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Grow Your Spine & Manage Abrasive Leadership Behavior

A Guide for Those Who Manage Bosses Who Bully
By Laura Crawshaw, Ph.D

Ever work for a bad boss and wonder why nobody does anything about it? Dr. Laura Crawshaw, aka the Boss Whisperer ®, has the answers and an approach to solve the problem of workplace bullying.

Grow Your Spine & Manage Abrasive Leadership Behavior: A Guide for Those Who Manage Bosses Who Bully shows managers how to fearlessly manage bosses who behave badly, ensuring a psychologically safe workplace.

Abrasive leaders rub their coworkers the wrong way, with behaviors ranging from mild offense to open attack. Their bullying behaviors cause interpersonal friction that grates on subordinates, peers, and often superiors, eroding motivation and disrupting the smooth flow of work. They can inflict deep wounds and intense suffering on employees, who find themselves unwillingly relegated to the ranks of the working wounded. Managing abrasive leadership behavior is no easy task, and doing it ineptly, or failing to do it altogether can have disastrous consequences.

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“The philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once said, 'Hell is other people.' Courageous, effective managers will do anything in their power to prevent these hells; they see it as their primary task to create best places to work. Unfortunately, and all too frequently, as Crawshaw points out, abrasive leaders make life hell for other people. Any and all managers would do well to read this book – it’s a tour de force on how to manage these individuals."

Manfred Kets de Vries,  Distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development and Organizational Change

What does it take to successfully manage abrasive leadership behavior? It takes courageous intervention paired with psychological insight, otherwise known as Management Backbone. This concise, highly practical guide shows how to grow your Management Backbone, presenting the concepts (vertebrae) and step-by-step guidance on how to stop the suffering caused by abrasive leadership behavior. You'll get answers to these questions and more:

  • How do I determine if a leader’s interpersonal conduct is unacceptable?

  • What if I haven’t personally observed the bad behavior people are complaining about?

  • What's the best way to tell a bullying boss that the abrasive behavior has to stop?

  • What if they deny their leadership style is abrasive and get aggressive with me?

  • How do I motivate an abrasive leader to change, and is change even possible?

Dr. Laura Crawshaw challenges the commonly-held belief that managers fail to manage the unacceptable conduct of their abrasive leaders because they’re heartless and care nothing about suffering employees. The reality? Most managers of abrasive leaders aren’t heartless: they’re spineless, afraid to intervene. Afraid of being harmed by, or doing harm to, their technically competent but interpersonally incompetent leaders, their managers sink into paralysis, feeling helpless and hopeless.    

An internationally renowned expert on bosses who bully, Crawshaw’s short, definitive guide describes the psychological forces that make conduct intervention so challenging, provides clear criteria for determining unacceptable conduct, and shows how to calmly and confidently motivate abrasive leaders to permanently abandon their destructive styles.

This book is for managers at all levels, human resource professionals, boards of directors, professional licensing boards, and workplace bullying and psychological safety activists. Targets of bullying may wish to anonymously provide the book to their abrasive boss’s manager to suggest intervention.

Laura Crawshaw Ph.D

Laura Cranshaw Ph.D

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