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Ask a Manager: How to Navigate Clueless Colleagues, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and the Rest of Your Life at Work

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,209 ratings  ·  244 reviews
A witty, practical guide to navigating 200 difficult professional conversations, from the host of the popular website Ask A Manager, and New York Magazine's work advice columnist.

There's a reason Alison Green has been dubbed the "Dear Abby of the work world." Ten years as a workplace advice columnist taught her that people avoid awkward conversations in the office because
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by Ballantine Books
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  1,209 ratings  ·  244 reviews

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Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, 2018
Alison Green offers practical advice for handling various work situations with maturity, respect, and diplomacy. Her emphasis on straightforward and direct communication gives you the tools needed to approach your own issue, even if your specific situation can’t be found in her many scenarios.

While I liked the book and find her approach fair and candid, there were a few negatives. I found her advice best suited to the professional office worker; if you are employed in a non-office setting or wo
Fran (The Ramblebee)
I listened to the audiobook of this. I love Ask A Manager and I find both Alison's voice and her advice very soothing.

One thing that really ticks me off though is her advice on apologising for things like lateness, or resumé typos, which tends to be along the lines of, "I'm neurotic about punctuality so I'm mortified" or "I'm a neurotic proofreader." Neurosis is a mental disorder, not a character trait, and I find Alison's use of it in these contexts incredibly aggravating.
I first ran across the Ask a Manager blog years ago, during some dark times when I was struggling in a particularly awful workplace. Alison’s advice was calm, measured, and spot-on; her explanations helped me understand that my work environment was not normal, and most bosses didn’t behave like that, and it was well past time to find a new job. I will always be grateful for that, and for the kind community in the comments section.

Ask a Manager is essentially all of that wisdom in the blog conden
I really enjoy the Ask A Manager blog because it’s filled with interesting advice and strange situations. I didn’t like the book as much, though. The book addressed a lot of common situations that have come up over and over throughout the years of the blog, divided into categories - how to talk to your peers, how to talk to your boss, etc. Most of the advice was given in abstract, though, with only an occasional letter sprinkled in. This made me realize that one of my favorite parts of the blog ...more
Zuzana Navratilova
A good guide for a lot of work problems with a sensible and tactful approach, I will probably try to use or reference some of the advice in the future when dealing with difficult situations.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
If you work with people and have to talk to them, chances are there's something in this book that you'll find helpful. Honest, straightforward, useful advice and phrasing.
Not bad at all, but pretty basic if you're a regular reader of the AAM blog (like I am). The scripts/suggested wording for potentially awkward conversations are good ideas, though. This is probably more of a reference book than something you really need to sit down and read cover-to-cover - it would probably be a good gift for someone graduating from college or otherwise about to start their first office job!
Margaret Sankey
I've read this blog for a long time, so this is a useful distillation of the most common problems and constructive ways to frame solutions--and Green includes the all time favorites, like the boss who insisted he was a Mayan Shaman--which serve as a reminder that you can work at a place which so twists your perception of reality that this seems like something you need to ask politely about.
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Much like her website, the Ask A Manager book is full of no-nonsense, easily accessible workplace advice from an expert you can trust. In a field where managers often are promoted with zero managerial training, this book is a godsend.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via Netgalley for review consideration.
Lots of really great topics in here, and the format makes it a quick read. Of course, Green can't answer all *my* specific questions (though I could write in to her blog), but I feel like I am a little stronger of a manager having this information now. I also started listening to her podcast--some of the topics covered there are duplicated in this book, but I'm still interested to hear if there's any other insight.
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
So much excellent advice, and mostly useful & constructive language for difficult situations. It’s also refreshing to know that those office relationships and coworker quirks you’re trying to navigate are almost universal! Great to keep in your desk drawer or by your computer when you need to know how to handle random situations! ...more
This is a wonderfully straightforward and useful book for just about everyone who has to work for or with other people. The greatest strength is Green’s scripts for many, many situations.
I was hoping this would be a compilation of all the best Ask A Manager letters, but instead it is basic advice for workplace behavior and communication. And that is important, and this would probably be a great book for someone looking for that. It’s just — not for me. I wanted more letters about lunch-stealing bosses, to be honest.
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults
287 pages. I received this book as a winner of a contest on Goodreads. I was thrilled to get it. I am sorry it took so long to finish, but other books sort of got in the way. This one is good to absorb slowly. It is divided into several sections - conversations with: boss, coworkers, when you’re the boss and during interviews. This book covers so many situations and how to effectively handle them. For folks who need a little help in wording things just right, it will truly help build your confi ...more
I have a weird tendency to sometimes buy a non-fiction book, not read it and borrow the audiobook from my library instead because my attention span is short. And then when I'm done with the audiobook I write notes in the book version I bought and underline important tidbits for me to remember. "Ask A Manager" is one of those books.

I want to start out by saying that I'm a long time reader of Alison Green's blog, also titled "Ask a Manager," so I was very excited to see this book come out. It's al
Phyllis Barlow
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who's ever read Alison's blog will know what to expect from this book, (and if you HAVEN'T read it, I highly recommend it. The blog is letters/comments from readers; this book isn't letters, but advice on how to handle different challenges in the office.
If you know someone just starting out in their career this would be an excellent book to give them, or if you know someone who teaches business classes or is an adviser in a career center it would be a good reference to h
Nadiah Razali
3.5 for me
Lesson learn from this book, try to learn how to relay certain message and communicate correctly among your peers,boss
A. Elizabeth
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you, Ballantine and Goodreads Giveaway, for this ARC of Alison Green's latest book. I first found Green's Ask a Manager blog while job hunting in 2012 and have been a loyal reader ever since. This book is like a printed version of that: a handy reference to situations you may encounter at work and how to address them.

The book is divided into chapters--bosses; coworkers; if you're the boss; and finally, interviewers. Each section contains a ton of common dilemmas. For each one, she tells y
Christopher Shawn
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pulled from a popular blog of the same name, Ask a Manager is exactly what you'd think it is.

Quick, to the point answers and advice for all those sticky situations that pop up in the workplace.

Typical things like loud chewers, stinky co-workers and the like are covered as well as some outrageous cases that were sent in the to author by her fans.

How do you deal with a co-worker in a sub/dom relationship who insists on calling her SO "master" 24/7, including work events?

How do you tell your boss y
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, arc
Over a decade ago, Alison Green created an advice column called Ask a Manager, where she gives advice on how to deal with all kinds of workplace drama. This book is a collection of that advice. It has four sections: 

1) Conversations with your boss (e.g., you missed a deadline, your boss yells at you, you want a raise)

2) Conversations with your coworkers (e.g., your coworker asks nosy questions, your coworker eats your food, your coworker monopolizes meetings)

3) Conversations when you're the boss
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was interesting. I learned some things about myself and others. Not everything applied to my situation - this is mostly geared towards the corporate world. Still, there were many things that could be applied to a public library or other nonprofit setting.
Heather F
I first found Ask a Manager while googling "quit new job" on my phone in the bathroom at said new job seven years ago. Her blog is a daily visit for me. I'd hoped this book would be an expansion on that, but frankly it's a recap-something that might make a nice gift for the college grad in your life, but fans will have already read most of the stories and concepts. Also, there are infantile doodles throughout the book which are off-putting. 3.5/5 starts
Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC.
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Depending on what stage you are at in the employment realm there will be some spots that you skip over. However it gives tips from interviewing to dealing with bad bosses, how to be a good boss to quitting. Everyone will learn something from this book regardless what employment stage you are in.
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
if you're a person and have a job you need this book. clearly written with widely applicable principles, this is a book for employees at all levels and in all types of positions.
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
Chock-full of useful information for managers and employees alike. Unfortunately, it lacks a comprehensive index of topics, which makes it difficult to use as a quick-reference.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick read with genuinely useful advice for people at all levels of their careers.
Anne Morgan
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For all of those people who have wanted advice about any number of potentially awkward workplace discussions, without reading dry tomes on how to be a better person, Alison Green's Ask A Manager is the answer! Green approaches workplace issues with both experience and humor, and the realization that people are only human- and need to be treated as such.

Ask A Manager is broken down into 4 sections: you are the manager, you have a manager, you work with others, you're interviewing for a job. Even
Apr 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I love the Ask A Manager website run by the author of this book. It is such a fun hodgepodge of questions from people in work situations. Some of the advice is career minded: How to ask for that raise. What if you aren't meeting expectations at work? How do I create an exceptional cover letter? And some is social etiquette concerns at work. Some of my favorites: "What to do when you boss keeps eating your lunch" and "Help! I just hugged the company CEO". As a manager myself, I recognize a lot of ...more
I follow Alison Green on Twitter and am usually glad to see anything she writes, so I was excited to receive an ARC of this book from a Goodreads Giveaway.

I am lucky in that I don't have a ton of professional problems, but this year at my job has been a bit tumultuous - particularly with regard to leadership. This book, though it's intended for business professionals and not academics, turned out to be tremendously helpful and allowed me to identify a couple of specific frustrations I'd had trou
Tom Donaghey
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help, how-to
ASK A MANAGER by Alison Green is a handy guide to dealing with “Situations” at work. They happen to all or us. Our co-workers do irritating things, our bosses are jerks, the people around you seem to be doing everything in their power to make sure you are not successful in your work. Most of these are minor things, but they do tend to accumulate, making your workplace a site you tend not to like.
Alison Green has been writing her “Ask A Manager” blog for over ten years now and in that time she
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