Episode 37

Amy Gallo: Working with difficult people

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Work relationships can be hard. Too often we grin and bear it as if we have no choice. Or throw up our hands because one-size-fits-all solutions haven’t worked. Many of us walk away, avoiding difficult people. But we can only endure so much thoughtless, irrational or malicious behaviour — there’s your sanity to consider, and your career.

In her book Getting Along, workplace expert and Harvard Business Review podcast host Amy Gallo identifies eight familiar types of difficult coworkers — the insecure boss, the passive-aggressive peer, the know-it-all, the biased coworker, and others — and provides strategies tailored to dealing constructively with each one. She also shares principles that will help you turn things around, no matter who you’re at odds with. Taking the high road isn’t easy, but Gallo offers a crucial perspective on how work relationships really matter, as well as the compassion, encouragement and tools you need to prevail — on your terms.

The best bits of these conversations are captured in my newsletter Strategic Leader.

More about Amy

Amy Gallo is a workplace expert who writes and speaks about gender, interpersonal dynamics, difficult conversations, feedback and effective communication. She works with individuals and teams to help them better collaborate, communicate and transform their culture to support dissent and debate.

She is the author of two books: Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People) and the HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict. She has written hundreds of articles for Harvard Business Review, where she is a contributing editor. Her writing has been collected in numerous books on feedback, emotional intelligence and managing others.

For the past three years, Amy has co-hosted HBR’s popular Women at Work podcast, which examines the struggles and successes of women in the workplace.

  • More details about her services, writing and background.
  • Details of the book Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People).

“I’m defined by my multiple, positive relationships, not by negative interactions.”

Amy Gallo, author and workplace expert

VIEW RUNNING ORDER

04.41 Why does getting along matter?
06.51 Where it starts.
11.10 The most fascinating archetype.
15.13 How to use the archetypes wisely.
17.06 Can you change them?
18.16 How can I change the dynamic?
22.59 Impact of biases.
27.12 The worst thing you can do.
30.22 Gossip.
32.40 Applying the book herself.
36.34 Habits for best work.
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Amy Gallo: Working with difficult people

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