Getting Along with a Passive-Aggressive Gossip

AMY GALLO: I’m AMY GALLO, and this is Getting Along, a series where I help a guest — and you and everyone else listening — learn to work with anyone, even difficult people. By difficult, I mean rude, unprofessional, or hostile: bad behavior that wears us down. No one should have to grin and bear it. Change is possible, but the answer isn’t to suppress our emotions or hope the problem-person leaves. Neither is retaliating or shaming them. These are lessons I’ve picked up from being a career coach, studying conflict, and spending the past couple years reading about behavioral science and interviewing researchers for a book. It’s also called Getting Along.

Tending to our toughest work relationships is worth the trouble. After all, they loom large in our lives and have a disproportionate impact on our experiences. The path to improving them starts with understanding why certain types of difficult people act the way they do. Then, using tactics and phrases to match that type. Little by little, you can build a functional relationship, for the sake of your sanity and career. Across the series, we’ll cover how to put yourself in a productive mindset, model the behavior you want to see, and hold people accountable when they’ve promised to change.

We’ll also acknowledge that we can’t force anyone to change. All we can do is nudge them to be a little less insecure, or pessimistic, or whatever their issue is. Note that every guest is using a pseudonym so that they can speak more candidly about their situation. Lynne has a colleague who’s behaving passive aggressively. He’s in a different department, but in a similar function, and their work is interdependent. How quickly or slowly she’s able to get things done hinges on how engaged or disengaged he is. And unfortunately, he’s been pretty disengaged lately, at least with her.

LYNNE: Whenever I try to have some conversation about, “Hey, how can we work together in a more coordinated way?” Actually, I think I ask this question of him a lot: “Am I doing something that you disagree with, that you don’t like?” Right?

AMY GALLO: Mm-hmm.

LYNNE: He’s always like, “Oh no, you’re fine.”

AMY GALLO: Yep.

LYNNE: I guess what I struggle with is it’s really difficult to improve a relationship or address a problem between two people when one person doesn’t acknowledge that there’s a problem.

AMY GALLO: 100%. Yeah.

LYNNE: So, I think that’s kind of where I threw up my arms and was just like, “I don’t know what to do from here.”

AMY GALLO: By the end of our conversation, Lynne has a plan. You will too, for whenever you need to resolve a conflict or strengthen a relationship with a colleague who’s being passive aggressive and maybe even gossiping about you, because he’s also doing that, as she’s about to explain. So, Lynne, tell me the story of your relationship with this coworker of yours.

LYNNE: Yeah, sure. I’ve been with my organization for close to five years, and about a year-and-a-half ago, maybe two years now, this person joined the organization, and his background is really similar to mine. We actually kind of worked in similar circles outside of our organization before he joined this one. So, when we first started working together, I think he and I were both really excited to have that kind of familiar thought partner in the organization, so it started off really great.

About six months in, I started hearing from other folks in the organization that he was starting to do some work that really was my team’s responsibility, and I had no idea that he was doing it. One of the things that he was doing was putting on a training about kind of what my team is responsible for, and so I showed up in the training. One of our colleagues had actually forwarded the invitation to me, so I showed up. I think he, on the fly, was, like, “Oh, and Lynne is here, and she can answer any other questions, correct me, or whatever,” which I thought was kind of funny. So, that happened.

LYNNE: Then, I heard later on he was continuing to do these things, and I had also started hearing some kind of back-channel gossip about things that he was saying about me personally in terms of, “She doesn’t know what she’s doing or “I disagree with the approach,” which is fine. I think it’s OK to disagree, but I guess I would’ve just appreciated that he could have had that conversation with me. We could have some conversation about differences and come to some agreement on how to move forward together, but that didn’t happen.

AMY GALLO: Yeah. During that time, when you’re hearing that back-channel gossip, when he’s sort of stepping on your team’s toes, how were your interactions with him?

LYNNE: Increasingly icy. I don’t know if I was showing up differently. I didn’t feel like I was showing up differently, but I did notice that he was showing up and saying less and less every time we were meeting, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to get information out of him. We have these meetings so that we can kind of stay coordinated, and so I’d ask him, “Hey, what are you working on?” And nothing. There was no acknowledgement of like, “Oh yeah, I did this thing that was probably yours,” and whatever. Yeah, none of that.

AMY GALLO: What would he say he’s working on?

LYNNE: Things that were completely in his wheelhouse to work on.

AMY GALLO: OK. So, he just was leaving out completely the things he was doing. Got it, OK.

LYNNE: Yeah. Yeah. What’s uniquely challenging, I think, about my role is, while I’m responsible for an enterprise-wide program, I sit in the middle of the organization, so I don’t actually have much authority, quite frankly.

AMY GALLO: Yeah. Yeah.

LYNNE: So, influence is key. Partnerships and relationships are key, and I think what I was worried about is, OK, so if there’s someone in the organization who has the background to speak authoritatively on this subject, and if he and I aren’t aligned, folks in the organization are going to be confused: Should we be doing this, or should we be doing that? Lynne’s saying this, and this other guy is saying that, and he’s saying Lynne doesn’t know what she’s doing, and so maybe I should believe him. So, anyway.

AMY GALLO: Right.

LYNNE: It really hinders our ability to do what it is that we need to do, so I scheduled a meeting with him. I call it our alignment discussion. I just came right out. I was like, “Hey, so I’ve been hearing that you’ve been doing these things, having these trainings, having these meetings, and I just kind of wonder, why aren’t you involving me? Why aren’t you involving my team?”

LYNNE: And he was kind of like, “Oh, no. No. I’m not doing that.”

LYNNE: I was like, “Yeah, but you are.”

AMY GALLO: But you are. Right. Right. I was in the training.

LYNNE: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. Then, I didn’t feel like I was making any headway with that kind of tack, and so I just asked him, “Why did you join this organization?” What I was trying to do was try to figure out really what are his intentions, what is he trying to get out of his job? Is there some common ground there?

AMY GALLO: Smart move.

LYNNE: So, I asked him — I did do crucial conversations training.

AMY GALLO: There we go. There we go. Yeah, perfect.

LYNNE: A little bit of knowledge I gleaned from the training. So, I asked him, “Hey, why did you come to the organization?” And I shared why I joined the organization, what I was trying to achieve. So then he started answering the question — well, he started talking. I wouldn’t say he answered the question. He spent the next 15, 20 minutes telling me about all of the job offers he had had leading up to his decision to join the organization and his career background. And I was like, “This isn’t answering the question that I asked you.” After listening to that, I was kind of hoping he would get there eventually, but he didn’t, and so I asked him again. I was like, “Why did you join the organization?” And he gave me this very, it was a very terse answer. I mean, it was to the point, but he was almost kind of like, “Ugh. How dare you?”

AMY GALLO: It felt like a challenge to him, perhaps.

LYNNE: Yeah, yeah. So, from that moment, I was like, “Yes. I mean, this is why I’m here, so we’ve got this thing.” And so from there, it kind of seemed like it was a little bit easier to find ways to move forward. Even in that conversation, and I think the conversation was, we originally only scheduled it for a half hour. I was like, Boom, boom, boom. We’ll talk through this. We’ll hold hands and everything. Just skip through the fields together, right? It turned into a two-hour conversation, in part because he would go on these 15-, 20-minute loops. But at the end of it, we really got to a place where it was like, OK, we’re both committed to improving communication. We’re going to have weekly meetings to touch base and make sure that we’re staying coordinated. Actually, it kind of felt like we had really turned a corner.

AMY GALLO: Yeah. It sounds productive.

LYNNE: Yeah, and things were better for a while. Then, I don’t remember exactly the timing. Maybe it was another eight months or so. Things started to get icy again, and again I’m kind of hearing these gossip channels about, He’s saying things about you again. I mean, could see he was doing things that were kind of encroaching on what my team is responsible for, and so like, why are we doing this again?

AMY GALLO: Right, right. Did you talk to him again?

LYNNE: I did not have another one of those conversations. This is all happening during the pandemic, and that’s hard. It was hard for everybody. I think I was just exhausted.

AMY GALLO: Sure.

LYNNE: Quite frankly. I was exhausted from the pandemic. I was exhausted from having to go through this thing again, and I think I kind of just threw up my arms and was like, I don’t know. I talk to him, but I can’t get anything back. I get this feeling of, whenever I try to have some conversation about, “Hey, how can we work together or a more coordinated way?” Actually, I think I asked this question of him a lot, “Am I doing something that you disagree with, that you don’t like?” And that’s when he’s like, “Oh no. You’re fine.”

AMY GALLO: Yeah.

LYNNE: So, I guess what I struggle with is it’s really difficult to improve a relationship or address a problem between two people when one person doesn’t acknowledge that there’s a problem.

AMY GALLO: 100%. Yeah.

LYNNE: So, I think that’s kind of where I threw up my arms and was just like, I don’t know what to do from here. I did talk to my manager in our check-ins, and she is observing the behavior as well. There are actually a number of people in the organization who are observing the behavior in different sorts of forums.

AMY GALLO: And they’re confirming your interpretation of what’s happening?

LYNNE: Yeah.

AMY GALLO: Yeah. OK.

LYNNE: And my interpretation of what is happening to me and also sharing with me that he is doing similar things to them. She and I stay connected, and my manager suggested, “Hey, let’s escalate to this guy’s boss,” so I did. I had a conversation with him and explained some of the behaviors that I was seeing, and the response I got back was, “I don’t think he really means to be misogynist, and I don’t want him to feel bad,” which in retrospect just makes me laugh, because it’s like, “Oh, you don’t want him to feel bad, but it’s OK if I feel bad?” [Laughs.]

AMY GALLO: [Laughs.] You feel bad. Yes. Yeah, you can handle it, but he can’t.

LYNNE: Right, so that path was untenable.

AMY GALLO: Yeah.

LYNNE: So, that’s kind of where we are right now. I mean, my manager, as I mentioned, we talk about it, not on a regular basis, but as things arise and as they become legitimate business issues, we’re talking about it, right?

AMY GALLO: Mm-hmm.

LYNNE: She is stepping in to see if she can foster some sort of productive relationship with him, kind of on my behalf and really on behalf of our entire team because, at the end of the day, we all need to figure this out, so that’s kind of where things are right now.

AMY GALLO: OK, so I want to point out a few things that you’ve done right so far, because I think that there is a lot you’ve done right. One is, in your conversation with him and even in your mind, like your mindset, you’re focused on the shared goal, what you actually have in common, what you need to do together in order to work collaboratively, get your work done, achieve your goals. And that’s important to have that shared goal, especially with someone who you have a tricky relationship with, because that becomes a touch point to come back to, and sometimes helps someone get beyond their difficult behavior and get to a more collaborative stance. So, that’s great that you’ve done that.

You’ve also been honest with him about the impact of his behavior. And it sounds like that conversation, you were asking him about his intention, you were describing the need to be more aligned, your desire to be more aligned. That’s also a really good step in the right direction. What I am encouraged by is that that conversation, you know, a two-hour conversation doesn’t surprise me. I know we often go into these difficult conversations and think, Well, we’ll just say this and this, and it’ll all be good, but they never work that way, right?

But what I’m encouraged by is that there was some change in behavior from him after that. Now, I know when I personally am trying to change something, I do really well right after I commit to changing it, maybe I get some advice, maybe I understand how it impacts others. And then, when things get stressful, I just slip back into the old behavior. The generous interpretation, I think, here is that he has some, my guess is, and I don’t want to get overly diagnostic about him, I don’t think it’s fair. But just to put some theories out there to help us figure out how to handle this in a productive way, he’s a little insecure about his role. He would feel better if he had more responsibility, more control. And with that insecurity, when that pops up, he does things like gossip or do a little bit of a territory grab, right? The land grab that he’s doing in terms of doing the training on a topic that your team’s responsible for. And he probably knows that’s not that effective, especially when you tell him it’s not, but it’s easy for him to slip back into that.

Let’s just assume he changes some behavior. Do you see a path forward in your own mind? Can you get past what’s happened so far to be in collaboration with him?

LYNNE: That’s a really good question. I mean, to be totally honest, I don’t know.

AMY GALLO: Yeah.

LYNNE: I’d like to think that I could muster some perseverance to work through it, but I don’t know.

AMY GALLO: Yeah, and I think sometimes I talk to people, and they say, “Well, I’m not ready to go there unless I get an apology or unless I get an admission that they were wrong and this…” And I understand that, and I also want to be realistic that you aren’t going to be able to control how he responds, especially with someone passive aggressive. I’ve heard people describe it as shadow boxing, is that you’re trying to engage, and they’re just like, No. I’m not even here. I have no needs, and I want to talk a little bit about the passive-aggressive behavior in a moment.

But I do think one of the first steps for you is to really think about, if we were able to get to a place where, at least maybe eight times out of 10, we felt aligned in partnership, could you get over the resentment, or the frustration, or the exhaustion that you feel? And I don’t say that as in, let’s dismiss your feelings. I don’t want to treat you the same way his boss treated you of like, well, you can handle being upset. It’s more that I think that mindset is going to be required if you genuinely want a working relationship with him, and I think it serves you. I don’t see this as forgiving him or being generous to him. I think it’s what ultimately serves you and what you’re trying to achieve in your role. I think that, for me, is step number one.

Let’s talk about the passive-aggressive behavior for a moment, because generally what we find with passive-aggressive behavior is that it’s not about actively trying to be a jerk. It’s more often just a fear of something: a fear of failure, a fear of confrontation. I think those feel like the most relevant perhaps here, is that from what you’ve described, he appears maybe a conflict-avoidant person who doesn’t want to tell you, “Actually, I think I should be responsible for that,” or “I don’t think your team’s doing a good-enough job, and that’s why I took over.” Who knows what his logic is, but one of the things you can do when people are afraid of confrontation is try to create an environment in which it’s OK for them to be a little more direct and a little more honest.

It sounds like you took a step toward that in that conversation where you were asking him about his intentions, why he joined the company. I think those were really smart questions to ask, and I might think about, are there other ways in the way you interact with him, where you can model humility or even some vulnerability that would show him it’s OK to say that you’re not doing a perfect job? That might even be to say, “One of the things I wish my team had been able to do this year was this, but because of the pandemic or because of this, we didn’t, and I realize that’s a failure on our part.” Just sort of opening up the conversation so he feels like he can be a little more honest. Is that something you think might be effective with this person, or does that sound too difficult to do?

LYNNE: I mean, I think I kind of do that on a regular basis. By nature, I’m a very self-deprecating person. We don’t need to get into my psychology, but I like to sprinkle in some humor with all meetings that I have, and oftentimes that humor is on myself or like, “Oh. I really screwed this up,” or whatever it is, and just kind of trying to really create that environment that is like, I’m not perfect, and I get things wrong all the time. I think I say that a lot too. It’s like, “I get stuff wrong. I have blind spots,” so I guess what I’m wondering is, maybe the way I’m saying it isn’t in such a way that it makes him feel comfortable to give feedback

AMY GALLO: Or maybe it’s that your self-deprecation is something he thinks, Oh, I don’t want to do. His interpretation may be like, she’s just out there admitting her weaknesses and her faults, and I don’t want to do that. So, maybe he’s reacting to that in a way where he’s sort of shutting it down or shutting his own ability to be vulnerable down because he doesn’t want to replicate that. Is he the kind of person who just does not admit faults at all?

LYNNE: Yeah.

AMY GALLO: Yeah, so in that case, since it sounds like you’ve tried to do some of that, sort of making it safe to disagree, making it safe for him to be more honest with you, you may need a more direct approach with him instead of the self-deprecating, “Well, my team doesn’t get everything right,” which may actually be backfiring in a way or sort of pushing him toward a different reaction. Maybe there’s a more direct request, which is something even as simple as, “Because we operate in the same field and we need to partner, we both see things about each other and in each other’s teams that I think we could be useful to give one another feedback. Can we agree?”

AMY GALLO: So, rather than asking him, “Do you see it this way?”, because he is going to be like, “Nope. It’s all fine,” right? Asking about the process, “Can we agree that we’ll be straightforward with one another about things that we see or things we want to be different?” Then, sort of you create a contract, and then when something else happens later on, and he says, “Oh no, no. Everything’s fine,” you could say, “You know, I think this might be one of those times where we really need to be, remember we agreed we’re going to be direct and honest with each other? I just want to make sure there’s something you’re not saying that you wish you could say.”

LYNNE: Yeah.

AMY GALLO: And that’s another thing with passive-aggressive people; sometimes instead of saying, “You’re saying no, but I know you’re thinking something,” you can say, “Is there something you wish you could say but you’re not saying right now?” Just sort of, again, to add a little bit of safety, nudging them in the right direction. I wouldn’t be surprised if he went home and said to his partner like, “Oh my gosh. I was almost honest, and then I couldn’t do it, and I wimped out.” Sometimes we think people are really being malicious when really they’re just defaulting to their worst behaviors in moments because they’re afraid or because they’re fearful.

So, I do think going back and having another conversation about the process of you all working together is probably the right next step, especially because you’ve got some good results out of it the first time, even though they all went away, but you did get some good results. So, it might be worth going back and saying, “We had this conversation. I felt really good coming out of it. I felt like we were really on the same page. I’m concerned some of that has slipped. I don’t know where that lies but, again, our success really depends on us collaborating together, so can we talk about how we might work better together? Here’s three things I’d love to agree to.” And one of those might be, “We’re going to be straightforward and honest when we see things that the other person could improve on or the other team could improve on.” You might come up with those three things, and then say, “What would you like to see different?” And he might say, “Nothing. Everything’s fine,” which you can’t force an honest response out of him, so instead, can you contract with him about how you’ll interact going forward?

LYNNE: Yeah. I love that, and that’s definitely something I feel comfortable doing. I think that would make a big difference.

AMY GALLO: Oh good. Good, good. Are there people in the organization that he works really well with?

LYNNE: So, who he works well with are people, quite frankly, that I don’t interact with very much, and also executives. They’re executives. He manages up really well.

AMY GALLO: Yeah. What about his boss, the one who says he doesn’t see the bad behavior?

LYNNE: Yeah, a really good relationship with his boss.

AMY GALLO: Yeah. This is an opening; the fact that his boss has respect for him and works well with him, it might be worth another conversation with the boss. Now that you’ve sort of opened this up, explaining what the issues are, you might say, “I’m invested in making that working relationship better. Do you have any tips for how to best work with him? Do you have any advice for what works well when you work with him?”

Now, you have to take it all with a grain of salt, because this is someone who’s more senior and he does have those managing up skills, but it’s possible that boss has some advice you haven’t thought of. This is a tactic I like to use, is when I’m struggling with someone, I find the person who likes them a lot, and I go to that person if I have a trusting relationship and just say, “I’m interested in improving my relationship with them. What advice do you have?” And I’ve gotten some really interesting pieces of feedback, and it’s helped me put myself in that person’s shoes a little bit.

His boss may tell you, “Well, he’s pretty insecure, and he thinks that you don’t trust him.” And then, you’re like, “OK. Now I have to show I trust him, or I have to find ways I can show I trust him.” Again, always genuine, because people will see through anything that’s not.

The other piece about this boss that I’m thinking about is escalation is always a tactic that you can use. Bringing it to your boss, which I think has worked well, because you’ve gotten some support and some advice. It also helps to protect your career, to loop your boss into this, so if things do go sideways, then at least your boss knows. I do think it was smart to talk to his boss as well. The thing about escalating is you always have to escalate to someone who is willing and able to do something about the issue, which it sounds like his boss just wasn’t able to do.

And we can probably get into a whole other conversation about why that is. Maybe he just doesn’t have the skills. Maybe he’s conflict avoidant. Maybe, who knows? Maybe he has information you don’t have about why this person’s behaving that way. It could be a zillion things, but it’s one thing when I think about escalating an issue with a coworker, is you have to think about, can that person do something? And sometimes you don’t know, you try it out, and you learn, like you did, that they’re just not willing to do it. It’s incredibly disappointing, and yet it’s also the reality, but I like the idea of going to his boss and asking for any tips. Is that a conversation you can do?

LYNNE: Yeah. Absolutely, yeah.

AMY GALLO: Yeah. And you might get some really vague answers or tips, but I think you seem like the kind of person who’s good at reading between the lines. I think you’ll get a sense of what that boss is trying to tell you about the best way to work with this person.

LYNNE: Yeah, and it’s starting to spin the wheels for me of who else in the organization I can reach out to, to ask that question.

AMY GALLO: Yeah. I don’t want to end this conversation without talking about gossip; his gossiping, what sounds like maybe other people gossiping to you about him. So, one of the things that I think is important is that anytime you’re talking about him to others, which I will never tell you to not do that, because I think that’s incredibly helpful to get input, to run ideas by people, to get their interpretation of how things went, but I think the goal in those conversations is, how do I make this better, not how do I get these people onto my side? I’m not saying that’s what you’re doing, but I think it’s a mental shift to really have to watch out for, so you don’t create or worsen an unhealthy dynamic. Does that make sense to you?

LYNNE: Yeah, that makes total sense. There’s some sort of catharsis in unloading on people, so I have to make that mental kind of split, like, save that for your husband. [Laughs.] My dear husband has to deal with listening to me on this on an endless basis, it seems. But, yeah, what is actually productive, and what helps us improve the situation, even for me or for whoever it is I’m talking to. So, yeah.

AMY GALLO: Yeah. Now, being gossiped about, let’s talk about that for a moment, because when you hear things in the organization about what he said, it’s infuriating. You’re also like, what are people not telling me? Because I think your mind can start to race of like, oh, all these conversations are happening behind my back. And I do think establishing a better relationship with that person hopefully will cut some of that out. I think eventually if that continues, that behavior continues or worsens, it might be something you just call out and just say, “I heard from so-and-so that you disagree with me. Next time you feel that way, please come to me directly.” You just sort of lay it out very directly.

There’s also research that shows when people in organizations know they might be gossip about, like they know there might be some people who will talk behind the back, they behave better because they don’t want to be the subject of gossip. Now, I’m not encouraging you to be like, “If you don’t behave, I’m going to talk behind your back,” but I do think it’s important for him to know you are hearing this. I would try first to see if you can make him feel more secure, because I think a direct confrontation with someone who’s passive aggressive, it just sometimes falls apart. But if that doesn’t, in a few weeks or after these conversations, if they don’t work, you may just need to say, “I hear what you’re saying about me. Please come to me directly. I believe we have a strong enough relationship to work it out.”

That’s not an easy statement to make. I would write it down a bunch of times, practice it in the mirror, practice it with your husband, and then try it out. It’s not an easy thing to do, but I do think sometimes that nips that behavior in the bud. And sometimes people respond to that directness, and they may actually react negatively in the moment, but still change the behavior. If you were to call it out and say, “Please come to me directly,” and he said, “I never gossiped about you. What are you talking about? You’re totally off base,” that doesn’t mean he’s going to continue to do it. It just means he had a little bit of a tantrum in that moment, which is fine. The tantrum happens, but he still may change the behavior, because you put him on watch that you’re paying attention.

And one of the things that I want to be clear about is you’re not going to change him. He’s not going to wake up and be like, Lynne showed me the light, and I am now not passive aggressive, and I’m going to stop talking about great I am, and I’m going to stop all of this grabbing of her projects and initiatives, and I’m just going to be a better person. More likely than not, it’s going to take a lot of small experiments with him to see what nudges his behavior in the right direction, all while doing what you’re already doing, which is keeping your manager informed. I think even coming up with a plan with your manager of, “Here’s the three things I’m going to try, and can I come back and debrief with you how they went? Can you give me feedback about how to do them differently?” She sounds like someone who you could really use as a sounding board as you’re trying to navigate this.

LYNNE: Yeah, yeah. Definitely. Just a general approach that I take to work is kind of approaching it as like a scientist, right? We’re going to try something, and we’ll see if it works, and if it doesn’t, we’ll learn and we’ll try something else or iterate. So, I like that, because I get to be a scientist.

AMY GALLO: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. That’s music to my ears. We’re on the same page, because at the end of the day, we all wish people would show up as their best selves every day, but they’re not going to, and we don’t either, right? There are likely things that you do that drive him crazy or that trigger some of this behavior, and we’re all messy human beings who show up with a bunch of baggage every day we go to work, and it’s about trying to improve as much as we can and accept that people also have faults that we’re not going to fix by forcing them to be less passive aggressive, for example.

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m wishing you the best of luck. I hope you’ll keep us posted on how these conversations go and what, if anything, shifts in the future.

LYNNE: Yeah. This has been great. I really appreciate your time and the whole team’s time. This has been super helpful.

AMY GALLO: Good. I’m so glad.

If you want to learn more about how to work with a passive-aggressive coworker or otherwise difficult person, you can order my book, Getting Along, through HBR’s online store, Amazon, or your favorite bookstore. If you prefer to listen, there’s the audiobook I narrated. HBR has put together a toolkit to accompany the book that includes more of these episodes, as well as worksheets and an assessment to help you put the book’s advice in practice. Find the toolkit by going to store.hbr.org and searching Getting Along.

Let me know what you think of this series by emailing [email protected]

Also, HBR has more podcasts to help you manage yourself, your team, and your organization, find them at hbr.org/podcasts, or search “HBR” in Apple Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you listen.

Women at Work‘s editorial and production team is Amanda Kersey, Maureen Hoch, Tina Tobey Mack, Rob Eckhardt, Erica Truxler, Ian Fox, and Hannah Bates. My co-host, Amy Bernstein, will be back with me for Season 8, starting October 17. I’m Amy Gallo. Thanks for listening.