67: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People), with Amy E. Gallo, Author, “Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People)”
Meet Amy Gallo:
Amy Gallo is the author of the “HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict,” and the forthcoming “Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People).” She is a co-host of the Women at Work podcast and is a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review. She is a public speaker and founder of Amy E Gallo Consulting, Inc as well as a Coach and Consulting Partner at Paravis Partners, LLC. Amy received a Bachelor’s in Sociology from Yale University and an MPA in Public Policy from Brown University.
Amy Gallo realized there were many exceptions to the generalized rules about dealing with conflict. She set out to write a book that provides more specific advice for dealing with different types of difficult people.
- Being Better at Conflict. When conflict arises, we tend to go on the defensive and lose sight of the other person. Instead, try to think about the other person in an empathetic way. Additionally, do preparation for the conversation. Ask yourself: what are the facts of the situation, what assumptions am I making, and what don’t I know? And, what if I’m wrong, what would I do differently? (11:28)
- Working with Passive-Aggressive Types. Some co-workers may defy orders and not be straightforward or honest. Amy recommends creating situations where that coworker feels comfortable sharing their disagreements, and feels seen and heard. Additionally, create group norms that create positive peer pressure so that person delivers on their agreements. If those tips don’t work, call out the behavior with examples. (29:05)
- Working With Know-It-Alls. To navigate disagreements with a know-it-all, focus the conversation on facts and data. Additionally, overconfident people tend to respect confidence in others, so present your data with conviction. Remember that their behavior likely is a reflection of their own insecurities, and not a judgement of you. (32:09)