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Acting Up Brings Everyone Down by Nick McCormick

Many years ago I managed a firm where I began calling my colleagues, “my kids.” This moniker was descriptive of both my affection for them and their childish behavior toward work and each other.

Now Nick McCormick has captured a wonderful collection of the childish things people do at work. Or… I should say… the clever and common things people do at work, which are, in fact, quite childish.

It’s called, Acting Up Brings Everyone Down: The Impacts of Childish Behavior in the Workplace.

From the introduction”

“The purpose of this book is to point out the silliness that we engage in at work in hopes that readers will acknowledge their actions, realize there are better and more constructive ways to act, and make the necessary changes to improve the work environment.”

It takes a great sense of humor to get us insecure leader-types to let down our guards and see our imperfections without feeling attacked.

McCormick, though, instead of attacking us for our petty and counter-productive behaviors, laughs at them with us.

He takes on maddening workplace dynamics like making excuses, blaming others, withdrawing support, exaggerating problems, getting away with substandard work, and taking what is not yours.

We could try to clamp down on these practices. But the most common response to an attack is to get defensive. Once defensive, people stop thinking critically and go into a self-protective mode.

But when laughing, deep truths slip past our defenses, and we can see ourselves in these stories without feeling judged or attacked.

We are free to think about McCormick’s insights and reconsider our own methods and practices.

Nick McCormick has given us a great gift in this humorous and practical look at childish behavior in the workplace. He is creating a safe space for us to create a healthier workplace culture for ourselves.

Consider reading it as a team at your firm. Discuss one chapter at a time at your weekly planning meeting. Laugh together. Discuss creative alternatives without pointing fingers.

You’ll have a great time learning to work together more constructively, more humanly, and more productively.

On your side,

- Karl Edwards

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