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Your First Read

A Fast Company book recommendation for new hires.

Forget the golden rule. in your new workplace, don't treat anyone the way you want to be treated. The worst mistake you can make, say best-selling authors Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger, is to assume that other people communicate the same way you do. In The Art of SpeedReading People, the authors explain how you can "read" personality types - and tailor how you communicate with people accordingly.

One of the book's scenarios casts you as an employee whose new boss calls you in for a talk. In a tone that's all business, she quickly goes over your personnel file. Glancing at her watch, she asks if you have any questions. Then, as you leave, she starts to make a phone call. From this meeting, you can infer that she is a "traditionalist," someone who values hard work and dedication. You should take on extra assignments to impress her, and your emails to her should be concise.

SpeedReading makes good reading for anyone who wants to understand people - without stereotyping them. It can even help you figure out your own personality type.

Coordinates: $22.95. The Art of SpeedReading People: Harness the Power of Personality Type and Create What You Want in Business and in Life. Little, Brown, 800-968-7873;

A version of this article appeared in the June/July 1998 issue of Fast Company magazine.