The Big Book of HR, The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook, The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book, The Manager’s Answer Book, and They Did What?
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What is your book about?
They Did What?: People have been misbehaving at work since work began. If you’ve ever been curious about workplace misbehavior, my latest book, They Did What? just might hold some answers. A compilation of stories collected from HR and other business leaders have been woven into a narrative that showcases the challenges HR professionals face daily in dealing with employees. They Did What is funny, sad, and most definitely unbelievable—except it is all based on actual situations. We couldn’t make this stuff up! Told against the backdrop of a fictitious company by leaders from different business sectors, They Did What?:
• Portrays people issues that can arise in any workplace.
• Spotlights the world of HR leaders and how they keep things on an even keel.
• Is a glimpse behind the scenes into compelling and relatable workplace tales.
What inspired you to write your book?
The idea that sparked this book came from a younger HR colleague who once asked me how you learn employee relations. I realized the best way was through examples and what better way to share examples than stories—actual situations told in a way to keep readers engaged. The goal was to show that leaders in organizations are challenged by human behavior and there is often not a magic formula to address all these situations. HR is more complex than most people think.
If you have a business related to your book, tell us about it:
I’ve spent the majority of my career in HR first in a corporate role. Looking for a change, I started my own HR & management consulting practice. I’m passionate about helping organizations develop and maintain respectful workplace, and I’ve worked with a wide variety of organizations helping them with people management issues.
What is a typical day like for you?
Over the past three years, most of my time has been devoted to my writing life. I moved cross country in 2017 while in the middle of writing the award-winning The Manager’s Answer Book with my coauthor and were under a deadline to our publisher. Once that was completed, we turned our attention back to completing They Did What? Unbelievable Tales from the Workplace, which we’ve just self-published. So it’s researching, writing, editing, and marketing – a pretty typical life in the day of an author. With some consulting assignments thrown into the mix, it keeps me busy.
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
Discovering new things. When my coauthor and I set out on the journey of writing our latest book – it took us eight years with three other books coming out during that time – we were determined to learn all we could about writing and the publishing industry. And we’ve learned a great deal. I enjoy the challenges of marketing our books. This year I added “webmaster” to my skills when I took on the task of rebuilding our website because the old platform was disassembled.
What are some favorite books you’d recommend to our readers?
Since I write business books, I like to clear my head with a good novel. I’ve always been drawn to mysteries and discovered some new authors while attending The Writer’s Digest Conference in New York for several years. Two of them are Hallie Ephron and Hank Phillippi Ryan.
What advice do you have to offer our readers?
Stay visible, especially on social media. Find the platform that works best for you and stick with it. Share your expertise on those platforms, and share your expertise with other writers. When I started consulting, someone told me not to be afraid to try new things. If something didn’t work, then move on. It’s the same with writing. Listen to what other authors have done to market their books, and give some new things a try. Just like there’s not magic formula to address all employee issues, there’s not magic formula for marketing success.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
In a past life, I was a secretary and a terrible typist. That was one of the reasons I returned to school to finish my undergraduate degree and get into a new line of work. And then computers came along, and everyone had to type, and now I spend a good portion of my day at a keyboard.
What’s next for you?
My coauthor and I are currently working on the 10-year anniversary edition of our first book, The Big Book of HR for our publisher. After that, maybe sequels to The Manager’s Answer Book and They Did What?