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Works Well with Others: An Outsider's…

Works Well with Others: An Outsider's Guide to Shaking Hands,…

by Ross McCammon

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I’m a sucker for “productivity porn.” Whether it’s looking at beautifully structured notes, pawing through articles on time management, or tweaking my own planner usage, I definitely spend more time looking at ways to do things than I do actually doing things. It is a strange affliction, and one that is made abundantly clear by the number of cheesy business help books I read.

I grabbed Working Well with Others by Ross McCammon completely on impulse. It was out on the featured shelf of the library and was on its way home with me before I even read the synopsis. I thought it was going to be yet another business book telling me common sense things under the newest guise of originality, but it wasn’t. It was a super hilarious part-memoir, part-self-help book that I didn’t realize I needed.

McCammon does an excellent job of giving sound advice without actually sounding like he’s giving advice. All of his tips are rooted in personal experience, usually with a funny story to illustrate either their implementation, or the lack thereof. It is endlessly charming, and I actually laughed out loud a few times while reading. And the advice is sound — it just lacks the filter of over-importance that most business books tend to place over the advice they offer.

Working Well with Others is a great read that I would recommend to absolutely anyone in the business world.

This review has been cross-posted to my blog at TheChronicHobbyist.wordpress.com. ( )
  shulera1 | Aug 16, 2016 |
I wasn't expecting too much from this book but ended up enjoying it a fair bit. McCammon uses his own experiences starting out and making his way at Esquire magazine to talk about common interpersonal situations and offer advice on how to deal with them. Of particular note are chapters that talk about how to handle mistakes, how to negotiate office parties, and how to deal with small talk. I also liked his comments on having to deal with a naturally sad- or angry-looking face; as the owner of such a face myself, I am used to people asking if something's the matter when I'm merely in deep thought -- for example, wondering whether to have my morning snack now or later. The chapters are very short and can easily be gobbled up in large doses. It is certainly worth flipping through if you're the sort who is impatient with standard self-help books and would like advice that feels like it comes from a real person who experiences emotions other than relentless positivity. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Apr 6, 2016 |
Nonfiction, own, random, read ( )
  k8s | Mar 19, 2016 |
Some of the advice in “Works Well with Others” was new to me, and it got me thinking about how I interact with other people in workplace settings. I appreciate any book that encourages me to reflect on how to do things better. Even the advice that I’ve heard a million times before was worth reading again because McCammon provides a fresh perspective and personal anecdotes.

McCammon’s writing is amusing when not downright funny (with the exception of the short quizzes, which I thought were lame). It was a quick read because it was entertaining, but also because the book is fluffy and brief (the introduction to the afterword is 236 pages, so the book itself is short, the chapters are short, and there’s a blank page in-between most of the chapters, creating a bunch of annoyingly wasted space).

If you’re looking for a fun and humorous book sprinkled with helpful insights, you’ll love this. It’d be a great gift for recent college grads who are just starting their careers. (It's certainly a lot better than the dry textbooks they just finished with!) If you want lot of detailed, all-encompassing advice written in a serious tone, you’re better off looking elsewhere. ( )
  PencilStubs | Oct 25, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 052595502X, Hardcover)

Esquire editor and Entrepreneur etiquette columnist Ross McCammon delivers a funny and authoritative guide that provides the advice you really need to be confident and authentic at work, even when you have no idea what’s going on.
Ten years ago, before he got a job at Esquire magazine and way before he became the etiquette columnist at Entrepreneur magazine, Ross McCammon, editor at an in-flight magazine, was staring out a second-floor window at a parking lot in suburban Dallas wondering if it was five o’clock yet. Everything changed with one phone call from Esquire. Three weeks later, he was working in New York and wondering what the hell had just happened.
This is McCammon’s honest, funny, and entertaining journey from impostor to authority, a story that begins with periods of debilitating workplace anxiety but leads to rich insights and practical advice from a guy who “made it” but who still remembers what it’s like to feel entirely ill-equipped for professional success. And for life in general, if we’re being completely honest. McCammon points out the workplace for what it is: an often absurd landscape of ego and fear guided by social rules that no one ever talks about. He offers a mix of enlightening and often self-deprecating personal stories about his experience and clear, practical advice on getting the small things right—crucial skills that often go unacknowledged—from shaking a hand to conducting a business meeting in a bar to navigating a work party. 

Here is an inspirational new way of looking at your job, your career, and success itself; an accessible guide for those of us who are smart, talented, and ambitious but who aren’t well-“leveraged” and don’t quite feel prepared for success . . . or know what to do once we’ve made it. 

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 28 Aug 2015 18:00:17 -0400)

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