Don't Say That at Work - Lessons Learned from a Lifetime of Mistakes (DRM-Free Audiobook)

Michael D. Callaghan
7 ratings

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Audiobook available below

What the readers think:

"should be required reading by every employee!" ★★★★★

"Mike has a real gift with storytelling and this talent shines through in each chapter." ★★★★★

"Highly [recommended] for anyone in the professional world and in particular technology." ★★★★★

"Shows the importance of knowing when to be brutally honest, and when to keep stuff to yourself." ★★★★★

Written by a software professional with almost three decades of experience, this book is a must-read for anyone who has been told their communication style is "too confrontational."

You know what they say, "What you say and how you say it matters." That is precisely the premise of this book. The author explores the communication mistakes we all make. He has seen the pitfalls that await us all in communicating with one another. Using his own experiences, as well as those of others, he offers a unique perspective on the art of persuasion, demonstrating how to steer clear of pitfalls in our everyday communications. Readers will find both new and familiar scenarios that will help them understand how to communicate with greater effectiveness in any situation.

Mistakes in professional life are costly. They can lead to career-limiting scenarios and awkward personal relationships, or even worse. And when they happen, it's often too late to take them back. In Don't Say That at Work, you'll learn how to avoid making these mistakes in the first place.

If you've said something you regret, it's time to learn from your mistakes. The book's insightful tips will help you avoid saying things that will haunt you later, without sounding arrogant or condescending.

Don't wait. Get it now, and then remember: Don't say that at work!

Table of Contents

These are the topics included in the book:


  • Don't Succumb to Prejudice
  • Don't Assume Unwisely
  • Don't Get Angry


  • Don't Whine
  • Don't Use So Many TLAs
  • Don't Talk So Fast!
  • Don't Be Dishonest
  • Don't Be Too Honest
  • Don't Criticize in Public
  • Don't Talk Politics
  • Don't Blab on Social Media
  • Don't Provide Unnecessary Details
  • Don't Have an Attitude
  • Don’t Tell Me “No”


  • Don’t Interrupt
  • Don't Look at Your Feet
  • Don't Throw Temper Tantrums
  • Don't Demean Others
  • Don’t Air Your Grievances
  • Don't Be Rude 

What are people Saying?

D. Solomon (via Amazon)

Such a fun and enlightening read! Mike has a real gift with storytelling and this talent shines through in each chapter. Highly recommend for anyone in the professional world and in particular technology.

Steven Vore (via Booksprout)

Like most of us "experienced" folk, Michael has seen - and done - a lot in the workplace. Not all of it was good, of course; we all have our moments that we look back upon and wish we could change. Michael brings us some of his such moments in this easy-to-read yet enlightening book, aimed at helping you "step in it" fewer times than we did. Read and take heed.

Genifer S (via Booksprout)

I read business self-improvement books on a regular basis. Some books require you to have been "in the field" for a while to figure out how to apply their contents. This in not one of those books. In fact, I'm inclined to recommend it to every high school and college student before they start jobs or internships.
I appreciated the how each chapter walks the reader through examples of the problem behavior, analysis of where the person exhibiting the behavior may be coming from, and recommendations for how to either change the behavior, or respond to it.
I will also mention that this isn't just a business book. It is a roadmap to getting along with people in any situation, including the classroom, or, as one chapter relates, in airports when your flight has been canceled.
The situations in this book will be familiar to anyone in the workplace, no matter their employment background. The examples are oriented toward white collar workers, but the takeaways are utterly relevant to workers in all roles.
It's a quick read I would recommend to anyone looking to polish their interpersonal communication skills.

Mr Krikt (via Booksprout)

As a software developer myself I was surprised at how many of the anecdotes and warning tales I can empathise with, reminding me of my own mistakes or those of colleagues.
I think that people with of a few years within a similar office job will have had many opportunities to come to the same conclusions. That said, it would do no harm to refresh themselves, and each section is a chance to review your own behaviour which I enjoyed relating to my own experiences. The inclusion of recent anecdotes does drive home that this is an ongoing process of improvement.
I think this would be particularly useful as a shortcut to people fresh into this line of work.
Overall an enjoyable, manageable read.


Why did you write this book?

The idea of the book came about in response to a few tweets and a couple of blog posts about spelling, grammar, treating others with respect, and what happens when you fail spectacularly. Someone finally commented that I should consolidate all my stories and advice into one place. Don't Say That at Work was born.

Can I get a print version?

Yes, the print version is available through* and these country-specific Amazon stores: UK | DE | FR | ES | IT | JP | CA

Are you concerned about retaliation for any of the stories?

First of all, most of the stories are about things I did, which were entirely my own fault. 

That said, I have taken care not to reveal the identities of any individuals I describe in the book. It is possible that those who shared the experience with me could guess the people involved, but I'm not worried about that. They were there. 

I have also tried to be careful when naming names of my employer when things happened. In most cases, I believe I have treated them fairly. 

What if I hate it?

I don't want anyone to be unsatisfied with the book. If you don't like it, simply reply to the confirmation email within 30 days of your purchase and I'll refund your money.

Is it complete?

As of right now, it is complete. One thing I like about this sort of format is that mistakes are easy to correct. If you find a mistake or have other feedback, please feel free to let me know.

* Amazon links are paid affiliate links.


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