BC HRMA Summer Reading List

By Kellie Auld, CHRP and Tyler Cheyne, CHRP

The dog days of summer are here! With longer days and balmy temperature we are increasingly motivated to go on that much needed vacation. But what to do while you are on a beach chair sipping a beverage and soaking up the rays? Read a good book. This is the reason why we have prepared for you the BC HRMA Summer Reading List. These books will entertain, educate or maybe just pass the time. Enjoy!

Road to Respect: Path to Profit (Erica Pinsky)

Have any of you struggled to clearly identify what respect in the workplace really looks like? There are several work places that state respect in the workplace is one of their core values, and yet we continue to see and hear examples of undesirable work environments. Pinsky shares her insight as to what each of us should see as respectful behaviours at work. Derived from her own experiences, she teaches that respectful behaviour is encouraged through fostering relationships across hierarchical power levels.  All members of an organization should work on building healthy relationships and employees must feel comfortable addressing concerns or asking for help without fear of reprisals.

In today’s competitive business world, it is ever more important to understand how to build healthy relationships and responsive teams through respect to ensure attraction and retention of employees.

EQ Interview: Finding Employees With High Emotional Intelligence (Adele B. Lynn)

Many of us in the HR world are called upon to interview potential candidates or to provide advice on interviewing. This book provides excellent information on how to recognize EQ or Emtional Intelligence. Lynn not only provides specific questions for interviewers, she follows up with in-depth explanations and key points to consider when determining if a candidate responds appropriately illustrating he/she indeed understands, displays and expresses EQ.

Why is this important?  Research has repeatedly shown that folks who have a high level of EQ are also those who are most successful in life. A must read if you want to hire the best!

First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently (Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman)

From in-depth interviews with over 400 companies, Buckingham and Coffman identify differences between ‘leaders’ and ‘managers’ stating that managers look inward while leaders look outward.  Great managers look inside the company, into individuals and into differences in goals, needs and motivation of their people.  In doing this, great managers can release and support each person’s unique talents into performance that moves the business forward.  It is possible for a brilliant manager to be a terrible leader, according to the research.  Now isn’t that a challenge to our belief system?  They stress that each manager should employ his or her own style.  The focus of management should be simply to select personnel, set expectations, motivate and develop employees.

This is an easy book to read and the concept is rather refreshing.  A great many books have been written about management and the same message seems to be delivered consistently. This particular book takes a look at these commonly held beliefs and really views what makes a great manager differently.


The Goal – A Process of Ongoing Improvement
(Eliyahu Goldratt)

A story to help you brush up on your general management skills: The protagonist, Alex Rogo manages a failing manufacturing plant, and to make matters worse, his marriage is on shaky ground due to long hours at the plant. The stakes are set when his district manager informs him that profits must increase or the plant will be shut down. He turns to a former professor, turned management consultant, for help. Aided by Jonah and the plant staff, he makes the plant profitable while abandoning several management principles that he originally assumed were ironclad. This well-written story will inspire and teach you a thing or two about supply chain processes. A must read for all Human Resources professionals working at or interested in manufacturing environments. Broaden your business knowledge and understand what drives profits at your plant. For those not in manufacturing environments, you might be surprised at some of the practices you can bring into your own organization.

Who Moved My Cheese? (Spencer Johnson)

This book focuses on our perception towards change. Seeing change in positive light can help people deal with it and meet one’s goals. The story is set in a maze where four beings are forced to go on an adventure for cheese. Two of those beings, Sniff and Scurry, are mice. They are simple and focused on the cheese, unrelenting in their pursuit. The other two, Hem and Haw, are “littlepeople,” mouse-sized humans. To them the cheese is not just food, it is their worth. Their lives and values have been constructed around the cheese they’ve found and it is through them that we can see ourselves. Readers may see the cheese as our jobs, or career paths. Although of course the cheese can also mean health, relationships or a various number of things. The moral is that we need to be aware of changes to “our cheese”, whatever it may be and be prepared to change and find new sources of cheese, when the cheese we have runs out.

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Roger Fisher and William L. Ury)

In every situation in life there is negotiation. For those who would like help winning, Roger Fisher outlines an easy five-step method for how to behave in negotiations. The book is based on research from the Harvard Negotiation Project. It offers a unique approach to resolving conflicts. The authors demonstrate how to distinguish negotiable issues from a personal agenda and how to “increase the size of the pie” getting the largest slice. For the beginner, it is an introduction to principle-centred negotiation and for the expert, it is an excellent source to refresh those ideas. Key concepts include: don’t bargain over positions, separate people from the problem, insist on objective criteria, getting the other side to play and best alternatives to a negotiated agreement.

People Styles at Work (Robert Bolton and Dorothy Grover Bolton)

“As long as you live, you’ll have at least some unwelcome and unproductive friction with others”. This book provides analysis of four different personality types and then matches them with one another to provide compatibility comparisons in an effort to illuminate differences and promote cooperation. The four personality types are Analytical, Driver, Amiable and Expressive; they are based on spectrums of assertiveness and responsiveness. Once the theory is set, we see how we can lead more productive relationships with our boss, co-workers, and also personal contacts. This book reminds us that not everybody sees the world from the same lens.

Have a few books to recommend? Try the HRVoice.org’s comments feature!

Kellie Auld, CHRP is a Human Resources Officer at Interior Savings Credit Union in Kamloops and is in her third year on the Council. Tyler Cheyne, CHRP graduated from the UBC Sauder School of Business with a Bachelor of Commerce. He is a Recruiting Associate with Ray and Berndtson.

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