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What to Do About Bitching and Backbiting with Dr Edward Pooley
Episode 9014th September 2021 • You Are Not A Frog • Dr Rachel Morris
00:00:00 00:42:07

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This week, Dr Edward Pooley teaches us how to respond when colleagues make inappropriate comments about others. He gives us concrete steps to prepare ourselves to speak up when the situation requires. 

Episode Highlights

[05:05] Finding Yourself in an Uncomfortable Conversation

  • These conversations usually fall under three categories. 
  • The first two are more permissible, while the third is more serious. 

[09:01] Letting Off Stream vs Something More Serious

  • If it’s the latter, advise them carefully to have a word with the person in question.
  • If the line jumps to criticism on protected characteristics, speak up firmly. 

[12:17] Speak Up Using Ed’s Four-Step Confrontation Process

  • Ed’s stepwise approach allows you to avoid triggering shame and defensiveness when you speak up. 

[14:35] Hearing Someone Complain About Another Person

  • Encourage them to think about the person in question’s point of view. 

[18:02] The Consequences of Constant Backbiting in the Workplace

  • You’ll assume that when you make a mistake, others will talk about you too.

[20:44] When It’s Just Flat Out Bitching

  • Think about whether there will be a negative outcome if this communication persists.
  • If what they’re doing has a direct impact on your work environment, speak up. 

[24:17] Encouraging a Negative Colleague

  • Ask yourself: Are they able to do their responsibilities with their viewpoint?
  • It’s about engaging that person to do what they need to do because it’s valuable to them.

[29:20] The Importance of a Critic

  • Some people see all the possible flaws and pitfalls of an idea. 
  • This trait isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 
  • Critical people lend organisations a different perspective. 

[31:57] Some Strategies to Help You Speak Up

  • Have a series and sequence of phrases you can go to.
  • Make your presence known.
  • Ask them to clarify what they mean. 

[35:13] Thinking It’s Not Your Place to Speak Up

  • It’s your place to speak up.
  • If you don’t, you can get implicated when the subject files a formal complaint.

[38:58] Some Helpful Resources and Ed’s One Great Tip

  • The first thing you need to do is to speak up. How you’re going to say it can come later. 

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