Book review: The Cow in the Parking Lot

Emma De Vita reviews The Cow in the Parking Lot, by Leonard Scheff and Susan Edmiston

What do cows and parking spaces have to do with managing a third sector workforce?

Quite a lot, if your day-to-day life involves finding yourself in a situation where you might succumb to feelings of frustration or anger.

The Cow in the Parking Lot, by Leonard Scheff and Susan Edmiston, says you can manage your anger in a positive way through the power of Buddhism. So when a colleague screws up, a donor pulls out or a charity campaign misfires, reach for the yoga mat, assume the meditation position and chant your cares away ...

You may be wondering where the cow comes in. Well, imagine you're in a supermarket car park, circling for that elusive space. You find one, but before you can reverse in, someone else has swiped it. Now imagine that, instead of another driver, a cow has lumbered into the space and settled down. Your anger dissolves into bemusement.

Scheff and Edmiston explain that once we understand our anger "buttons", we can defuse a situation if they're pushed. Alternatively, just picture the cause of your frustration - be it a boss, colleague or donor - as a docile cow. That will soon have you smiling.

- Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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