Self-Test: Are You a Certified A$$hole?

I am currently traveling in Australia and while in the airport in New York City, to pass time I was looking through the magazine shop for some reading material while on the short, easy 13+ hour flight. Yes, that's AFTER the 5+ hour flight to Los Angeles.

So, while deciding to get People or Star Magazine which will let me know how Heidi Montag is doing (don't know who she is? Good!) and what Kim Kardashian is up to, I came across in the best seller section the book The No A$$hole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace & Surviving One That Isn't by Robert I. Sutton, PhD.

I know fellow blogger and mediator (friend too, right?) Vickie Pynchon is currently working on a mediation book titled the ABC's of Mediation (or is it conflict resolution?), with "A" standing for A$$hole. Note, I am adding the "$" instead of "s" as I rarely use profanities and do not want some unknown Internet police to flag my post! However, I wonder if including this "a" word is the key to successfully writing a book on conflict?

Back to the book- admittedly i have yet to start reading the book as I bought one other, plus I brought two with me and yes, I fully admit I did also buy the People magazine issue! While going through the book, I came across on page 121 the test on how to find out if you are a certified a$$hole. While looking through it, I wondered if others in our field have read this and their thoughts on it.

I thought this could be potentially useful for conflict coaches and those helping people from the non-neutral position although mediators and ombudsman can use versions of these questions to gather more information and get the party(s) to reflect. I think if I am to ever use this test or a version of it, I might take out some the harsher wording- specifically having the word a$$hole included. I just cannot picture myself, in a neutral or non-neutral role, saying to a party, "Okay, we are now going to find out if you are an a$$hole, are you ready?"

The 24 question test is divided into three sections: What are your gut reactions to people; How do you treat other people, and how do people react to you?

I think this is a great way for people to self reflect and could help those involved in conflict look within instead of the much easier blaming others for the cause of the dispute.

Example questions include:

1. You feel surrounded by incompetent idiots- and you can't help letting them know the truth every now and then.

7. You are often jealous of your colleagues and find it difficult to be genuinely pleased for them when they do well.

17. Your jokes and teasing can get a bit nasty at times but you have to admit that they are pretty funny.

21. People often keep responding to your e-mails with hostile reactions, which often escalate into "flame wars" with these jerks.

Perhaps, we as conflict specialists, the test might help us too?


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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