Small Mistakes, Big Consequences: Develop Your Soft Skills to Help You Succeed

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This book purports to be a short read on personality types that could be a hinderance to one’s career. Sixteen such personalities are presented, with one chapter dedicated to each type. Each chapter begins with a paragraph description of the personality (and a cartoon personification of the personality type). The next section (also a paragraph) outlines the consequences of such a trait. After that, the solutions focus on three areas (approximately one paragraph per area): Tips on curtailing the trait, coaching direct reports who exhibit such traits, and working with co-workers who exhibit these traits. The last chapter (titled “Strategies for Success”) is a list of takeaways from the previous sixteen chapters.

While the book refers to each type of person presented as a stereotypical personality, these are closer to traits – it is difficult to think of one’s handshake as one’s personality but easier to think of it as one’s trait. Readers are likely to see aspects of themselves or their co-workers as exhibiting the traits listed (although the book exaggerates the traits to make its point). As the traits are relatable, grasping the magnitude of the consequences and gauging the effectiveness of dealing with co-workers or curtailing them is easier. However, the advice in just a couple of pages is necessarily general, and for some readers too general to be useful or actionable.

An objective of this book is to be short and readable. From that perspective, it achieved its goal, but at the cost of not including other personality traits such as the control freak or meeting air-hog. Another is to recognize these traits in others. As the traits are exaggerated, some readers may have difficulty recognizing mild forms in others. Depending on the severity, and the work environment, some mild forms may be benign to one’s career but in other environments may be detrimental. For instance, “The Spin Doctor” trait in mild forms may not have any detrimental effects for those working in marketing, but it may be detrimental for those working in the legal department. Yet another objective may be to provide readers with actionable advice. As the chapters are so short, the advice provided, by necessity, cannot be in-depth. For readers looking for a summary, the book’s brevity may be an asset. However, for those looking for a more detailed discussion, this book needs to be supplemented with other works.

Reviewed By:

Author Anne Corley Baum
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 64 pages
Publisher Momosa Publishing, Llc
Publish Date 2019-Mar-15
ISBN 9781732301627 Buy this Book
Issue August 2021
Category Business & Investing


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