Reading the Room: Group Dynamics for Coaches and Leaders

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9780470903438: Reading the Room: Group Dynamics for Coaches and Leaders
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Praise for Reading the Room

"If you believe, as I do, that tackling our toughest problems inorganizations and societies will require significant advances inthe human domain of how we think and interact, then you will findthis book a wonderful resource for a healthier future."—PeterSenge, senior lecturer, leadership and sustainability, MIT SloanSchool of Management; and founding chair, Society forOrganizational Learning (SoL)

"A must-read for anyone truly interested in gaining access toand managing their own actions/behavior as well as all those wework with, live with, and interact with. It will shift the way you,others, and the world occur for you."—Michael C. Jensen, JesseIsidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, emeritus,Harvard Business School

"David Kantor is one of the very few master innovators andtheorists in organizational leadership. In this combined story andpractice guide, Kantor helps leaders see the hidden dynamics of thegroups they lead, and the personal and social factors that shapetheir relationships with those groups." —Art Kleiner, editorin chief, strategy+business

"Kantor addresses the fundamental issue that leaders aresurprisingly inept in conversation and in managing groups. Leadersand managers at all levels should be learning these concepts inorder to improve their own ability to analyze what is going on andreact appropriately."—Edgar H. Schein, professor emeritus, MITSloan School of Management; and author, Helping: How to Offer,Give, and Receive Help

"An exceptional book in the true sense of the word. It standsalone in its grasp of what it takes to succeed as a leader. It'snot simply about mastering the five forces, milking cash cows,accelerating experience curves, or even spurring disruptiveinnovation. It's about reading the room. Leaders who gain masteryof what David Kantor has to teach in this book will achieve truesuccess, not just as leaders, but as people." —Diana M. Smith,chief executive partner, New Profit Inc.; and author, The Elephantin the Room: How Relationships Make or Break the Success of Leadersand Organizations

"There are only a few wise masters in the world when it comes toany real understanding of leader-ship, and even fewer who sharetheir secrets. David Kantor is one of them, and in Reading the Roomwe have brilliantly laid out before us both a unique lens and ahighly practical method that will change for good the way you lead,and more, the way you think. Not to be missed!" —WilliamIsaacs, author, Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together; andsenior lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management

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From the Inside Flap:

In Reading the Room, renowned systems psychologist and familytherapist David Kantor applies his theory of structural dynamics tohelp leaders and coaches understand and improve communicationwithin their teams. He helps readers understand how and why theyand their teams communicate differently when faced with low-stakesor high-stakes situations, and he provides a framework to helpimprove leadership behavior in high-stakes situations.

Acknowledging that early personal history and adultrelationships have an impact on individual leadership andcommunication, the author discusses how leaders' awareness of theirpersonal histories can help them become more effective in theirleadership teams.

Armed with the information outlined in this groundbreaking book,coaches and leaders will be able to: intervene effectively toproduce positive change in both the group's dynamics and itsoutcomes, help people in the room alter their behavior to betterreach their aspirations, identify the recurring sequences ofbehavior taking place in a group, understand why differingindividual preferences for boundaries and rules affect theirconversation, and much more.

Written to help readers understand the reasons why leaders andteams get along—or don't—when they communicate in agroup, this book will serve as the leader's "go-to" resource forinsight and perspective in leading their team.

About the Author:

David Kantor, Ph.D., is a systems psychologist, organizational consultant, and clinical researcher. Kantor was formerly the head of Monitor Kantor Enterprises (MKE), a business unit of Monitor Group. Kantor has been a professor at Harvard University, Harvard University Medical School, and Tufts University Medical School. He also founded and served as director of the Kantor Family Institute, a postgraduate training center in Boston, and The Kantor Institute, a training center for consultants, coaches, and leaders.

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