Getting Along Book Summary - Getting Along Book explained in key points
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Getting Along summary

Amy Gallo

How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People)

3.2 (228 ratings)
7 mins

Brief summary

Getting Along by Amy Gallo is a guide to handling difficult conversations and relationships at work. It provides practical advice and tools to communicate effectively, manage emotions, and resolve conflicts.

Table of Contents

    Getting Along
    Summary of 3 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 3

    Workplace relationships strongly impact your work life, productivity, and happiness.

    It might be a reasonable assumption that a Fortune 500 executive in a corner office has a better, happier work experience than someone toiling away on, say, a factory floor for minimum wage. Or maybe you’d make the safe bet that an aid worker for an inspirational social justice organization comes home feeling more joy and satisfaction than a fast-food worker.

    Not so fast.

    If that executive is surrounded by aggressive, hostile coworkers in a dog-eat-dog environment, but the factory worker has at least three good friends they enjoy joking with daily, the exact opposite could be true.

    If that fast-food worker is supported by a caring boss while the aid worker’s ideas are constantly appropriated by their manager, handing fries out through a drive-through window may indeed be more rewarding work than addressing poverty.

    When it comes to job satisfaction, workers in mundane jobs can feel just as satisfied and fulfilled as those with inspiring jobs. And just what is the secret to a satisfying work life? Salary and benefits matter, of course, but the most important factor for a satisfying work life might be plain old-fashioned social connections.

    Here’s an interesting study that examined the effect of supportive people. Two groups were taken to the base of a hill, one group with solo climbers and the other group with paired-up climbers. Each person was given a heavy backpack and asked to estimate how steep the hill in front of them was. Those who were paired up overwhelmingly estimated a gentler, more doable climb than the ones who faced the prospect alone.

    The opposite holds true as well. Studies show that those who are unhappy at work due to work relationships said they deliberately work less or less well. During the COVID-19 pandemic, one study found that people who reported being less productive also felt less connected.

    In extreme situations, dealing with unpleasant or hostile work environments can even have a detrimental effect on your health. In one study, couples were separated into two groups. One group contained couples that fought a lot while the other had pairs who reported strong, supportive relationships. Tiny cuts were made on the participants’ skin. Those who were in the happier relationships actually healed faster!

    You’re actually wired to be affected by how you’re treated by others. When your manager berates you in front of your colleagues, or you find out a coworker trashed your project behind your back, your brain feels like you were physically attacked. Your amygdala –an almond-shaped area in your brain – releases cortisol and adrenaline, fight-or-flight hormones that can lead to physical manifestations such as shallow breathing or a clenched jaw. Not fun – and in the long run, detrimental to your career.

    So what should you do if you are trapped in a workplace with less-than-ideal relationships?

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    What is Getting Along about?

    Getting Along (2022) describes the importance of workplace interactions and their effects on productivity and creativity.

    Getting Along Review

    Getting Along (2020) by Amy Gallo is a valuable resource for improving interpersonal relationships and fostering effective communication. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Offers practical tools and techniques for resolving conflicts and handling difficult conversations, empowering readers to navigate challenging situations with grace.
    • Combines expert advice, research, and real-life stories, making it relatable and insightful, while providing actionable strategies for building stronger connections.
    • With its engaging writing style and relatable examples, the book guarantees an interesting read, keeping readers engaged from start to finish.

    Who should read Getting Along?

    • Managers who want to create positive work environments
    • People unhappy with their colleagues
    • Anyone interested in workplace relationships

    About the Author

    Amy Gallo is a contributing editor for Harvard Business Review and cohost of the popular podcast Women at Work. She writes extensively about interpersonal dynamics, gender, and effective communication.

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    Getting Along FAQs 

    What is the main message of Getting Along?

    The main message of Getting Along is to improve our relationships and communication skills in order to foster positive interactions.

    How long does it take to read Getting Along?

    The reading time for Getting Along may vary, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Getting Along a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Getting Along is worth reading as it provides valuable insights and practical advice for navigating relationships and improving communication.

    Who is the author of Getting Along?

    The author of Getting Along is Amy Gallo.

    What to read after Getting Along?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Getting Along, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Difficult People by Renée Evenson
    • Can We Talk? by Roberta Chinsky Matuson
    • Jerks at Work by Tessa West
    • Surrounded by Narcissists by Thomas Erikson
    • Pageboy by Elliot Page
    • People Skills by Robert Bolton
    • How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less by Nicholas Boothman
    • The Body by Bill Bryson
    • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
    • The No Asshole Rule by Robert I. Sutton