Social Thinking at Work
“a game changer…” — Special Education Advisor
By Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke
This 205-page book was written based on our clinical experience working with very high functioning adults who have social learning challenges. Another possible title for this book was, “Good Intentions Are Not Good Enough,” given our observation that our clients have such good intentions and simply want to be appreciated for what they are attempting to contribute (just like all of us)! In this book, we have explained the ideas and lessons we often review in our clinical sessions to help our professional adults learn about the social world cognitively since they have struggled to learn this intuitively.
Many of our adults who struggle socially don’t identify their problems with diagnostic labels. We also find our students/clients learn from a stronger base when exploring their own social cognition/social learning abilities and challenges rather than exploring which label fits them best. For this reason, we have avoided referring to diagnostic labels in this book.
We have also found that as our clients age into adulthood, there are few constructive and detailed guides for how social emotional processing is refined in the adult world, particularly the workplace. While many of our clients are highly skilled employees, their relative weakness in building and sustaining relationships at work can limit their success.
Social functioning in the workplace is complicated for us all! Most adults continue to learn to develop better social coping strategies with age; our clients with social learning challenges are very capable of learning but need information about the social emotional relationship process presented in a more directed, stair stepped manner.
The title’s from the book’s chapters help to convey the scope of the information covered in the book. In each chapter we explore the issues in depth with specific ideas for the reader to explore.
Introduction: The Social Mind: It’s Always on the Job, Even When You’re Off the Job
Chapter 1: Social Thinking: What Is It, and How Is It Different From Social Skills?
Chapter 2: What Plays Into Good Communication Skills?
Chapter 3: Emotions: The Uninvited Guest That Keeps Showing Up
Chapter 4: Perspective Taking: Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?
Chapter 5: The Four Steps of Communication
Chapter 6: The Core of Communication
Chapter 7: Fitting In
Chapter 8: Relating at Work
Chapter 9: Social Technology: How It’s Changing the Way We Communicate
Chapter 10: Social Behavior Maps: Navigating the Social-Emotional World
Chapter 11: Strategies: Tips and Pointers
Our final chapter provides points of exploration for the reader to develop better self-awareness of their own social functioning as well as tips to help them continue to learn new concepts and skills related to each of the previous chapters in the book.
The audience for this book is intended to be the person with social learning challenges. However, we also encourage people working in HR departments to avail themselves of this information. One of the greatest challenges in the workplace is developing strategies for all employees to address social emotional issues in an honest manner while also providing constructive ideas to help each of us to improve. There are few people who are truly adept at managing their own and other’s thoughts and emotions, all of the time!
Through this book, we hope to encourage the learning and use of clear strategies to foster healthier social emotional relationships in the workplace, community and home.
Special Education Advisor, by Dennise Goldberg:
“`Social Thinking at Work: Why Should I Care,’ by Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke is a game changer. This book provides practical advice to every adult whether you are on the Autism Spectrum, Neurotypical (NT), or somewhere in between on how to navigate the social intricacies involved with the workplace. I have long held the opinion that the ability to socialize and get along with people is as important to creating a successful career as being good at your job. Thus, success very often requires a combination of academic intelligence and social intelligence. Social Thinking at Work creates a roadmap for those individuals with weaknesses in social intelligence to `better understand the expectations of the social mind’… I highly recommend this book to anyone that has ever experienced social challenges at work but especially for those adults on the autism spectrum or with known social weaknesses.”
Special Needs Book Review:
“Social Thinking at Work: Why Should I Care? is helpful to all adults in the workplace who wish they could blend in and have a better relationship with the others they meet or work with every day. You will benefit greatly from this book if:
- You are unable to pick up facial or verbal cues.
- You miss subtle behaviours used to convey emotions.
- You struggle to recognize people’s feelings.
- You have problems entering or exiting a group.
- In a group you do not know what to do if you are not talking.
- You do not know how to interpret sarcasm or read between the lines.
- You can’t get people to listen to your ideas.
Social Thinking at Work: Why Should I Care? is also for parents, educators and service providers to teach the Social Thinking required for the development of real social skills. If your are an employer or work in the Human Relations department for a company, this book will help you understand human behavior and help you be more aware of the different feelings and needs of some of your employees.”
“Michelle’s books… are extremely practical and full of positive solutions” – Stephen Borgman, Psychology Today
“Needing help to understand social interaction in the workplace? Michelle Winner and Pamela Crooke are the ones to show you the ropes. This user-friendly guide to understanding social thinking on the job is a much-needed guide which simply and clearly outlines why brilliant workers might not be succeeding socially. If you are puzzled about why your work is of exceptional quality, but you are still not accepted by your co-workers, this guide is for you!” – Donna B. Wexler, MA, CCC-SLP
About the Authors
Michelle Garcia Winner is a Congressional-award winning speech-language pathologist who specializes in treating individuals who are experiencing social and communication problems. She runs a clinic in San Jose, CA, has authored number books and speaks internationally on the Social Thinking treatment approach she developed. She serves on the panel of professional advisers of the Autism Society of America.
Pam Crooke is part of the clinical faculty at San Jose State University and senior therapist at the Social Thinking Center in San Jose, CA. Prior to joining Social Thinking, she conducted research published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders on the effectiveness of the Social Thinking Vocabulary in the teaching of students with high-functioning autism.
- For: Parents, professionals and individuals to use on their own
- Ages: High school students through adulthood
- Published: 2011
- Publisher: Think Social Publishing and North River Press
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 202
- Item: 9781936943128
- ISBN: 9781936943128