Artwork for podcast You Are Not A Frog
What to Do When a Junior is Badmouthing Your Colleagues
Episode 1138th March 2022 • You Are Not A Frog • Dr Rachel Morris
00:00:00 00:47:30

Share Episode


Dr Ed Pooley joins us in this episode to discuss what we should do when we see inappropriate behaviour like badmouthing. He shares how we can manage difficult conversations with the intent of helping others. We also discuss the importance of recognising triggers through the SCARF model.


  • Get in touch and book a slot with us for live program courses of the Shapes Toolkit. Bookings are open for Autumn 2022, with only a few openings left for Spring 2022
  • Learn more about Dr Ed Pooley on the Ten Minute Medicine website and Facebook.
  • Join the FB Group about difficult conversations in medicine.
  • David Bradford and Carole Robin wrote the book, inspired by their legendary Stanford Business School course Interpersonal Dynamics. 
  • Dive deeper into the SCARF model with The Handbook of NeuroLeadership by Dr David Rock
  • Hero on a Mission by Donald Miller.  
  • Looking for advice on a dilemma? Email us at hello@you'
  • THRIVE Weekly Planner

Episode Highlights

[04:16] Why Tough Conversations are Tough

  • Even if you know what the right thing to do is, it’s often still difficult to manage a tough conversation. 
  • We often already know what to do but don't know how to do it.
  • Reporting these behaviours is inappropriate and rooted in your sense of right or wrong.

[11:41] How to Confront Difficult Conversations 

  • We make excuses to avoid addressing issues and difficult conversations.
  • There’s always a reason for people’s behaviour.
  • Remember that it’s not about being right or wrong.

[19:16] Helping Others and Assume Good Intentions 

  • Assuming the reasons behind people's actions can push them further away.
  • Instead of judging people, learn to ask if they’re struggling.
  • When you confront someone, don’t assume that their actions are done with ill intent.

[23:41] Recognising the Chimp State

  • It’s hard to have difficult conversations when people are in their chimp state.
  • Recognise your own responses so you can see them in others too.
  • Your actions may trigger other people’s chimp states. 
  • The SCARF model explains triggers, and stands for status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, and fairness. 

[31:49] Value People’s Autonomy

  • Autonomy is related to people’s control over their environment or position. 
  • Frame your intentions into a request.
  • Be neutral, clear, and non-confrontational. 

[37:03] Be Fair

  • Find out whether your feeling of unfairness is grounded in reality. 
  • Don't fall into over-generalisation of beliefs. 
  • Give others autonomy by asking how the situation can be made fairer instead. 

[42:25] Dr Ed’s Tips 

  • Start with connection, then information, and lastly, action. 
  • Having challenging conversations will make you a better communicator.
  • Leadership success is based more on emotional intelligence. 
  • Be aware of triggers.

Mentioned in this episode:

⭐️ The Trouble with Wellbeing Webinar

Join FrogFest, our one-day conference for busy people in high stress, high stakes jobs who want to beat burnout and work happier.

⭐️ Book Your FrogFest Ticket Now