Recent Comments

    Amy Gallo: Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People)

    Amy Gallo is a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review, where she writes about workplace dynamics. She is the author of the HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict and co-hosts HBR’s Women at Work podcast. As a speaker and workshop facilitator, Gallo has helped thousands of leaders deal with conflict more effectively and navigate complicated workplace dynamics. She is a graduate of Yale University and has a master’s in public policy from Brown University. In this episode of Love in Action, Amy discusses a few of the archetypes from her book Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People) and some solutions for co-existing in the workplace.


    Watch on Youtube

    Show Notes

    This episode is brought to you by Businessolver. Since 1998, Businessolver has delivered market-changing benefits technology, and services supported by an intrinsic responsiveness to client needs. The company creates client programs that maximize benefits program investment, minimize risk exposure, and engage employees with easy-to-use solutions and communication tools to assist them in making wise and cost-efficient benefits selections. Founded by HR professionals, Businessolver’s unwavering service-oriented culture and secure SaaS platform provide measurable success in its mission to provide complete client delight.

    Clean Up Your Side of the Street

    When it comes to workplace relationships, Amy shares foundational tips that will apply to working with all of the archetypes. Raise your self-awareness, get the big picture, and ask yourself, “How can I make sure my thoughts, actions, and behaviors are aligned with my values and goals in my relationships” [15:12] Be cognizant of how you can be inviting or triggering behavior of the “difficult people” you may face at work.

    The Archetypes

    In this episode, Amy and Marcel cover three archetypes:

    The Passive Aggressive Peer
    When working with a co-worker demonstrating passive-aggressive behavior, consider “What is the underlying message?”. [21:36] Oftentimes passive aggressive behaviors come from a place of fear, insecurity, or desire to avoid conflict. Frame conversations and interactions in a way that may open up their true thoughts or message and invite a safe place.

    The Pessimist
    Working with a pessimist co-worker can create a negative fog in the workplace. It’s important to validate their feelings, find a place for their “risk assessment”, and especially set forth a practice that invites positivity and support. “If you set boundaries against extreme pessimists, that dark cloud over their head might change.” [30:35] They might not become ultra-positive with these practices but their self-awareness might rise and they can heavily affect future interactions and the environment.

    The Know-it-all
    When it comes to the American workplace, “we tend to value confidence over competence”. [35:00] This is how incompetent, narcissistic individuals often come into leadership positions. Hold your ground and pocket some phrases to protect your voice and knowledge when it comes to meetings. Invite in peer support if your own voice isn’t doing the trick.

    Protect Yourself 

    “Sometimes we put in our best effort, and the behavior just doesn’t change, then it’s a matter of protecting yourself.” [41:27] Amy has some great tips for keeping yourself and your position safe: Document everything so that should you need to escalate the situation you have the details. Don’t dwell, make sure these difficult people aren’t all you’re thinking about. Limit interactions; you don’t have to spend too much work time with these people outside of direct work. Keep some phrases handy so you can keep the conversations moving peacefully. 

    The Book:

    Mentioned in this episode:

    Don’t Forget to Subscribe!

    Are you loving this episode? Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any future episodes. Apple Podcast | Stitcher | Spotify | Google Podcast

    Mailbag – Send Us Your Question

    Got a leadership challenge? Need helpful advice? Marcel and Robb have the answer! Send us your Mailbag question by clicking here.

    What’s Your Reaction?

    We really love feedback! Continue the conversation by using #LoveInActionPodcast to comment on this episode. Or send Marcel a note and let him know what you thought of this episode. Also, please click here to give us a quick review on iTunes!

    Now Accepting Podcast Sponsors

    As we challenge current management thinking and practices and build skills around human leadership and human-centered work cultures, we would be delighted to accept your sponsorship for future episodes. If interested, contact Marcel.

    About Marcel Schwantes

    Marcel Schwantes is the founder and chief human officer of Leadership from the Core, a global leadership training and executive coaching boutique aimed at developing great leaders and great cultures through Servant Leadership.

    Popular Episodes

    Join over 350,000 subscribers and get Marcel’s latest thought-leadership and podcast updates