2010-12-02 / News

Local authors discuss new book about workplace conflicts

By Cindy Cingone

Finding a job in today’s economy is only half the problem. The other half is keeping the job. Competition to maintain employment in the current economic climate is particularly important. People are under extreme anxiety and stress to maintain their livelihood.

Jamestowner Kathleen Kelley Reardon, Ph.D., a management professor and workplace consultant, has written a new employment guide titled “Comebacks At Work: Using Conversation to Master Confrontation.” Along with her husband, Christopher Noblet, co-author and editor, the couple has written a book that can help an employee get out of a tight spot by learning to master confrontation simply by using conversation.

One of the ways a fellow coworker may keep his or her job is by demonstrating to their employer that they are “better than you” through verbal put-downs. Employees are protective and eagerly defensive. They can put you on the spot and expose your negative reactions thus jeopardizing your employment status.

“People’s reactions are frequently predictable,” Reardon said. “At the workplace they can be perceived as puppets or someone who can be manipulated. People get used to patterns, partners and friends. It is important to step back and realize that a dynamic exists.”

Everyone has gone through workplace confrontations only to think, often several hours later, that they should have said this or should have done that, and wished for a “do-over.” Reardon and Noblet’s new book says that 75 percent of the way people are treated on the job site is their own responsibility. Success or failure is dependent on how they handle conversations at work with coworkers and bosses.

“Life is a game of chess,” Reardon says. “Our book will teach you how to expand your options in a constructive way.”

“Comebacks” is available through Amazon or the local bookstore.

They also have a website – www. comebacksatwork.com – where they blog daily, giving their readers current insights into successful job-place management.


Reardon and Noblet have been married for 27 years and split their time between Schull, Ireland and Jamestown. This is their second collaboration. Their first was a book written for charity titled, “Childhood Denied: Ending the Nightmare of Child Abuse and Neglect.”

The author of seven other books including Amazon bestsellers “The Secret Handshake” and “It’s All Politics,” Reardon is also a professor of management at the USC Marshall School of Business. She worked three different jobs to help pay for her education. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi and received her doctorate from the University of Massachusetts.

Noblet received his MBA from the University of Southern California. He works as a freelance writer, speechwriter, and as a book editor, including all of his wife’s work.

The couple started dating while they both attended the University of Connecticut. They were undergraduates and sat across the table from each another during a debate class. “Our paths crossed several times,” Reardon said. “We first met in high school. Chris attended Stamford and I attended Strafford (both in Connecticut). We both went to the same football games.”

It wouldn’t be for another 10 years until Reardon and Noblet married.

Noblet’s grandmother and greatgrandparents came from Ireland and settled in Rhode Island. The couple moved to Jamestown because it was the ideal place for them to write and be creative. In addition to their book collaborations and blogging, Reardon writes for the Huffington Post and Noblet writes for Audiophile Voice magazine.


“Jamestown gives us the peace conducive for our writing goals,” they say. They enjoy neighborhood walks and lunch and dinner at the island’s restaurants. “Back in Schull, Ireland, the town shuts down for the winter. Jamestown is accessible all year long. There’s always something to do in Jamestown.”

Writing a much needed, howto workplace success book turned out to be one of them.

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