back arrowView show

Poor Communicators

Episode description

Is miscommunication a constant problem at your workplace? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Holly Weeks, a lecturer at Harvard University. They talk through what to do when your coworker won’t stop talking, your boss overcommunicates with everyone on a project, or a leader keeps changing what you’re supposed to do.

From Alison and Dan’s reading list:

Book: Failure to Communicate by Holly Weeks — “It helps to think of a tough conversation as a landscape through which we and our counterpart move. If we look at a landscape expecting to see a battlefield, that’s how we will see it. But the landscapes of difficult conversations don’t have to be battlefields.”

HBR: How to Tell a Coworker They’re Annoying You by Caroline Webb — “The trick here is to pick one specific incident and describe what I call the ‘true facts’: the things you know for sure, stripped of emotion, interpretation, or generalization. For me, that meant not saying things like ‘Your edits suck’ or ‘You’re not giving me enough space.’ These statements are debatable, because the other person can say ‘That’s not true.’ And because they’re so broadly critical, they’re more likely to put your colleague’s brain on the defensive—meaning they won’t be at their most expansive and generous as they respond. Instead, aim for something that feels more like ‘What I noticed was [fact, fact, fact].’ Be as precise and concrete as you can, even if you think there’s a big issue at stake.”

HBR: Managing 3 Types of Bad Bosses by Vineet Nayar — “Omniscient leaders will challenge you and mire your ideas in discussions about the pros and cons if you present them as prescriptions. However, they love spotting great ideas themselves. Try presenting your ideas as if they are half-baked, or as though you’re unsure of their efficacy and need to hone them. That will ensure immediate buy-in by your supervisor, and rapid decisions.”

HBR: When Your Boss Is Terrible at Leading Meetings by Paul Axtell — “Stepping up and offering to do something will usually be appreciated and respected. However, we all know that our ability to speak frankly with our boss is determined by the level of trust and respect that exists between us. If your boss values what you bring to the group, you can be straightforward: ‘Sam, I think we can raise the quality of our meetings by doing a couple of things differently. If you agree, I would be willing to do the following…’”

episodes iconMore Episodes

Counteroffers

April 18th, 2019

34:58

Should you accept your boss’s counteroffer to stay at the organization? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Leigh Thompson, a …

Overcoming Negativity

April 4th, 2019

30:57

Do you ruminate endlessly on difficult work situations? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of David DeSteno, a psychologist at …

Benefits and Perks

March 21st, 2019

32:31

Are you taking full advantage of your job’s benefits and perks? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of PwC chief people officer Mike …

Building Trust

March 7th, 2019

34:59

Could your workplace be more trusting? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of organizational psychologist Liane Davey. They talk …

Critical Feedback

February 21st, 2019

33:21

Do you need to get better at giving and receiving feedback? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of consultant Ben Dattner. They talk …

Working Mothers

February 7th, 2019

36:37

Are you struggling to balance career and family? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of career coach Daisy Dowling. They talk through what to do when you’re returning from maternity leave, planning to …

Getting Sidelined

January 24th, 2019

38:53

Have you been sidelined at work? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Bill Taylor, a cofounder of Fast Company. They talk through what to do when your responsibilities have been reduced, you’ve been …

Hard Conversations

January 10th, 2019

32:29

Are you dreading a work discussion? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Leslie John, a professor at Harvard Business School. They …

Bored and Disengaged

December 27th, 2018

29:57

Have you checked out at work? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Dan Cable, a professor at London Business School. They talk …

Job-Hopping

December 13th, 2018

32:14

Are you worried about being seen as a job-hopper? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Allison Rimm, a career coach and former executive. They talk through how to leave after a brief time on the job, …

Personal Rebranding

November 29th, 2018

31:32

Do you need a career makeover? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Dorie Clark, the author of Reinventing You. They talk through …

Dysfunctional Teams

November 15th, 2018

31:37

Is your teamwork not working? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Amy Edmondson, a professor at Harvard Business School. They talk …

Race Issues

November 1st, 2018

31:51

How does race affect your workplace? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Tina Opie, a management professor at Babson College. They …

Underpaid (Live)

October 18th, 2018

33:39

Do you deserve a higher salary? In a live taping with an audience of compensation experts, Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of

Remote Workers

October 4th, 2018

32:48

How does working remotely complicate your career? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Siobhan O’Mahony, a professor at Boston …

Resignations

September 20th, 2018

34:45

Are you looking to quit your job? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of David Burkus, a management professor at Oral Roberts University. They talk through what to do when you want to call out a toxic …

Ineffective Leaders

September 6th, 2018

35:34

Does your organization lack quality leadership? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Peter Bregman, a leadership expert. They talk through what to do when your leaders are indecisive, unprofessional, or …

Medical Leaves

August 23rd, 2018

31:40

Have you taken extended time off due to an illness? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Anne Sugar, a cancer survivor and an executive coach. They talk through what to do when you’re recovering from an …

Firings

July 26th, 2018

32:47

Is a recent firing weighing on you? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Susan David, a psychologist and lecturer at Harvard Medical …

Family Businesses

July 12th, 2018

35:11

Are you struggling with the complications of working in a family business? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Ted Clark, who runs …

Performance Reviews

June 29th, 2018

36:59

Do performance reviews fill you with anxiety? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at the …

Annoying Subordinates

June 14th, 2018

35:41

Does your direct report get on your nerves? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Art Markman, a psychology professor at the …

Office Spaces

May 31st, 2018

31:53

Is your office killing your productivity? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Pete Bacevice, a workplace researcher at the global …

Lateral Moves

May 17th, 2018

32:10

Could a lateral move help your career? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Priscilla Claman, a career coach and former HR …

Toxic Workplaces

May 3rd, 2018

38:47

If your workplace is toxic, can you change it? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Nicholas Pearce, an associate professor at …

Bad Bosses

April 20th, 2018

37:37

Is your boss making your life miserable? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Moshe Cohen, a senior lecturer at Boston University’s …

Career Transitions

April 5th, 2018

35:56

Do you want to shake up your career? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Whitney Johnson, the author of Disrupt Yourself. They talk through what to do when you’ve trained for one career and long for …

Pay Injustices

March 23rd, 2018

36:41

Are you getting paid unfairly? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Shirli Kopelman, a professor at the University of Michigan’s …

Generational Conflict

March 8th, 2018

35:15

Do you have a hard time with older or younger co-workers? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Jennifer Deal, the co-author of What …

Difficult People

February 22nd, 2018

36:14

Do you work with a jerk? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Stanford management professor Bob Sutton, an expert in dealing with …

Office Romances

February 8th, 2018

36:30

Have you ever had a romantic encounter at work? Dan and Alison discuss the minefield of workplace romances with biological anthropologist Helen …

First-time Bosses

February 8th, 2018

36:14

What should you do when you become the boss? Co-hosts Alison Beard and Dan McGinn answer your questions with the help of Harvard Business School …

Introducing Dear HBR:

January 16th, 2018

2:34

The advice show for workplace dilemmas. We take your questions and offer a better way forward.

Loading ...

Download the RadioPublic app for
 FREE and never miss an episode.

Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store