The Art and Ethics of being A Good Colleague by Dr. Michael J. Kuhar (Review)

image001The 21st Century version of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People has just been published by prominent Emory University researcher and author Michael J. Kuhar.

Dr. Kuhar, PhD, has written a pioneering book on collegial ethics that lays out principles and ground rules to help colleagues get along better in the workplace. The book has been endorsed by His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama.

Modern Carnegie-Like Book Endorsed By Dalai Lama Tells How to Get Along With Coworkers


ATLANTA, GEORGIA – The 21st Century version of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends And Influence People has just been published by prominent Emory University researcher and author Michael J. Kuhar.

Dr. Kuhar, PhD, has written a pioneering book on collegial ethics that lays out principles and ground rules to help colleagues get along better in the workplace.

The guide on treating colleagues with fairness, justice and kindness has such life-changing potential that it has been endorsed by His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, enlightened world leader in India.

“This book by Professor Michael Kuhar focuses on many important ideas,” wrote the Dalai Lama. “He describes how a broader awareness of human nature, derived from scientific enquiry, combined with the practice of fairness and compassion leads to friendlier relations with others.”

The Art And Ethics Of Being A Good Colleague (ISBN 978-1479459325, 2013 Create Space, 157 pages, $13.95) is believed to be the only book to offer a comprehensive approach to interact with colleagues in more ethical and happier ways. The book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

“We interact with coworkers all the time,” says Kuhar. “Yet we have few guidelines on how to do this. My book’s premise is that we need to be supportive and fair to our colleagues in both good and bad times. This approach provides a much higher quality of life for us all.”

Dr. Kuhar, a research specialist well known for his work in substance abuse, worked for the National Institute on Drug Abuse and for the schools of medicine at Johns Hopkins and Yale before becoming a professor at Emory University in Atlanta.

Dr. Kuhar said he wrote the book on collegial ethics because over the years he had seen the outcomes of situations where people are supported and those where they were not and understands fully that support can make a huge, positive difference for individuals and in group outcomes.

“We interact with coworkers all the time yet have few guidelines on how to do this,” Kuhar added. “This book approaches relationships with coworkers and superiors from the point of view of ethics, related skills, and what’s good for us all. It is a powerful guide on treating others well and being treated fairly in return that provides a much higher quality of work life for all.”

The Dalai Lama and his staff became acquainted with Dr. Kuhar after the expert on substance abuse spent three separate periods teaching at one of the Dalai Lama’s monastery in India on attachment and desire – major Buddhist themes as well as in the science of addiction – in a special initiative sponsored by Emory University.

While much has been written in employee training about self-advancement, competition, and promoting self-interests very little has been published about compassion and fairness in the workplace.

About Dr. Michael J. Kuhar
A researcher and professor of neuropharmacology at Emory University School of Medicine and at the Yerkes National Primate research Center, Dr. Kuhar is involved in research dealing with substance abuse. He has authored more than 900 publications of many types, has trained more than 60 students, fellows and visitors, presented more than 300 seminars, and has helped Emory University receive some $20 million in grants.

Purchase  The Art and Ethics of Being a Good Colleagueon Kindle at Amazon.

Purchase The Art and Ethics of Being a Good Colleaguein Paperback on Amazon.


Selections from
The Art And Ethics Of Being A Good Colleague


  • This book explains what collegial ethics is, its value, the impediments to it, and so forth. It is theoretical and didactic. As the writing progressed, it also became a self-help book. This book is an attempt at being a brief but complete discourse on collegiality.
  • Given how desirable a peaceful environment can be, we sometimes choose to impose the peace by decree without addressing the issues.  But this can backfire and cause bigger problems.
  • Problems that are not dealt with can fester and seethe to the point that the problem becomes amplified. In those cases, keeping the peace as a sacred goal could be counterproductive.
  • One way to look at the brain and our behavior is to think of it as grandma’s attic. When we get there, we find many fascinating things; some are old and some are new. Some are recognizable and familiar, and some are a little strange and puzzling. We don’t know how some things got there or what they were used for. But they are there nevertheless and they did come from somewhere, and presumably had a purpose at some point.
  • Focusing on collegial ethics, which proposes supporting our colleagues, is needed to overcome the biases that we knowingly – or unknowingly – carry.
  • We can react rapidly and automatically; this skill derives from ancient parts of our brains that are highly toned for survival. Another kind of reaction is a slower one …. one that allows us to utilize reason and rational thought. The latter may take some time to kick in, and it is clear that we shouldn’t ignore this slower, more rational process.
  • The ability of self-deception helps us because, if we can convince ourselves that something is true, then we won’t show others any sign of the deception we are perpetrating. If we believe it ourselves, we can more easily convince others.
  • What we say not only impacts others; it also impacts us. We need to be more careful about what we put into words because language is the backbone of our involvement in groups and with colleagues, and we must honor and have courage about our real beliefs.
  • It is clear that through no fault of our own, we have a complex human nature. Part of it is collegial and part of it isn’t. But, it is also clear that we can modify our actions and behaviors and become more collegial.
  • Collegial ethics primarily has the colleague’s best interest in mind. Collegial ethics is primarily for the other person’s sake, although we all have much to gain from a more collegial world. Colleagues may resent your actions if they think you are out to advance your own agenda.
  • The guideline of dong no harm or minimizing harm may be especially useful when, for one reason or another, we don’t know the facts and cannot easily discover them.
  • When you know your personal fears, you can confront them and find your way through them. As you do the things your fear, the fear will diminish.
  • Mentoring is a needed skill because many find person to person learning with its immediate feedback more efficient and easier than advice from a text.
  • It is never justified to do harm to someone simply because you don’t like them.


Michael J. Kuhar: Author, Researcher, Substance Abuse Expert, Collegial Ethics Pioneer

Dr. Michael J. Kuhar, a Yearkes Researcher and Candler Professor of Neuropharmacology at Emory University School of Medicine, has devoted his recent professional life to studies of the cellular and anatomical bases of addiction.

Kuhar currently is involved in paving the way for a new class of drugs to target addiction and obesity. His research is leading to a better understanding of peptides and neurotransmitters involved in the regulation of feeding, body weight, drug reward and stress.

During his four decades in neuropharmacology and neuroscience, Dr. Kuhar has authored more than 900 publications of many types and has trained more than 60 students, fellows and visitors. He is the most cited researcher at Emory University.

Dr. Kuhar has presented more than 300 seminars, symposia lectures, special and keynote lectures since 1972. And through Dr. Kuhar’s efforts about $20 million in grants has been awarded to Emory University as of January 2013.

Michael Kuhar’s most recent book is The Art And Ethics Of Being A Good Colleague and he also published a book titled The
Addicted Brain: Why We Abuse Drugs, Alcohol and Nicotine
. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Research.

A recent interest of Dr. Kuhar has been working with Tibetan monks who are part of the community of the Dalai Lama in Exile. As a member of the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative (ETSI), he has taught neurotransmission and drug addiction as part of a neuroscience course for Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns.  Dr. Kuhar has travelled to India three times to be part of the ETSI.

In 2011, Dr. Kuhar received the Nathan B. Eddy Memorial Award from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence for his lifetime achievements in research that has helped advance the understanding of drug dependence.

Kuhar earned a BS in physics and philosophy from University of Scranton, and a PhD in biophysics and pharmacology from The Johns Hopkins University.

Before joining Emory University, Dr. Kuhar worked at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Yale University School of Medicine.

A native of Scranton, PA, the author has also lived in Boston, Baltimore and Atlanta. He is a widower with two adult children and two grandchildren and enjoys dancing, reading, travelling, and spending time with family.


My Review:

This book, THE ART AND ETHICS OF BEING A GOOD COLLEAGUE, has a lot of wonderful suggestions on how to show interest and how to care about your fellow employee, but sitting here thinking about the different work places I have had the opportunity to work (including a university), it is sadly laughable. It would be a perfect work place if people went back to the very basics of caring about one another and being truly concerned when their co-worker wasn’t up to par. The book does deal with a collegiate setting, so maybe I didn’t witness a lot of “promoting your fellow-man” because I was staff. To me, “the art of being a good colleague” should encompass everyone, regardless of position held. But, for sake of argument, this book deals mainly with a collegiate setting.

In our society today, which has long forgotten Dale Carnegie (one of my all-time favorite authors/speakers) and his wisdom, this book breathes a breath of fresh air. I truly found it astonishing that younger faculty members in university settings preferred collegiality and the culture of the department more than their workloads and compensation, yet a study done by Harvard University stated just that. In fact, collegial behavior is becoming required, and even used in the evaluation and promotion of faculty members.

Two section titles early on in the book show the shift between a dog eat dog world and a collegiate world: “Collegial Ethics Will Counterbalance ‘Accusative’ Ethics and We Harvest More When We Tend and Nourish Our Garden.” The book touches on how competition and bullying factor in to collegial ethics, emotion control, conflict resolution, and win-win strategies.

Overall, the book has merit and should be required reading for employees of any substantial company. It would be interesting to see the book’s message in action. I think the book is definitely suited more to the collegial environment, but has potential, in the right hands, to be a great business crossover tool. I am no longer “out” in the workforce, but deal with companies on a daily basis where employees are so uncordial to customers that I can only imagine what a joy they must be to work with. A lot of the book is just plain, good common sense.

It’s an interesting read and I can recommend it. I am giving THE ART AND ETHICS OF BEING A GOOD COLLEAGUE five stars. It is well-written and contains very useful information.

Purchase  The Art and Ethics of Being a Good Colleagueon Kindle at Amazon.

Purchase The Art and Ethics of Being a Good Colleaguein Paperback on Amazon.

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book was provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 


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