A concise self-help book that contains exercises and insights for achieving greater fulfillment at work and beyond.
Tammy Dewar’s How to Forgive Your Boss is a well-reasoned and well-researched book that offers a new perspective to people who are struggling to flourish in their work lives, particularly while working under a difficult supervisor.
Dewar suggests that, rather than holding on to anger and resentment toward a bad boss, each individual should learn to see the bigger picture. What factors might be influencing a boss’s behavior? Dewar writes that all workers should keep personal responsibility in mind: every employee has the ability to choose how to respond to any situation.
The book is clearly organized around the concept of power, with chapters devoted to the price you pay, owning your own story, widening your world view, embracing frailty, and releasing baggage. Each chapter examines a different aspect of working with and reacting to a difficult person, and is accompanied by activities to help individuals learn more about themselves and how they respond to negativity. The book offers a powerful message, as Dewar asserts that the ability to thrive and succeed in work lies not with the boss, but with the employee. She writes, “By focusing on our bosses, we avoid our own learning and growth and shrink our own happiness.”
The text is accompanied by simple drawings that look like doodles in the margins of meeting notes. Though not particularly refined, these drawings fit the tone of the book and are very effective in illustrating the author’s ideas. Additionally, exercises throughout the book present a useful challenge; often long and requiring soul-searching, they stand to prove meaningful, and the purpose of each is explained well.
In one such exercise, the author suggests finding a purse or bag and filling it with objects that represent the size and weight of one’s emotions. This bag is then carried into a later exercise, when each object is examined, and thoughts related to the connected burden are unpacked. Dewar suggests that it is only when the emotional weight of a situation is released that a person can be truly unburdened. Such moments are revelatory. The book concludes with a useful list of references for further reading.
Though the ideas in this book are framed around forgiving a bad boss, they are applicable to all aspects of life. By letting go of anger and hurt, Dewar insists, it is possible to grow and thrive in any situation. How to Forgive Your Boss effectively teaches its audience how to let go of the past, reframe the present, and work toward a more successful future.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.