Review: The One-Life Solution by Dr. Henry Cloud

Down and Dirty: 4.5 out of 5

An excellent manual on how to bring the principles of Boundaries to the unique challenges of work environments.

As mentioned in my review of Boundaries by the same author, I felt that the information and tools within could be applied to all facets of life. However, sometimes it can feel difficult to do so.  My own personal attempt at setting a boundary at work met with outstanding failure in which I was invited to leave if I couldn’t handle the problems I was trying to talk over. It really stunned me how volatile the situation became, honestly. Since I didn’t have a place to go if I left, I stayed and let my boundary be violated.

What I loved about The One-Life Solution is Dr. Cloud directly deals with these types of situations. Obviously one needs to have a plan B if people are lording money, security or other needs over your head as ammunition and “the prize” for letting your boundaries be violated. He talks about employers who do this as well as big clients that you can’t ‘afford’ to stop doing business with.  In such cases Dr. Cloud explains the problem isn’t a boundaries issue, it’s a security issue. Go do the things needed to make yourself secure without the employer, client, etc and then you will be in the right position to set your boundaries.  Then, if the other can’t respect them, you can simply NOT put up with the treatment any longer.

I also very much enjoyed the concept of a time and word audit. I’d never considered performing one before and have started on my time-audit at the writing of this post. I’ll perform a word audit later, this time one is already very (heh) time consuming. Already, one-day into the process, I’m realizing a lot more about where my time is really going and how I’m wasting it or letting myself get regularly distracted.

Dr. Cloud discusses how to handle tough employees who aren’t performing and how to approach people who don’t change after promising they’ll change after your last ten talks with them. Plenty of wonderful, sound advice.

This was the first book of Dr. Clouds that felt more organic and less academic. There’s certainly still his personality and writing style, but it was easier to consume and consider than previous books of his. I love this book and highly recommend it!

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