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Readers' Review

Insightfull and entertaining, by A. Lewkowitz on Amazon

Games at Work help us to increase our awareness on games (conscious and unconscious) played within organizations. Goldstein and Read show their ability to give us insights on identifying and neutralizing these games that are so counterproductive for organizations. At the same time, give us a lot of fun reading it! Great book!

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The best "eye-opener" book I have ever read, by Gilbert Merariu on Amazon

"Absolutely fantastic book!
We all know that every corporation has politics and people playing games. What I did not know before reading this book is that this is a practice much more common than you ever thought. It happens at every level of the organization, within departments, in between departments and at every level of the corporation from senior management to the most simple job. Reading this book gives you a whole new perspective on the players and on the "rules" of the game. It helps you recognize and correct the situation. I have personally applied a few times some of the techniques in the book within my team and it really works. It creates a much better environment for each individual and better team results that helps the company bottom line. It's a must read for all corporate individuals from any level in your corporation.
Thanks Mr. Goldstein and Mr. Read for this amazing "eye-opener"."

Mind opening, by Juliana H. Vajda on Amazon

"I wish Goldstein and Read had written "Games At Work" a few years earlier, while I was still working at a bank in New York City! After reading the book, I could recognize so many situations that, even though went "under the radar", clearly affected all of us, turning the workplace into a battlefield - and a much unnecessary one.
Besides the elucidative definition of the different situations, tricks and traps of the corporate world --and the brilliant ways that one can work around or escape them-- "Games at work" is a fun, catching read!
Mind opening for everyone." 

Organizational Dynamics, by Artur P. Tacla on Amazon

"Games at work is a very good surprise.
At this moment, when we've looked for new models and ways to understand and copy with organzaitional life, I read this book with pleasure and excitment.
It's a very good "map" to identify our unconsciouness and invisible dynamics that make us feel weak. People and organizations. The authors have created a comprehensive tour of the forces that suround our life in organizations
As we live in a time of big transformations, is necessary to think about and to find creative forms to build new dynamics that helps us to bring back our basic humanity.
This is another essencal building block to understand human behavior."

Parabêns !, by Henry Barnich on Amazon

Great book ! Nice to read and with helpfull infomations on how to manage the 21's Century politics at work"

A real tool for personal and organizational transformation, by Fabio Betti on Amazon

"Games at work can change your life - personally and organizationally." When Kevin Cashman, from Korn/Ferry, picked up these words to begin his foreword, I thought it was a little overestimated. When I started reading the book, I've changed my mind: he and also the authors are right!

As I came into the games description and their interconnections in a complex Ecology, I could remember many situations I've lived along my career as a communication executive. The difference is that in the past everybody plays games, but the games seemed to work. Nowadays, where change is not a circumstance any more, but a condition, and talent people don't stay in a company which they don't really believe in and identify with, any question regarded to organizational culture can strongly impact internal environment and business results and certainly must have the attention from leaders.

Goldstein and Read give us a simple and comprehensive language for all those political games practiced at work - any work, any company, any place. By doing that, naming what it hadn't any name yet, they also give us the opportunity to bring the games to the consciousness - and that is the first and maybe the most important step for changing.

As I 've been working as a business and human development consultant, the book helps me to help people to identify the games and to make a new choice, a choice of not playing them anymore.

A new concept to improve performance in the workplace, by Lily on Amazon

"I have had a good time reading Games at work and it definitely makes me re-think how to improve communication! Mixing theory, reality based examples and practical methodology, Games at work is a tool for who wants to reduce office politics and more genuinely, for who wants to work better in an healthier environment.
I particularly enjoyed the way it links the Games, mapping them, detecting the "Games DNA" and preparing the action plan to dismantle these informal breaks for the company."

A constructive and fun book, by Franck on Barnes & Nobles

"I have had a lot of fun reading Games at Work and it definitely makes me re-think how to improve communication!
Mixing theory, reality based examples and practical methodology, Games at Work is a tool for who wants to reduce office politics and more genuinely, for who wants to work better in an healthier environment.
I particularly enjoyed the way it links the Games, mapping them, detecting the "Games DNA" and preparing the action plan to dismantle this informal breaks for the company.
With their research, Goldstein and Read have developed a new concept. I really like the idea of their website www.games-at-work.com
It gives more info and continues the reflection beyond the book through the discussion."

From low-balling sales as a negotiating trick to engaging in gossip for political advantage and more, by Midwest Book Review on Amazon

"GAMES AT WORK: HOW TO RECOGNIZE & REDUCE OFFICE POLITICS comes from two organizational experts who argue that office games can be unconscious as well as conscious and can be minimized with tools to diagnose and short-circuit them. From low-balling sales as a negotiating trick to engaging in gossip for political advantage and more, this blends real-world examples of games in action with insights on how to short-circuit them. Perfect for both business and general lending libraries."

Getting Away From "Gotcha", by Sylvia Lafair on Amazon

"This book should have a familiar ring to anyone who has ever worked in an office. It helps you recognize the games we have named "office politics". These games, however, are much more intense and with deeper consequences than Scrabble or Monopoly. They can derail success, waste time, cause physical and emotional woes, and end up in legal battles.

The authors describe twenty-two of the most common games for all of us to see. Thus, gossip, or gotcha grandstanding come alive with details and stories of how they work at work.

While many employees say "I don't do office politics" even pretending not to see what is going on or avoiding the group at the water cooler,this book shows how we can all be caught in this daily game.

The authors offer ways to get beyond this time consuming and mostly upsetting way to be at work. I do believe they have made a useful contribution to team dynamics and are a great step in the direction of making work a more user friendly environment."

Sylvia Lafair, author "Don't Bring It to Work: Breaking the Family Patterns that Limit Success"

Rules for Games, by Reader on Amazon

"There are many ways in which well-intended, hard-working people get tripped up in the workplace, and "Games" uncovers many of them. Goldstein and Read's account of the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, tricks and traps provides an eye-opening look into modern organizations.

The difficult choice for everyone, whether "to play" is presented clearly and with compelling support. Although the decision remains fundamentally challenging, the authors present a useful way to think about it.

This is a fascinating read for anyone who works in or with a large organization today."

So Many Games...So Little Chances to Survive, by Larry Underwood on Amazon

Almost like a snowflake, no one corporate game is the same. There are simply a miriad of games played; and games played inside of games. At times, the games are amusing; at times they are blatantly rigged, and not at all amusing for the team that is destined to lose.

This book is more than a worthy effort at identifying the most commonly played games inside companies, large and small. Usually the games are harmless power plays with each participant grinning as though engaged in a friendly game of poker. The winner usually pats the loser on the back, but knows somewhere down the line, the loser will launch a surprise attack; and so it goes.

Some games are simply a part of a company's competitive culture and serve a purpose of exposing the strengths and weaknesses of its players. In many cases, an entire office full of spectators will observe the players' strategies and offer advice to their favorite player. Even factions among the participants can create more games.

It's a wonder any work ever gets done around most companies. Hard work and keeping a well documented file is usually the best defense against an awkward offense; especially when the boss is a very interested spectator.

In business, the higher the stakes, the more volitile the games; and the more unpredictable the strategies.

There are times when the stakes are so high, the corporate hierarchy will be an active participant; not necessarily as a player, but more like a referee with a predisposed willingness to take the side of the player who may appear to be trying to help the company save a little money, by putting the other player on the permanent "disabled list".

But the basic tenant for this book is very sound, from a business standpoint. Recognizing the games as they unfold is the best way to prolong a career; so business person beware: Whether you are a one month trainee or a 25 year top executive, there may well be more than a few people who view your employment as a threat to their own job security.

Welcome to life in Corporate America. Sometimes, staving off the final and fatal attack for just a few extra years is good enough to still be considered a victory.

No matter how you feel about the games people play in their attempts to gain a competitive advantage over a rival, it's foolish to think you'll be immune from being put in the starting lineup. Just make sure you take extra batting practice, and be ready for anything. Even the umpire's strike zone may be very large.

I believe it was Duke Snider who said, "always swing hard; you never know when you're going to hit the ball."

This book may not have been a game winning grand slam, but it certainly keeps you in the game, and positions you to do something to control your own destiny; and really, what more could a player ask for?" 

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Token Involvement

To play Token Involvement, a manager conducts opinion surveys, focus group, or involvement meetings to communicate that "your opinion matters", but these activities are done only to make people feel involved rather than actually to involve them. The real intention is just to get rid of the complaints and for managers to show their management that they´re doing the "right" thing-involving their people in the decision-making process. The same game is played when leaders involve their direct reports supercially, soliciting their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on thei own view. Cynicism becomes employees´ultimate response to this game, and they lose respect for management. Perhaps evens worse, when management really needs employees to be committed and contribuing to a major project, they have great difficulty securing this involvement.


Praise for Games at Work

jacopoA terrific read not only for senior leaders and executives but also for employees seeking growth in complex organizations. Goldstein and Read dissect the interpersonal dynamics that affect a company’s performance, provide a framework to understand the games that are commonly played in businesses around the world, and offer practical tools to correct these behaviors and improve the organization’s effectiveness.

Jacopo Bracco Executive Vice President DIRECTV Latin America

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