See this book right here? The one looking like a sticky-note hedgehog?
This book, No One Understands You And What To Do About It by Heidi Grant Halvorson has just entered the pantheon of Books I Recommend Most Frequently.
Honestly, it’s terrific. And applicable to so many situations:
If you are starting a new job and want to make sure you get off on the right foot – read this book.
If you are often the number two candidate for a new position and want to make sure you’re the number one next time, read this book.
If, like Rodney Dangerfield, you don’t get no respect, read this book.
If you went to night school to get an advanced degree but no one in the office sees you as anything other than the former intern, read this book.
If you’re a leader, read this book.
If you’re not as successful as you’d like to be, read this book.
If you’d like to be closer to other people, read this book.
If you want to understand your marriage, read this book.
If you want to understand yourself, read this book.
I mean, people, if I haven’t been clear enough: Read. This. Book.
Heidi Grant Halvorson was a guest on my late, beloved podcast Wisework because of her earlier book Nine Things Successful People Do Differently (also on my Books I Recommend Most Frequently list, btw). So, obviously, I have joined the ranks of Halvorson Fangirls.
And I completely and utterly own that.
Heidi writes about complicated research with a deft and humorous touch, which serves to make the concepts that much easier to grasp. As in:
“This may come as no surprise, but powerful people are more likely to act like selfish jerks. Research by a group of Berkeley researchers, led by Paul Piff, has found evidence of power-induced jerkiness in even the most mundane daily activities.”
Don’t you love “power-induced jerkiness” remaining unedited in a book published by Harvard Business Review Press? Halvorson goes on to use the study as a way in to understanding why the powerful are so much different from those who perceive themselves to be less powerful (Just so you know, the big difference is because they powerful are thinking about their own goals, not yours).
Made me think about the inequality discussion in a whole new light.
And that is the marvel of this book. Read it and you will see things differently. You might even make some changes in the way you are doing things, so you have greater success (what she would call being Promotion-minded) or you might make changes so you can mitigate the chances that you’ll be misunderstood in high-stakes situations (that’s Prevention-minded – see, I learned something!).
Regardless, this book is a keeper. It’s practical, thoughtful, funny and purposeful.
In short, I liked it. Very much.
I believe you will, too.