Published August 2022 on Spotfiy

706: Tessa West | How to Deal with Jerks at Work

1. Introduction

Tessa West explains how to have a voice at work and avoid credit stealers. Jordan Harbinger discusses the seven types of jerks at work and how to handle them.+

2. Workplace Jerks

Dealing with Workplace Jerks:Tessa and Jordan discuss the seven types of jerks at work and how to spot them. They debunk the myth that only inexperienced people have to deal with jerks at work and offer an action plan for handling difficult people in a more manageable way.+
Conflict Management Strategies:Tessa discusses how older generations lack conflict management strategies due to it being considered a soft skill. Younger generations prioritize well-being and are more equipped to handle conflicts at work. Jordan shares his experience with a boss who used physical violence to discipline employees.+
Workplace Behavioral Management:Jordan and Tessa discuss how the workplace seldom includes behavioral management skills and how people get promoted because they're good at old jobs, not because they know how to talk to people or give feedback. They also touch on the common misconception that jerks at work are problem employees with no real skills.+

3. Workplace Jerks

Jerks at Work:Tessa and Jordan discuss the concept of jerks at work and how everyone can exhibit jerk behavior at some point. They also talk about how the perception of someone being a jerk is subjective and can be influenced by various factors.+
Cutthroat Work Environments:Tessa and Jordan discuss the common type of person who sabotages their colleagues to get ahead in highly competitive work environments, such as sales, law firms, and Wall Street. They share personal experiences and insights on the sociopathic level of competition and the uneven distribution of resources in zero-sum occupations.+

4. Status Acuity

Reading Room Status:Tessa West discusses the skill of status acuity and how it can predict behavior in groups. She explains how some people can read the room and identify who has status and who doesn't. She also shares insights on how high-status individuals behave in groups versus one-on-one interactions.+
Grabbing Power Early:Tessa explains how some people grab power early in their careers by becoming the sole communicator between the boss and everybody else. Although grabbing power early is a red flag, it is also important to assert yourself to organize the team and have the veneer of a leader.+

5. Power Dynamics

Tessa and Jordan discuss how people can become gatekeepers of information and power in order to control others. They share personal stories of encountering these types of individuals and the negative impact it can have on a team or organization.+

6. Sponsors

Jordan and Jen discuss the importance of online privacy and introduce IPVanish, a VPN service that encrypts all your online data to keep you safe from prying eyes. They also offer a discount for listeners.+

7. Toxic Protege

The Toxic Protege:Jordan and Tessa discuss the dangers of being a toxic protege in the workplace and how it can lead to a dead-end career. They also explore the changing dynamics of career advancement and the importance of creating allies in the workplace.+
Building Allies:Tessa and Jordan discuss the importance of building a broad social network to solve workplace problems. They emphasize the need to find allies outside of your immediate circle who can help document patterns of behavior and create a widespread understanding of the problem.+

8. Work Issues & Disruptive Behavior

Documenting Work Issues:Jordan and Tessa discuss the importance of documenting work issues and how to approach your boss with evidence. Tessa advises leading with acknowledging the person's strengths and focusing on what they did, rather than just expressing your feelings.+
Dealing with Disruptive Behavior:Tessa advises employees to lead with behavior-based language when reporting disruptive behavior to their boss. She also suggests asking for short updates and checking in regularly to keep communication open. For bosses, Tessa recommends using specific questions to detect problematic behavior and avoiding impression formation questions.+

9. Handling Credit Stealers

Handling Credit Stealers:Tessa West shares insights on credit stealers in the workplace, who are often sly and take credit for ideas expressed in private. They can be bosses or good friends, and they use impression-management techniques to make themselves look good. Granting credit is one of their tactics to cover their tracks.+
Getting Credit at Work:Tessa West shares insights on how to get credit for your ideas at work. She explains that the key is to have voice at work and become an advice tie, someone who is invaluable to the boss. By doing so, your ideas will stick to you and not to someone else.+

10. Credit Stealing

Handling Credit Stealing:Tessa and Jordan discuss the issue of credit stealing in teams and how to handle it professionally. They suggest that correcting the record constantly is not effective and that record keeping is key. Tessa also points out that credit stealing can be a sign of low power and low status.+
Protect Your Ideas:Tessa shares the best career advice she's ever received: have skills that others don't have, so people need you. She also discusses the importance of protecting your ideas from credit stealing and how having a diverse set of skills can help with that.+

11. Sponsors

Polishing Your Writing:Jordan Harbinger talks about the importance of polished writing and introduces Grammarly, a tool that helps with grammar, spelling, and tone. He shares his personal experience with the tool and offers a discount for listeners.+
Smooth Summer Skin:Jordan and Jen talk about the benefits of waxing with European Wax Center, including their personalized consultations and strict hygiene standards, and offer a deal for first-time customers.+

12. Protecting Your Ideas

Protecting Your Ideas:Jordan and Tessa discuss the common fear of having your ideas stolen and the reality that most people are not paying attention. They also touch on the role of ego in overestimating the uniqueness of our ideas.+
Free Riders:Tessa and Jordan discuss the concept of free riders in group projects and how they affect credit granting. They explore the human biases involved and how free riders can be successful by finding teams that let them get away with it.+

13. Team Dynamics

Team Dynamics:Tessa and Jordan discuss how teams can be affected by free riders and the bias towards charismatic people. They also explore the idea of skill versus contribution in a team.+
Handling Free Riders:Tessa and Jordan discuss how to handle free riders in a team. They suggest giving them a specific task or job that they can handle competently, rather than burdening them with important tasks they might not be able to handle.+
Dealing with Disengaged Team Members:Tessa shares strategies for dealing with disengaged team members, including leading with why they were brought on in the first place and creating a concrete plan with clear deadlines and consequences. She also discusses the common issue of micromanagement and how to handle it.+

14. Micromanagement Madness

Micromanagement Madness:Tessa and Jordan discuss the negative effects of micromanagement and how it leads to a lack of prioritization and urgency vs importance. They also touch on the arbitrary tasks that micromanagers create to remind their employees who is in charge.+
Micromanagement and Mediocrity:Tessa and Jordan discuss the negative effects of micromanagement on leadership, efficiency, and talent retention. Micromanagers often isolate themselves from their team, leading to a cycle of inefficiency and mediocrity. The best talent leaves, leaving only subpar employees, which can be morale-killing for those stuck in the team.+

15. Micromanaging Strategies

Managing Micromanagers:Tessa shares insights on how to approach micromanagers by understanding their why and giving them a little window into what you're up to. She also distinguishes between someone who cares about micro indicators and a micromanager, and suggests having short frequent meetings with them in a structured way.+
Managing Micromanagers:Tessa and Jordan discuss strategies for dealing with micromanagers, including setting clear boundaries and using email instead of text messages to maintain a professional mode of communication. Tessa suggests using the "send later" feature to respond to emails at a set time, rather than reinforcing micromanaging behavior by responding immediately.+

16. Dealing with Difficult People

Jerks at Work:Tessa and Jordan discuss the different types of difficult people in the workplace and how to deal with them. They emphasize the importance of having a strong social network in the workplace to combat these issues and to aid in finding new job opportunities.+
Building a Strong Network:Tessa and Jordan discuss the importance of building a strong network to advance in your career. They emphasize the need to have varied relationships outside of your industry and to build relationships before you need them. Building a strong network can be uncomfortable, but it is essential for career growth.+

17. Outro

Jordan shares insights on how to identify and deal with different types of jerks at work, and how to fix the problem. The episode also highlights the importance of practical exercises and a flow chart to identify the type of jerk in the office. Jordan emphasizes the need for employees and managers to understand what is acceptable behavior at work.+