for a long time. I didn’t know what to do, and I wondered whether I had chosen the right career. I learned from the experience and over time developed methods that I honed coaching others in similar circumstances.

Several clients and peers suggested I put my experiences and techniques handling difficult bosses into a book and Tangling with Tyrants was born.

What is the most important lesson you have learned from life so far?

I think the most important lesson I have learned is the power of collaborating with others. When you take the time to listen to people’s experiences, thoughts, and interests, you quickly learn how similar we all are. Most people have a drive to pursue ideas, foster positive change in their world, and connect with others on a genuine and authentic level.

I have enjoyed countless opportunities to collaborate with others on things I needed help with as well as be someone who helped others with their dreams. These opportunities have taught me so much about people and have influenced my thinking and approach towards how I live and work.

Who is/are your biggest supporter(s)?

My family and peer group always provide the support I need. When writing Tangling with Tyrants I had many moments where I felt the idea was fading or uninteresting. When I had these moments, my parents quickly reminded me of the many endeavors I started as a kid and had success with—like learning to play tennis. They would reassure me and help me get back on track with the book.

My peers would ask questions and suggest ideas about the book. They were eager to see me succeed and they valued my desire to create something meaningful that could help others.

Do you have any advice for writers?

For writers—remember that as clear as you are about your subject, you can always get clearer. Passion about your subject is one thing, but if the concept is vague, people might miss your message.

I had several people review my book. People in HR and consulting, managers, and employees spanning different industries and jobs reviewed my manuscript. This helped make sure I was appealing to a broad audience and providing material that people felt was useful. Combined with my stories and voice, people could connect with me and my guidance.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Even though there were challenges, I really enjoyed the book writing process. It gave me an opportunity to create material based on my expertise in the field and experience coaching others. For anyone who wonders if you have a book in you—you do—regardless of the subject matter. Take the time to zero in on your message and the story will come naturally.

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