The Way We Talk Can Change The Way We Work Seven Languages For Transformation by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey
This book observes how we talk about problems at work and tries to create tools to manage our ideas about criticism. It describes a process by which criticism and complaints are turned into observable assumptions about the way people are acting. These assumptions are then used to learn new wasy of taking action on a personal and organizational level. The book is very academic and mostly uses examples from academic settings.
The process starts with a committment to change, followed by a description of what a person is doing or not doing to make the change happen, then a list of fears or counter committments against the original committment, and final the assumptions we are making about our committments. The process is very self analytical and a bit touchy feely. It looks like it is something which would not be workable if people were resistant to it.
The book moves from the personal level to the organizational level. I did not find this very practical. However, the ideas were interesting. The most interesting and possibly useful idea in the book is how to do "deconstructive criticism", or criticism that relies on problem solving instead of praise or blame.
This book seems to be focused on a very cooperative open management style. I am not sure how it would work in a very controlled environment. There is a lot of talk about creating regard for the people you work with as well public agreements about change. The public agreements remind me a bit of management by committee.
I have a mixed opinion of this book. There are many useful ideas, but much of it seems very impractical in the work world. Both of the authors of this book are professors at Harvard. This makes a book of ideas with excellent writing.