I've been asked to do mentorship in my organization (City Government in USA), which is rewarding because I get to teach eager employees (from other departments for 2 months at a time).

On the other hand, I've come across 1 or 2 people (one is hard to fire, other has permanent City title and cannot be fired) who've, lets say have given me a run for my money.

Now I am volunteering as officer role at Toastmasters to get "hands-on" leadership training, and I'm dealing with an especially toxic person (acts nice to your face, but does opposite when you are away). And this person happens to work at my organization (different building though)

Question: Please recommend books that will enhance my understanding. Perhaps show me how to create healthy boundaries, i.e. a ship is surrounded by water, but the ship is built so water does not get in.

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because, unfortunately, book recommendations are generally considered off topic, and "toxic people" isn't specific enough to address here. I would suggest going to your local library and asking the reference librarian what they have and where to find it. – keshlam Aug 13 '16 at 15:59
  • amazon.com/s/… – HLGEM Aug 13 '16 at 20:36
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    Any decent karate book is a good start – Kilisi Aug 13 '16 at 22:07
  • I understand I can do Google or Amazon search. I was simply asking you guys which of these books are best. Anyone can write a book ... but is the information relevant and helpful? Thanks anyway. – Rhonda Aug 14 '16 at 10:57
  • That's still off-topic, now if you have a well scope situation where you encounter "toxic behaviour", you're welcome to ask and provide detail about th specific situation and people will be able to provide you an answer. – Walfrat May 31 '17 at 10:47

I like The No A***ole Rule by Robert Sutton. I agree with his approach to dealing with workplace a***oles (which is to say: get them out if at all possible), but he is also realistic about the fact that you can't get rid of them all, so he has tactics for dealing with them. Give it a try, and good luck!

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  • oh wow this would resonate with my workplace!!! – Rhonda Aug 15 '16 at 10:01
  • I am reading the description and it seems to apply to bad bosses and coworkers. I am also looking for books to deal with useless subordinates you cannot fire. Your book is definitely worth a read! – Rhonda Aug 15 '16 at 10:09
  • @Rhonda I don't know of any books that specifically address dealing with subordinates you cannot fire, but I'd make two observations on that. 1. Dealing with people who are bad at their jobs is a different problem to dealing with toxic people. 2. An 'un-fireable' subordinate is really something to address with your manager: viz. asking how to handle such a person. Without knowing details of why the person cannot be fired it's hard to judge, but if you think it's worthwhile as a separate question please do post it! – hamedbh Aug 15 '16 at 10:13
  • I just placed order for this book. As for unruly subordinates, this issue has passed, but I wish to be aware for future. Will certainly post question if need be. As for toxic person, the lady is part of a professional organization. Just want to know how to nip it in the bud. – Rhonda Aug 15 '16 at 16:47

My first choice:

When I Say No, I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith

Don't let the title of that book fool you. Read its Amazon customer reviews before you decide what is inside it. And read the book backwards, that's the way I read it myself. I started with the example transcripts in the back of the book first.

Technically, "When I Say No, I Feel Guilty" is the only book you'll ever need. You really don't need to go any further than that one.

But if you've implemented the two or three techniques in that first book and feel like you want to take a deeper dive, then my second recommendation would be this:

Nonviolent Communication: A language of life by Marshall Rosenberg

Again, the title of that book is absolutely horrible, but if you don't let that stop you. Marshall Rosenberg can offer some great insights as well. That being said, that second book is a little bit more complicated, and may not be for everyone.

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  • Thank you so much. I shall definately look at these books. I've already added them to my Amazon shopping list! – Rhonda Aug 14 '16 at 17:13

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