Season Two! Episode 27: Jerk and Confidence

In this episode, we are confidently speaking about...confidence! Is there a way to believe in yourself, exude confidence and also not be a jerk? We think so, and we’re full of ideas on how to do just that.

Key takeaways:

  • There is a difference between confidence and arrogance. Confidence = good. Arrogance = bad.

  • Both overconfidence AND underconfidence can lead to jerky behaviour.

  • Just because someone is young and doesn’t have a ton of experience, they can still be confident! Rather than thinking, “How dare??”, be inspired by them.

Season Two! Episode 26: Decisions, decisions…

We make decisions every day, all day. At work, how do we make tough decisions, and not be a jerk even when it may not be a popular decision? When is it suitable to rely on consensus, majority or dictating the decision yourself? This week, we share our experiences with these challenging situations and talk about some approaches that may make them a bit less complex. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Be aware of the difference between people liking you and respecting your decision. 

  • Think about the scope of the decision before you decide to invite the whole company, or several people, anyway, to participate in making a decision.

  • Trust your expert teammates! If you aren’t the expert in an area that you need to make a decision, collaborate with the person who is. (Yes, we know that sort of conflicts with the previous takeaway!)

Season Two! Episode 25: To Gift or Not to Gift

To gift or not to gift? That is the question the ladies disagree about, I mean, discuss in this week’s episode of Don’t Be A Jerk At Work. And oooooooohhhh, the drama of it all. It’s absolutely Shakespearean! 

Key Takeaways: 

  • It’s okay not to participate in office gift giving! 

  • It’s okay to participate in office gift giving! 

  • Most importantly, try not to bow to the pressure - do what feels right for you and just don’t be a jerk about it.

Season Two! Episode 24: Sharing is Caring

Authenticity, vulnerability, accessibility, connectivity, all the ‘ity’s’! Showing up at work with these traits can definitely lead to a more engaged work culture. However, is there a line? If so, where is it? And, how does being authentic intersect with being a jerk? Or, hopefully, not being a jerk? In this episode, we ask ourselves these questions and more about what it means to show up “as yourself” in the workplace. Oh, and we dig into crying at work, too! 

Key Takeaways: 

  • If you want to see more authenticity and vulnerability at work, you’ve got to model that behaviour yourself.

  • Pay attention to who’s in the room when you are sharing and note their responses (verbal and body language). AKA know your audience.

  • No sex talk at work. Ever.

Season Two! Episode 23: Until We Meet Again

What makes an effective meeting? Are there actually meetings you can’t wait to attend? It seems like we believe a good meeting is hard to find. And to host! Whether it’s a gathering of 3, or a gathering of 13 or 30, we share some tips on how to prepare, facilitate and follow up in order to get the most out of meetings. Oh, and of course we discuss how to handle jerks at meetings.

Key Takeaways:

  • Agendas are our friends.

  • The whole company doesn’t need to come to every meeting...unless every meeting is an all-staff event!

  • Eating a tuna fish sandwich during a meeting can be very controversial.

Season Two! Episode 22: Personal Space

After last week's toilet episode, we thought we'd keep the personal space conversation going. This time, we're talking about the pros and cons of open floor plans in the workplace. How does boundary setting work when the vast majority of people are rubbing elbows side by side on the floor? How do people be authentic when some people are naturally boisterous and others like library-level quiet?  

Key Takeaways:

  • Before asking someone for a 5-minute convo at work, check the time! Are they just arriving and need time to settle in? Are they about to leave?

  • Before jumping into a convo happening near you, wait...were you just eavesdropping?

  • Sandy doesn't like open office workspaces!

Season Two! Episode 21: When Your Workplace is in the Toilet

We’re back! Like we started our first season, we thought it would be a good way to kick things off by discussing etiquette at work...this time, in the bathroom. Honestly, we really didn’t expect to have so much to say on this topic. And yet, we sure did. From hand washing (or lack of!) to toilet seat position to the classic pee everywhere situation, we discuss that the work toilets, just like everywhere else, need to be a jerk-free zone. Have a listen and we’ll help you to not flush your career down the drain.

Key Takeaways:

  • Wear shoes in the bathroom!

  • Remember not everyone is up for a bathroom conversation. 

  • Leave it in better shape than how you found it, like you are trying to impress someone you like. Fancy.

Episode 20: My Boss is Jerk (Part 3)

In part 3 of, “My Boss is A Jerk,” we wrap up our discussion about typical boss archetypes and behaviour patterns and talk about the best ways to communicate with these boss types. On this episode, we talk about, “The Non-Scalable Boss,” “The Political Boss,” and “The Insecure Boss.”

Episode 19: My Boss is Jerk (Part 2)

This episode is a continuation of last week’s discussion on boss archetypes and behaviour patterns. On this episode, we talk about, “The Micromanaging Boss,” “The Moody Boss,” and “The Reluctant Boss.”

Episode 18: My Boss is Jerk (Part 1)

There are all kinds of bosses out there. Some are good, some are bad, and most are somewhere in between (a work in progress). There are so many different boss types out there that we’ve turned this topic into a 3-parter! For episodes 18, 19, and 20, we talk about common boss archetypes, ways to communicate with a boss who shows a particular behaviour pattern, how we might be enabling certain behaviour patterns, and what you can do if you recognize these patterns of behaviours in yourself. On this episode, we talk about, “The Busy Boss,” and “The Inner Circle Boss.”

Episode 17: Psst…Have you Heard?

This episode was inspired by a Harvard Business Review article titled, “Stop Complaining About Your Colleagues Behind Their Backs.” The premise of the article is that most people engage in workplace gossip without realizing that it is gossip. As well, conversations with seemingly innocent intentions like confirming performance behaviour or venting can also turn into gossip. On this episode, we talk about gossip in the workplace, why it happens, the impact it has on organizations and teams, and how to engage in more productive and effective conversations with your colleagues.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ask yourself, “Why are you talking about this person in the first place and why did you choose to do so with this person in particular?”

  • Pay attention to how a conversation makes you feel; if you’re getting an icky feeling, it’s probably not a useful conversation.

  • If you are going to expend the energy to gossip, you might want to consider using that energy to figure out a more effective way to let someone know how you are feeling, ask a question, or fill in the blanks.

Episode 16: Help, I Don’t Fit In Here!

The idea of workplace culture has been buzzy for a while now and it’s very common for employees to list "a positive company culture" as the number one requirement for their workplace. On this episode, we talk about impact that a company’s culture can have on how people feel about their workplace, how company culture is shaped and evolves, and what you can do if you don’t feel aligned with your company’s culture.

Key Takeaways:

  • Leadership defines and frames a company’s culture. We ALL create culture every day.

  • How culture is perceived is completely relative; it’s not about a good or bad culture but what is healthier/unhealthier for you at any given time in your working life.

  • Be clear and intentional about what you are looking for. Check for behaviours as well as stated values.

  • Determine how much weight you are putting on the importance of fit and how much weight you are putting on the other factors that are important to you.

Episode 15: The Inadvertent Jerk

This episode was inspired by one of our listeners. Jake’s questions are: How do you manage jerk behavior that is intended to be humorous? How does intended bonding turn into harm? We love these questions and they got us thinking about all of those actions and behaviours that we see as well-intentioned but that others see as jerky. On this episode, we explore the impact of off-handed remarks and observational comments, ways to react/respond if you are on the receiving end of said comment, and ways to improve our own self-awareness around what we say and do.

 Key Takeaways:

  • Stop for a moment and think about how what you’re about to say or do may impact the other person; approach every interaction from a place of empathy

  • If you’re on the receiving end of a comment, breathe and get some space before responding

  • If someone lets you know that you’ve been an “inadvertent jerk,” own it, thank them for letting you know, and seek to understand

  • Intention doesn’t mitigate impact

  • We reference and recommend:

    • “Difficult Conversation: How to Discuss What Matters Most,” by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen

    • Fierce Conversations

    • “Leadership and Self-Deception; Getting Out of the Box,” by Arbinger Institute

Episode 14: To Stress or Not to Stress

One of biggest influences on how we act and behave is our stress level (real or perceived). On this episode, we talk about stress and work…how it presents in you and in others, how it impacts your work, and ways to manage it so that it doesn’t lead you to becoming a jerk at work.

Key Takeaways:

  • Don’t be afraid to have a conversation about stress; approach it with curiosity and consider the lens through which you are seeing the situation, your mood, where the other person is at, and timing

  • Figuring out how stress presents in you is an important part of learning how to manage it

  • There is an optimal level of stress; be able to differentiate between “growth” stress and “soul-sucking” stress

  • Don’t be a jerk to yourself!

Episode 13: Office Love

This is our first episode topic suggested by a few different listeners. They asked: How do you navigate a new romantic relationship between two existing employees?

In this episode, we talk about some of the things you should think about if you are dating someone at work or are considering dating someone at work, provide tips for keeping it professional, and share how to navigate a romantic relationship at work if you are the boss and someone has just disclosed to you that they are dating a co-worker.

Key Takeaways:

  • Office relationships will happen. And, they can work.

  • Work is work so keep it professional. You are two independent people at work; not one unit.

  • Take a moment and really consider if it is worth it to engage in a romantic relationship at work.

  • Don’t have sex at work. Ever.

Episode 12: Motivate Me

In this episode, we explore the concept of career paths (how we move up, how we move sideways, and how we move out), the importance of coaching conversations, and the work that is required on your part if you want to make some changes in your career.

Key Takeaways:

  • Finding a career is more than a path laid out for you. It requires work, thought, and effort on your part.

  • Personal development is your own responsibility. Don’t be lazy about it.

  • Figure out what you value and know that it will change over time.

  • Motivation is internal; it drives you from your core. Someone may motivate you in the moment but you are ultimately responsible for figuring out what motivates you.

  • Dream big. If you want to be a French speaking obstetrician, go out and do that! Or HR. They are pretty much the same (you’ll need to listen for this to make sense).

Episode 11: Dress to Express, Not to Impress

What are you wearing to work tomorrow? Do you have body art? Piercings? Colourful hair? Does any of this matter in your workplace? Should any of this matter in your workplace? In this episode, we explore why we make the clothing choices that we make, how your appearance is a form of non-verbal communication, and whether or not how you show up to work matters.

Episode 10: Gratitudes, Vol. 1

On our episodes to date, we’ve talked about many frustrating and jerky behaviours that we’ve experienced and observed over the years as well as ways to not be a jerk at work. On today’s episode, we flip the switch on our learning approach and talk about the things (big and little) that we and others do at work that make work life that much better.

Key Takeaways:

  • Say thank you. And say it often.

  • Really take the time to make someone feel seen and heard.

  • Show up authentically and be the value that you want to see.

  • Take time (daily, monthly, annually) to reflect on the people who have inspired, guided, and influenced how you work and show up to work. And let them know.

  • Think about what gestures you do and can continue to do (big and small) that lift up and inspire others.

  • Just walking the talk can inspire people. You never know what impact you could be leaving right now or who is looking to you for inspiration.

A huge shout out to Wendy Williams Watt and Big Love Ball for inviting us to record this special episode in their space. Wendy created this interactive art movement as an invitation to connect and to spread the message of inclusion and compassion. Thanks Wendy and Madison!

Episode 9: Minisode - 2019 Intentions

It’s a new year and for many (including us), it’s a time for reflection and goal setting. In our first ever minisode, we each talk about our “word for the year”; the word that represents how we will thrive in 2019. What’s your word for the year? What energizes you? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at Happy 2019!

Episode 8: The First Cut is the Deepest

Losing your job, especially for the first time, is one of the most stressful life events a person can go through. In this episode, we share our termination stories and talk about how you can move forward from something like this with dignity. We hope that should you ever find yourself in this situation, this episode will give you some new insight that will make this change a little easier to deal with.

Episode 7: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Feel like you need a change of scenery? Tired of your current role? Annoyed by your boss? Maybe it’s time to consider a job change. For some, the idea of changing jobs is super exciting but for most, it’s pretty overwhelming. And, it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of work to get the new job and it’s a lot of work to settle into a new job. On this episode, we talk about what you may want to consider if you’re thinking of changing jobs and how to feel okay about whatever decision you ultimately come to.

Key Takeaways:

  • While there is no optimal length of time to stay in a job, it’s a good idea to do a self-check and evaluate your job situation every year.

  • The reasons why you stay in a job are likely to change over time. And, that’s okay.

  • Sometimes YOU are the only obstacle in the way of changing jobs.

  • Action triggers things. Sometimes it takes a move to make a bigger move.

  • Tara references the podcast, “Show Your Work,” with Duana and Lainey. We listen to this podcast…a lot! They make a great point about how it is sometimes necessary to make a move to level up. Making a move can shift how people see you and how you see yourself.

Episode 6: Why Didn’t Someone Tell Me This BEFORE I Became a Manager?

Are you a new manager (aka the boss)? Considering applying for a manager role? In this episode, we discuss the questions you should ask yourself before deciding if this is for you and we talk about some of the challenges you may face when making the move into a boss role. Through our stories, we hope to help you figure out if this is for you and if it is, how to make the move as smooth as possible. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Know that being the boss will involve “HR” work. You need to be okay with that.

  • If you are moving into a boss role in the same organization, your relationships will change. They won’t be better or worse, just different.

  • Be prepared to learn! Sarah references and recommends the book, “The First 90 Days,” by Michael D. Watkins. Check it out if you are a new leader.

  • Feeling like you don’t “DO” anything anymore is completely normal

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Episode 5: Use Your Egg Noggin!

It's December and for a lot of people, that means an office holiday party to look forward to. Or not.

In this episode, we get into the good, the bad, and the ugly of the office holiday party. We share real life examples of office party jerks and we give you our top tips & takeaways to avoid being "that" person at your office holiday party (and any other office function). Hint: it is not okay to kick your CEO in the butt while he is standing at a urinal.

Episode 4: We. Are. At. Work.

#metoo and #timesup have empowered people to share their experiences and situations and have amplified the need for employers to examine their workplaces to ensure that they are fair and respectful. In this episode, we share stories of workplace misconduct that we’ve come across, common reactions, and what you can do if you experience it or see it. We also talk about what you can do if you think you may have done something that could be perceived as bullying or harassment. This episode will be of interest to anyone who works with other people regardless of your role in the company.

 Key Takeaways:

  •  If you are made to feel uncomfortable, don’t do nothing. Do something.

  • There is a wide spectrum of behaviours that can be considered inappropriate. Navigating language and behaviours that historically may have been acceptable or funny can be hard.

  • Don’t overthink your behaviour. Show up as a decent human being.

 ***The title of this episode is a nod to La Donna who shares her story on the podcast, This American Life

Episode 3: You Should NO Better

Consider this: every time you say ‘yes’ to something, what are you saying ‘no’ to?  Why is saying ‘no’ so hard for some of us?  How can you say no without coming across as a jerk, feeling guilty, disappointing someone, or all of the above?  This week is all about the importance of setting boundaries and how knowing what is important to you directly impacts your personal and professional development. We share personal examples of things we struggle to say ‘no’ to, but we also talk about what you should consider saying ‘yes’ to. In this episode, we reference, “Lean In,” by Sheryl Sandberg and, “Year of Yes,” by Shonda Rhimes; two powerful reminders of reason to say ‘yes’ and knowing your boundaries.

This podcast will be of interest to anyone new in their career as well as anyone looking to move into a more senior or management role.

Episode 2: When The Talking Gets Tough

Have you ever avoided a tough conversation at work?  Although we don’t have a magic solution or an online form that will solve your problem for you (yes, we’ve been asked for those!), there are ways to have tough conversations without coming across as a jerk. This episode is all about the importance of having those tough conversations, as hard as they may seem. We discuss tough topics for managers and employees, common reasons why people avoid having tough conversations, and how you can begin building your confidence and get better at it. In this episode, Tara refers to the program, “Fierce Conversations,” which is all about the importance of having effective conversations. Tough conversations are hard but with courage and practice, they will get easier!

This episode is for managers (new and experienced) who may be faced with a difficult workplace situation. It’s also a great listen for employees who may want to bring up a tough topic or who want to gain some insight into their manager’s perspective.

Episode 1: You Should Know Better

Have you ever felt like your co-worker needed a lesson in Adulting?  When it comes to kitchen etiquette, respect for people’s time, and personal hygiene, shouldn’t we all just know better by now?   In this episode, we talk about relatable, annoying, and jerky behaviours that we’d love to see eradicated from our workplaces. We explore some classic examples as well as how managers can and should handle them (without acting like jerks, themselves). 

This episode is for anyone who works with other people (hopefully you’re not that jerk at work) as well as anyone who manages people.