Making work work

Making Work Work is a book detailing Scott Hunter’s solutions to combat work-related stress. Hunter states that only 6 percent of Americans love their jobs. According to the Center for Disease Control, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, this accounts for $300 billion spent annually in stress-related compensation claims. Hunter’s book is aimed at alleviating these problems.

Scott Hunter started his career as an attorney. In the late ‘70s, he underwent a personal transformation and took many seminars and classes to improve his life. Hunter was inspired to give up his law practice and begin coaching businesses. He established The Hunter Partnership Alliance, a group that coaches businesses in success strategies based on the principles outlined in his book. Unlike other consulting services, his group coaches businesses on relationships and changing the way you view people, instead of the typical how-to-increase efficiency programs. I interviewed Scott via e-mail:

Q. How would you advise an employer (or employee) to introduce your book and practices in their workplace and avoid resistance to change?

A. It depends on whether it’s the employer or the employee. If it’s an employer, very frankly, I would advise them to bring us in to facilitate the introduction. That is always the best solution. It’s hard for people to hear the boss if they perceive him or her to be the enemy. Otherwise, the best way to introduce the practices in my book is to actually “be” the change they want to make. People will see the new behavior and will respond to it. Plus, people show up in your listening, so as your listening shifts, so do the people around you.

Q. A co-worker’s performance issues are negatively affecting the rest of the team and the quality of your product. The boss seems indifferent despite feedback from others and the co-worker is unresponsive as well. Is there anything you can do as an employee?

A. You paint a pretty bleak picture. If the boss is indifferent and the co-worker is unresponsive, it’s a pretty tough situation. The two choices are

(1) for the other team members to, as a group, confront the individual or

(2) have all of the other team members shift their listening of the co-worker and watch him or her show up in their new listening.

Q. In your Top Ten Workplace Complaints, number 2: “Bosses who don’t recognize, respect, or reward your efforts,” you advise people to take a risk and tell the boss how they feel, “and don’t make them wrong.”

Could you give a brief explanation of what you mean by “don’t make them wrong”?

A.It’s all about your intention, who the person is for you that you’re talking to. So, for example, if I have an upset with you and think that you are a bad, inconsiderate, mean, etc. etc. person, that’s who you are for me, that will be the context in which I deliver my message and you surely will feel like I’m making you wrong.

On the other hand, if I see the gold in you, if I realize that you are a wonderful person, but with some bad behaviors, if I don’t forget that there is a difference between who you are and how you behave, and if I truly want to contribute to you, and that is my intention, then very likely the communication will work. You have to talk to someone like they are someone you truly care about and not want to criticize or make them wrong for who they are.

Q. Once change is initiated using the principles in your book, how do you keep it going? Don’t people tend to fall back into negative patterns once the initial enthusiasm is over? Could you share a success story about this?

A. Change must be managed. When we start working in an organization, I tell the leadership that we will be there for at least six months. We have to introduce the principles and then give people lots of opportunities to practice the principles until they get good at it. And then the leadership must be committed to keeping it going. If not, people absolutely tend to fall back into negative patterns.

In my book, I mention a real estate company and share their purpose and culture. We started working with them by taking the nine key execs away for a three-day retreat. We then met with them several times, worked with the next level of management, and coached the president on a weekly basis for about four months. We followed up with the individual execs to see how the president was doing. They all agreed to support each other in making the changes they committed to. In four months, it was a totally new company and it continues today.

Making Work Work is available for $19.95 directly from Hunter’s web site,, by selecting Learning Resources from the menu. It is also available at Hunter is available as a motivational speaker and can be reached through his web site.

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