Authors: Lowell H. Lamberton MBA, and Leslie Minor PhD
: McGraw-Hill – 476 pages
Book Review by
: Sonu Chandiram

This book is based on tried and tested principles of human behavior derived from research in psychology and social science, as well as the years of knowledge and experience the authors have gained in real-life dealing with business executives, and ordinary people, including family members.

This book is based on time-tested theories – in the areas of group theory, management theory, personality theory and relationship theory – that have been played out in different situations, and their hypotheses were proven to be true.

From a personal practical viewpoint – with five years studying sales techniques and sales management strategies, and many years successfully practicing them – I can tell you that there are right ways and there are wrong ways of dealing with people. One should not go into an encounter with a “what will be, will be” attitude. One should go prepared to a meeting, with mutual benefit as the intended goal and expected outcome.

In short, using the authors’ words, this book is based on:

  • Down-to-earth
  • Experience-based
  • Grounded in sound research and theory

With a dual basis of scientific research and practical experience, the authors have developed this book as a useful guide to success in human relations. It is organized into four parts and it covers what I think are the main essential areas (and topics within them) to master in the field of human relations. So below is an outline of the 4 Parts, with 16 chapters, in the Brief Contents of this very practical but research-tested book:

  1. Human Relations and You
    1. Human Relations: A Background
    2. Self-Concept and Self-Esteem in Human Relations
    3. Self-Awareness and Self-Disclosure
    4. Attitudes and Values in Human Relations
    5. Motivation: Increasing Productivity
  1. Human Relations in Groups
    1. Communication and Human Relations
    2. People, Groups, and Teams
    3. Achieving Emotional Control
  1. Building Your Human Relations Skills
    1. Individual and Organizational Change
    2. Creativity and Human Relations
    3. Conflict Management
    4. Stress and Stress Management
    5. Your External and Internal Customers
  1. Thriving in a Changing World
    1. Human Relations in a World of Diversity
    2. Business Ethics and Social Responsibility
    3. A Productive Workplace and Success

You will find it delightful to discover that the material in this book is presented in small “easily-digestible” chunks of information. It appears as if the graphic designer or layout artist of this book worked very closely to convey the main points in each chapter un a variety of interesting ways that are pleasing to the eyes. Some of the features and techniques employed in this effort are:

  • The bold layout of the first page of each chapter with the chapter title in large all-caps letters, with the points to be learned under Learning Objectives and steps to be taken under Strategies for Success       
  • A feature on a person on the second page of each chapter with title of the story, a photo of the person, with mini-sections entitled Situation, Discovery and Think About It
  • Many boxes entitled Real-World Example bring concepts to life and aid in learning
  • Full-color charts attract reader attention and engagement
  • More About boxes help move eyes around and help digest the points made
  • Case Study segments focus the reader on a narrative
  • Case Study Questions help develop creative-thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Working It Out situations help develop judgment in choosing the right thing to do

This is one of the best textbooks I have come across in a long time. The skillful layout is truly extraordinary, and I believe it makes this book extremely effective.

Lowell H. Lamberton, MBA is a business professor with an extensive background in both writing and business. He has worked as an expert consultant to many businesses, especially in the area of human behavior, specializing in organizational behavior and management. He currently teaches management, human relations and communications classes at Central Oregon Community College. He lives in Bend, Oregon, with his wife Ruth, who is an artist.

He holds two degrees in English, one from Walla Walla College and the other from the University of Nebraska. He holds an MBA and an advanced professional certificate in management from Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. Besides this textbook, he has also coauthored Working with People: A Human Relations Guide with Leslie Minor

Leslie Minor, PhD is a social psychologist and sociologist with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Washington (Seattle) and a master’s degree and PhD from the School of Social Ecology at the University of California (Irvine). Her teaching career spans more than 20 years, with teaching experience at large and small colleges, public and private, two-year and four-year institutions, in the United States and abroad, in online and traditional formats.

Currently, she is a member of the management team at Long Beach College in Long Beach, California. She also continues to teach online as an adjunct faculty member at Linfield College in Oregon. Dr. Minor believes that her most rigorous and satisfying on-the-job training in teaching and administration came from rearing her three sons, Demitrius, Zamir, and Jawan.