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What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

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Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

269. Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone, featuring Harvard Business Review’s Amy Gallo

In today’s conversation, I am joined by Amy Gallo. Amy is an expert in conflict, communication, and workplace dynamics. She combines the latest management research with practical advice to deliver evidence-based ideas on how to improve relationships and excel at work.

She has written two books: The HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict, and her newest which we are discussing today: Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People).

In her role as a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review, Amy writes about interpersonal dynamics, communicating ideas, leading and influencing people, and building your career. She has contributed to numerous books on feedback, emotional intelligence, and managing others, and is the co-author of the HBR Guide to Building Your Business Case.

She is also a co-host of HBR’s Women at Work podcast, which is in its eighth season. She has contributed to other books and has taught at both Brown University and UPenn, and is an all around wonderful person I’m so delighted to have met. It’s kind of a fun and serendipitous story as to how Amy ended up on the show today. Listen in to hear all about it!

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IN A RUSH?

HERE'S A 2 MINUTE TIP.

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SHOW NOTES:

  • [00:45] In today’s conversation, I am joined by Amy Gallo. Amy is an expert in conflict, communication, and workplace dynamics.
  • [01:59] It’s kind of a fun and serendipitous story as to how Amy ended up on the show today.
  • [04:21] SXSW is a massive event over 10 days with a film festival, music festival, food festival, comedy festival, and a conference focused on innovation and technology. Amy and I are both speaking at it this year (my talk is on the same day this episode comes out!)
  • [06:40] Amy shares herself, her background, and the work she does. She wears many hats.
  • [08:02] She didn’t think she would become an editor (or be at Harvard Business Review), but she always gravitated to writing. 
  • [10:08] The HBR Women at Work podcast is still one of her favorite projects that she works on. Her work for HBR started small. 
  • [11:41] She loved writing, but never thought she would do anything with it as a career. 
  • [14:12] Writing the HBR Management Tip of the Day is what led to her writing the book, because she could see there was so much work being put out there by people in different fields. She let that inform the advice she was giving. 
  • [16:07] Knowing a little bit about a lot of things and a lot about a few things is a good balance to being able to make interesting connections.
  • [17:35] Getting Along is about navigating the messiness of human interaction and recognizing that we are not all our best selves all the time, especially at work, and that we need the skills to be able to make the most of these very important relationships. 
  • [19:30] We have all had a difficult person at work that we don’t get along with. 
  • [20:33] Amy shares the emails with “Brad” that she talks about in her book. 
  • [23:19] Our brains are so wired to scan for threats that we are so focused on negative things (negativity bias). 
  • [25:26] Any time you have a tricky interaction with someone you can’t force the person to see it the way you see it. 
  • [26:12] When we are interacting with others and we find ourselves triggered or upset, there are many ways to view that situation. You have to own your interpretation as your perspective. 
  • [27:50] Your interpretation of what is appropriate behavior at work is not going to be the same as everyone else’s. 
  • [30:49] There were two main things she wanted to do with this book. First, she wanted to give specific evidence-based advice for the situation they were dealing with. 
  • [32:46] The archetypes are really meant to give people a way into the specific advice that they need. They are meant to get the tactics from research that are supposed to work for this type of behavior. 
  • [33:22] The second thing she wanted to do with the book was to talk about how identity plays a role both in how we interpret difficult behavior and also in terms of the tactics that we can use and are effective for someone who shares the identity that we have. 
  • [35:55] Change is possible. If we really take a close look at what is happening and what could be motivating that behavior, and work on ourselves…then change is possible. It is worth continuing to try to change. 
  • [37:58] Amy shares the eight archetypes: the insecure boss, the pessimist, the victim, the passive-aggressive peer, the know it all, the biased co-worker, the tormentor, and the political operator. 
  • [40:16] Pessimism is contagious in the same way optimism is.  
  • [42:32] Pessimists often don’t think they have agency, so giving them agency can really help. You can also give them a formal role to play as the devil’s advocate then it is treating it as a benefit to the team.
  • [44:47] We can all find times when can relate to (and likely when we have been) many of the archetypes. 
  • [47:02] There is a good chance you are one or more of the archetypes because we all are. 
  • [48:06] Having more people as part of your “us” can make a big difference. 
  • [49:41] Amy shares her top episode recommendations for the HBR Women At Work podcast.  
  • [51:31] Melina’s closing thoughts
  • [52:54] It is important to look at yourself before you look to change someone else. Amy gives tips for seeing how you are contributing to every difficult relationship, and to know that it starts with changing yourself.
  • [54:08] There is always room to change, both for yourself and those you work with, and Getting Along is a great way to better understand what you have been doing yourself in life and work, and have a better experience with everyone tomorrow.

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