Thalma Lobel’s writing talents are establishing her as one of the best authors in the area of interpersonal psychology and someone with a fresh and individual perspective on long-standing issues of this sort. Her first book Sensation: The New Science of Physical Intelligence achieved publication in fifteen countries and attracted a bev of admirers, but her latest book Whatever Works: The Small Cues that Make a Surprising Difference in Our Success at Work – and How to Create a Happier Office tackles a subject arguably possessing larger scope. She has significant things to say about making the most of your workplace experience and those you share it with, but none of it risks cliché. It reverberates with the ring of truth, doesn’t require a lot of your time, and holds up under repeating readings.

I am taken with her frequent use of examples drawn from real life rather than relying on her rhetoric and research alone. She chooses such examples well and they never lack relevance to the subject at hand. Her experiences as a mental health professional and studies into human behavior means she understands the agendas often motivating the individuals and others to act as they do. The research she puts into realizing Whatever Work’s potential isn’t voluminous, perhaps a bone of contention for some, but I feel like it is appropriate considering the book’s length. Moreover, you don’t judge the research an author marshals for a book by volume.

Her tone is never too aggressive, but her writing engages readers from the outset and doesn’t shy away from direct address. Focusing, over the course of three parts, on what you can do to change the physical dimensions of your office, what you can do to shape your team members into the best versions of their professional self, and what you can do to bring your own capabilities to full blossom is a natural progression for Whatever Works. If affords Lobel the opportunity to present her case for these “cues” in near irrefutable fashion.

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/52686740-whatever-works

The book isn’t long and the structure gives readers the latitude of diving into sections of the book of particular relevance to them. I recommend first time readers take it on from cover to cover, however, as it is important to have Lobel’s fully rounded presentation rather than a truncated substitute that may leave loose ends and erroneous impressions on readers. Despite the instructive air pervading much of the book, Lobel deserves credit for never coming off heavy-handed with readers.

Her measured and convivial voice makes Whatever Works: The Small Cues that Make a Surprising Difference in Our Success at Work – and How to Create a Happier Office both an inviting and informative reading experience. It isn’t likely to lose relevance anytime soon either. The lessons she discusses throughout this book are time-tested and certain to continue abiding for many years to come. Thalma Lobel’s second book is a modest achievement in sheer length, but she packs a lifetime of observations and thought into its slim duration.

Nicole Killian

About The Author

Nicole Killian

Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

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