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What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

You probably don’t realise this, but every working day you replay and re-enact conflicts, dynamics and relationships from your past. Whether it’s confusing an authority figure with a parent; avoiding conflict because of past squabbles with siblings; or suffering from imposter syndrome because of the way your family responded to success, when it comes to work we are all trapped in our own upbringings and the patterns of behaviour we learned while growing up.

Many of us spend eighteen formative years or more living with family and building our personality; but most of us also spend fifty years – or 90,000 hours – in the workplace. With the pull of the familial so strong, we unconsciously re-enact our personal past in our professional present – even when it holds us back.

Through intimate stories, fascinating insights and provocative questions that tackle the issues that cause us most problems – from imposter syndrome and fear of conflict to perfectionism and anxiety – business psychotherapist Naomi Shragai will transform how you think about yourself and your working life.

Based on thirty years of expertise and practice, Shragai will show you that what is holding you back is within your gift to change – and the first step is to realise how you, like the rest of the people you work with, habitually confuse your professional present with your personal past.

© Naomi Shragai 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Critics Review

  • Work is emotional. But the foundational fiction of jobs – that they are separate from the people who do them – causes grief and frustration every day. The gift of this book is to help us understand who we are, who our co-workers are, in the round, as flesh and blood, not economic units of production. It can help managers and the managed, bosses and the bossed, to find in work and in each other the humanity and warmth, growth and forgiveness that this crucial part of our lives deserves.

    Margaret Heffernan, author of Wilful Blindness
  • Wise and illuminating… A must read for those who care about the human side of work, which should be all of us.

    Kerry Sulkowicz, President-elect of the American Psychoanalytic Association
  • A Miracle of a book…Captivating… I couldn’t put it down. As Carl Jung once warned, “when an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate.” People would do well to not leave things to fate but have a serious look at this book.

    Manfred Kets de Vries, Professor of Leadership at INSEAD and author of The CEO Whisperer
  • A great book, packed with insights and evocative human stories.

    David Tuckett, Director of UCL's Centre for the Study of Decision-Making Uncertainty
  • Nobody understands the everyday madness of working life better than Naomi Shragai. This book should be read by everyone who ventures anywhere near an office.

    Lucy Kellaway

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