Book Review: Rising Above a Toxic Workplace


If you’ve ever worked in what you’d describe as a “toxic” work environment, you’re not alone. Rising Above a Toxic Workplace is the newest book from psychologist Gary Chapman and his co-authors Paul White and Harold Myra, and it’s full of stories from workers describing the ways they’ve been demoralized, discouraged, and let down in the workplace. Their stories of how bosses have humiliated and berated them may increase your blood pressure if you work in a negative work environment.

Rising Above a Toxic Workplace is intended to give guidance on “taking care of yourself in an unhealthy environment”. While the book shows employees doing their best in one type of chaos or another – whether it’s managers who don’t know how to talk to people or organizations where ethics are questionable – the book is short on solutions. If you’ve purchased this book for yourself or someone you know in hopes that it will provide a clear plan to help them, you will probably be disappointed.

Rising Above a Toxic Workplace is probably best for readers who are just looking for somebody to say “It’s not you, it’s them.” If you’re in a work environment where you feel like something’s not right, or that the leadership style isn’t ok, this book will give you lots of stories and you may be able to relate to many of them. However, this is not a solutions-oriented book. There are some answers presented, but they are few, and they aren’t specific. For the most part, this book isn’t about “Rising” above a toxic workplace, but about “Describing” it.

FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

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