Book Recaps

Why, of course: How to influence employee behavior

Your phone chimes, alerting you to a new email. You quickly discover it’s from a former coworker and read the first few lines: “I am participating in a fundraiser for [insert cause]. Will you donate?” Though you don’t delete the email immediately, you close the message because you know its exact purpose: to get you to donate. You’ll think about it, or, more likely, you’ll start thinking of rational-sounding reasons not to contribute.

Imagine, instead, if you open the email and you’re greeted with the following introduction: “June 5th started off like any other day, but it ended with a life-changing diagnosis.” ‘Whoa, where is this going?’ you think. As you continue reading, you learn that your former coworker is fighting a serious illness and is raising money for the cause. You reach for your wallet, inspired to support an old colleague.

What exactly was the difference between the two messages?

Bugle #84: Above the Line

Congrats! You’ve survived the first week of December.

Our last pop-psych article of 2019 focuses on priming or, in other words, subtle ways to encourage the response you want. Plant the seed, and watch it flourish.

We’ve compiled – just for you – some of the best HR, leadership, and policy management articles we found over the past couple weeks.

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Article of the Week: During an often-hectic time of year, it’s easy to get caught up in your own story. Are you usually above the line or below it? This week’s highlighted article explains what that means (look for the below).

Blissbook Bugle #1

We’re finally getting around to launching our weekly newsletter and since the info we’re blasting out every week is so valuable, we thought we’d post it on the ol’ blogaroo as well. We’ll be back every Friday with the best HR and policy management content we can find to help you become a better HR pro, leader, and person. Without further adieu…

TGIF, am I right?! You made it through the week and to commemorate your accomplishment, we’ve gathered the best HR and policy management resources for your reading pleasure. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

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Article of the Week: We love our first ever A.O.T.W. (look for the below) because it highlights just how important language is. Language exists just as much to influence as it does to communicate. How are you influencing the people you communicate with? On that note…

Which of this week’s articles do you think is the most useful?

Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Book Recap

three-signs-of-a-miserable-jobPatrick Lencioni writes “fables” to illustrate business principles. For someone who loves nothing more than losing themselves in a good novel, the plot of The Three Signs of a Miserable Job may seem a little stilted. But we’re not reading a novel here, we’re looking for guidance in our careers, so let’s look past that. In truth the use of the fable mechanism creates a context that helps us relate Lencioni’s teachings to our own experiences.

The gist of the book is this: there are three key elements of satisfaction in any job, and as a manager you have the power and the responsibility to change them all for the better.


People are more than just their jobs. When a manager recognizes that and connects with employees on a personal level, it’s the first step in building a team rather than a staff.


Everyone wants to have an impact, but in many jobs it’s hard to see exactly what that impact is. A manager is responsible for showing each employee why their work is important and how they make a difference in people’s lives.


Most people want to do a good job, but in order to do so there needs to be some sort of measurement of what exactly a “e;good job”e; is. By defining objective criteria over which the employee actually has control, the manager provides a framework for success.

The book is written from the lens of how a leader can improve staff morale, but I think there are some important lessons for regular old employees too. For me, the book helped to articulate what I was never able to about what I found dissatisfying in my work. There were a few “exactly!!” moments, and a few “well, duh” moments, and I came away with a sense of what I might be able to improve in my current position and some specifics to look for when considering future positions.

My one complaint: nobody needs to learn how to make a job miserable – the book is really about what makes a job truly rewarding. Why can’t we just say that?