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You First: Creating and Managing Happier, Healthier and More Productive Business Teams

Dysfunctional teams are discouragingly prevalent throughout the world of business.  Rather than aiding an organization’s business plan, poorly conceived and managed teams erode productivity and extinguish innovation.

Laura Ellis podcast

Because There's More Podcast

Episode Description

There are so many ways a team can go wrong. Does your team make decisions so slowly that nothing ever gets done, or does it go too fast and miss critical issues that come back to bite you later? Does your team bicker endlessly or smile and nod while avoiding the tough issues? Too often, team dysfunction leads to abysmal productivity and zero innovation for your organization, as well as misery and wasted time for you.
Listen to Dr. Liane Davey sharing her expertise and extensive experience in enabling effective team dynamics from the executive team down in order to transform organizations.

Five common problems your team is susceptible to—and the one thing you can do to fix all of them

There are so many ways a team can go wrong. Does your team make decisions so slowly that nothing ever gets done, or does it go too fast and miss critical issues that come back to bite you later? Does your team bicker endlessly or smile and nod while avoiding the tough issues? Too often, team dysfunction leads to abysmal productivity and zero innovation for your organization, as well as misery and wasted time for you.

Working for insecure leaders can be scary - here's how to deal with them

The scariest, most anxiety-provoking bosses to work for—and how to cope with them

It can be scary to work for a leader who’s insecure. It might not seem like a threat, but there can be consequences to this style of leadership that can affect you and your team. If this is something you’re struggling with, check out my tips on how to alleviate the negative side effects of an unsure leader.

Arguments can get intense, so here are my tips on how to de-escalate a heated argument

How to De-Escalate an Argument with a Co-Worker

It’s all too easy to slip into an aggressive discussion during conflict. If you want some ideas on how to efficiently handle a situation where an argument has become too intense, check out this article.

Here are some tips on how to deal with a heated argument without getting anyone too riled up

Three Steps to Effectively Deal with a Heated Argument

If you enjoyed Liane’s article on how to de-escalate intense arguments with co-workers, check out this piece. It will provide you with some more tips on how to handle an intense argument with someone you work with, inspired by the tips that Liane provided in my latest HBR article.

What types of support should a good network provide?

Everyone's Network Should Provide Two Things

Have you spent time securing yourself a network of people you can reach out to when you need them? If so, here are Liane’s ideas on what this support system of people should be able to provide to you, and how to determine if your network is really doing what you need it to.

Wellness is important to any job - here's why

What if your Employer Paid you to Exercise and Sleep? Inside One Startup's Wellness Experiment

Physical exercise and sleep are important aspects of our wellness, and should be encouraged. But, can it go too far? Here are some of Liane’s thoughts on the benefits and drawbacks of tracking employee’s health and fitness behaviours and using them to provide monetary rewards.

Here's how to handle a team that has too much on their plates

Managing a Team that's Been Asked to do too Much

If you’re managing a team and they have too much on their plates, things can get ugly. Here are Liane’s tips on how to combat some of the pressures your team may be feeling, and some ideas on how to advocate for your team so they don’t get into a difficult situation.

A commentary on some of the practices Uber has taken up that involve manipulating their employees

Uber has Crossed the Line from Motivating Employees to Actively Manipulating Them

Uber is a highly popular service that many people take advantage of. While it may seem like a convenient way to save money and travel efficiently, the company has some secrets. Read Liane’s commentary on the ways that Uber has moved from positively motivating employees to manipulating them.

Some explanation as to why name-dropping rarely works, and why it can cause negative consequences

Psychologists Explain why Name-Dropping Basically Always Backfires

We name-drop for all kinds of reasons, whether to get ahead or to simply assert our importance. While it’s natural to name-drop around others, it may not be beneficial. Read Liane’s thoughts in this article on why name-dropping can backfire, and why it usually always does.

Women being interrupted by men has become all too common - here are some strategies to combat the effects

Three Strategies Women can use to Combat Manterruptions at Work

Unfortunately, it has become all too common for a woman to get cut off by a man in the middle of a thought. These manterruptions are not only distressing, but can influence productivity and overall team effectiveness. Here are some of Liane’s tips for women who are struggling to be heard.

Comey's testimony has brought up an important issue - cowardly leaders seem to love a certain management tactic

Comey's Testimony Exposed the Management Tactic that Cowardly Leaders Love

Comey’s testimony has brought a great stir with it, and interestingly enough, some business lessons. Here, Liane inputs some of her thoughts on a tactic Comey used during his testimony that cowardly leaders tend to use in their day-to-day work.

Have you ever seen spilled milk at your office? Would you clean it up if you did? Surprisingly, this says a lot about the culture in your office

You Can Tell How Happy Employees are by Looking at these Subtle Details of Office Design

Have you ever seen spilled milk in your office? Would you clean it up if you did? Surprisingly, your answers to these questions may speak volumes about your company’s culture. Liane weighs in in this article on how to tell if employees are happy by looking at the surrounding environment.

DO you have too much on your plate? Here's how to communicate that to your boss

How to Tell Your Boss that you have Too Much Work

Do you have a lot on your plate, but aren’t sure how to tell your superior? If so, here are some of Liane’s ideas on how to communicate with your boss and tell them you have too much going on.

Is it smart to talk about politics at work? Check out my thoughts here

Talking Politics at Work

Politics is a fascinating topic, and many people are quite involved with the political goings-on of their country and other surrounding areas. But, is it appropriate to bring this passion into the workplace? Political views are often highly personal, and it can be dangerous to bring them up in a conversation at the office. Listen to this interview with Liane, to gain some insight into the positives and negatives of getting into a political debate at work.

Are you dealing with too much work? Here's how to ask for less

How to Tell Your Boss to Give you Less Work

If you’re struggling with an overwhelming workload, then take a look at some of the tips in this article, including some of Liane’s ideas on how to ask your boss to give you less work.

An interesting piece on vocabulary and leadership

We tracked Jeff Bezos’s use of “We” Versus “I” over 20 Years to see how he’s Changed as a Leader

As a leader, do you prefer to use the word “we” or “I”? As an employee, which do you prefer to hear? There are many reasons as to why any one person would choose to use either one of these words. Liane shares her thoughts in an interesting piece on Jeff Bezos’ vocabulary throughout his years as a leader.

Here's why it's important to keep your writing clear and consise

Wake up Call: Keep your Writing Simple and Too the Point

It may seem important to sound smart and sophisticated in a piece of business writing, but actually it’s far more important to get to the point. Liane shares her thoughts on why it’s important to keep writing simple, and make sure that it’s not too fancy to be understood.

Have you ever made this mistake while networking? Stay away from name-dropping

This is the Most Awkward Networking Mistake you can Make

If you enjoyed Psychologists Explain why Name-Dropping Basically Always Backfires, then read this article with expanded views and more quotes from Liane on why it’s important to stay away from dropping names in business situations.

Are you guilty of taking on too many meetings? If so, here's how to politely decline one.

How (and why) to say 'No' to a Meeting

Do you find yourself constantly attending meetings? Are they all of equal importance? If not, then you may benefit from Liane’s tips on how to say no to a meeting. Although unpleasant, sometimes it can be the right choice.

Are you managing former peers? Here's the first thing you should do

What to Do First When Managing Former Peers

Promotions are exciting, until you realize that it means you may have to manage those who used to be your peers. While it can be scary to step into a situation where your former colleagues are now your employees, there are ways to go about it. Read Liane’s instructions on how to handle a this kind of situation.

Politics is interesting, but is it work appropriate? Find out here

Should You Talk About Politics at Work?

If you enjoyed Liane’s interview on the dos and don’ts of discussing politics in the workplace, read this article. With new perspectives and more insights from Liane on the situation of political banter at work, this article will give you a deeper understanding of how to go about bringing up the current political situation in the office.

As a manager, it's your job to make sure everyone has an equal amount of work. Here's how

Make Sure your Team's Workload is Divided Fairly

As a manager, it’s one of your jobs to make sure that everyone on the team has an equal amount of work to do. This article details how to make sure of this, with some interesting tips from Liane included.

Have you ever made a mistake and not know how to tell a coworker about it? Here's how

How to Tell your Colleague you Dropped the Ball

Have you ever made a mistake at work? Chances are you have. It’s all too common to make mistakes, and they should be used as learning tools… but sometimes it can be difficult to tell you colleagues when you dropped the ball. Here are some tips on how to talk to your co-workers after a mistake has been made, with advice from Liane included.

Have you ever been in an argument that's gotten way over the top in emotions? If so, you're not alone. Here's how to deal with it

When an Argument Gets Too Heated, Here's What to Say

Conflict can be productive, but it can also easily tip across the line and become over-emotional and heated. If a conflict is angry and hostile, it’s not going to help anyone. Here are Liane’s tips on how to defuse an argument that’s become too aggressive and intense.

Some decisions are difficult. But here's a question you can ask yourself when you're facing a difficult problem

The One Question to Ask Yourself the Next Time You’re Facing a Difficult Problem

Everyone encounters difficult problems, and there are many tried and true ways to go about them. But, next time you find yourself facing something difficult, try starting here with this one question. Liane inputs her thoughts in this article on the place to start with any difficult problem.

Job interviews can be scary - but if you have something to look for, they can be more beneficial to you right off the bat

Here's What to Look for When You Go in for a Job Interview

Job interviews are often thought of as a process for the employer. But, the employee should benefit from the interview as well. If you’re planning on going to a job interview anytime soon, here are some thoughts and some of Liane’s inputs into what you should be looking for.

Here are some tips on how to reduce your workload in the new year

New Year's Resolutions Made Easy: Tips for Reducing your Workload

What are your New Year’s Resolutions? If you’re lacking, read this article with Liane’s ideas on how to reduce your workload in the New Year.

If you can give hypothetical examples during an argument, you're much more likely to convince your opponent

Make a More Convincing Argument by Using Hypotheticals

In your next disagreement, try using this strategy. This piece suggests using hypothetical situations to win over an opponent during an argument. Including some of Liane’s advice, this article will give you the tools you need to convince your opponent of your argument’s merit in your next conflict.

It can be tough to fully express yourself when the conversation gets intense. Here's how to make sure others are hearing what you have to say

How to Make Sure You're Heard in a Difficult Conversation

When the conversation gets intense, it can be tough to make sure that you’re being heard and understood. Try these tips, and some of Liane’s rules to ensure that you’re always going to be heard when the conversation gets heated.

A look into why being good at your product does not equal being good at leadership

Instagram's CEO is not very good at Instagram - and that's why he's good at his job

Instagram is a public craze, and it’s become all too common for people to focus their time on finding the perfect aesthetic for their personal pages. However, Instagram’s CEO couldn’t care less about the way that his page looks. Read some of Liane’s thoughts on this case, and how she sees it to be a good thing that this CEO isn’t the greatest at his own product

Name dropping is never a good thing - here's why

The Social Faux Pas That Will Make You Instantly Unpopular

It’s becoming public knowledge that name dropping never gets you where you want to go. So, why do we do it? This article takes a deeper look into why people feel the need to name drop, and Liane inputs some of her ideas on the subject.

Stress is all too common in our society - how can you help reduce it as a boss?

6 Ways a Boss can Reduce Stress at Work

It’s too easy to become stressed in our society, and it can be detrimental to productivity in the workplace. If you’re a boss of a group of stressed out people, try these Liane’s tip to reducing stress at work.

Ever wonder the damage a bad boss can do to you? Find out here

How a Bad Boss can Stunt your Career

Having the wrong boss can be extremely detrimental to your career. It can stunt your confidence and your skill set, and can end up being extremely damaging. Here is a closer look at why bad bosses can hurt your career, and what to do about them, with tips from Liane included.

Wondering what kind of toxic team you're on? Find out here

5 Ways to Fix Your Dysfunctional Team

Toxic teams are dangerous things, but they can be fixed. Read here Liane’s opinion on both different types of toxic teams, and the actions necessary to fix one.

The status quo kills companies - here's how to enact change

The Status Quo Kills Companies. Here's How to Enact Change

It’s scary to distance yourself from the familiar, but it’s necessary for innovation. The status quo may seem comfortable, but it can actually severely harm your company if you’re not willing to stray from it. Read some of Liane’s thoughts on why it’s important to move towards the unknown.

Here's the proof that too much overtime can kill you

It's True - Putting in too Much Overtime can Kill You. Here's the Proof.

We all put in the extra hour every now and then. But, when it becomes a habit to work overtime, it can become bad for our health. This article takes a deeper look into the possible consequences of working too much overtime, with some of Liane’s insights included.

Have you ever been stuck with the crier on your team? If it makes you uncomfortable check out these tips

How to Deal with a Crier on your Team

It can be very uncomfortable when somebody starts crying in the middle of an argument or discussion. But, this article looks into why it shouldn’t be. With some tips from Liane, this article provides a good explanation as to what crying at work really means.

Everyone is stressed - but if you're a manager, you might be able to alleviate some of it for your team

Help your Overwhelmed, Stressed-Out Team

Stress in our society is overly common. But, if you’re a manager, you might have the opportunity to alleviate some of the stress your team might feel. Read some of Liane’s thoughts on how you can help your overwhelmed team if you’re in charge.

How do we get teamwork to go from just a concept to a reality?

Morphing Teamwork: from Buzzword to Reality

Teamwork is a great concept… but it can be hard to put into reality in some situations. This interview with Liane contains valuable information on how to transform teamwork from just a buzzword with a lot of potential to a practice with a lot of payoff.

Confrontation is tricky, but can be improved with practice

How to Become more Comfortable with Confrontation in 7 Different Ways

Confrontation is hard, but there’s no way around it sometimes. Liane provides a tip in this article to learn how to deal with confrontation in a more productive way.

Tips for how to have a difficult conversation that you've been avoiding

A Game Plan for that Conversation You've Been Putting Off

You know the conversation — the one that brings stress and anxiety with just the mere thought of it. If there’s a discussion you need to have that you’re dreading, read Liane’s article on why it’s important to have the talk, and how to go about it.

A good meeting starts with a good introduction. Here's how to perform on

The Right Way to Start a Meeting

A good meeting starts with a good introduction. If you’re struggling with starting your meetings, you’re not alone. Read Liane’s tips on how to start a meeting effectively, and by doing so you’ll be setting up the whole rest of the meeting for success.

There has to be conflict for any innovation to occur

If Your Team Agrees on Everything, Working Together is Pointless

While it feels nice to agree with your teammates on everything, it’s not particularly productive. In fact, conflict is where we get innovation. Read Liane’s commentary on why it’s useless for your team to get along all of the time, and why it’s important to embrace productive conflict.

It's okay to vent, but when does it cross the line?

How to Tell the Difference between Venting and Office Gossip

It’s okay to vent if you’re frustrated, but where does it cross the line? Office gossip can be very dangerous, and should be avoided at all costs. Read Liane’s opinion on how to recognize and shut down office gossip before it goes too far.

Everybody wants to sound intelligent when writing, but is it really necessary?

Stop Trying to Sound Smart when You're Writing

It’s tempting to throw big words into anything that you’re writing. Although it seems like a good idea to sound smart, sometimes it can backfire. Here are Liane’s thoughts on why it’s important to stop trying to sound smart when you’re writing.

Every team has a sweet spot of pressure versus no pressure - find the magic spot for your team

How to Put the Right Amount of Pressure on your Team

Every team has a sweet spot – not too much pressure, but not so little that nothing gets done. Read Liane’s advice on how to find the right amount of pressure for your team.

Not all meetings are productive - here's how to decline one that won't do you any good

Polite Ways to Decline a Meeting Invitation

It may seem productive to be involved in as many meetings as possible. In actuality, this can just take away from your performance. If you need to decline a meeting, try Liane’s tips on how to do so politely.

Are your meetings pointless? If so, try this guide to structuring them to be more effective

A Step-by-Step Guide to Structuring Better Meetings

Are your meetings feeling a bit pointless? Are you struggling to make them productive for everyone? If so, then try Liane’s guide on how to structure a better meeting and make sure that it benefits everyone.

Passive-Aggressive behaviour can be very damaging for teams. Here's how to reduce it

Reduce Passive-Aggressive Behaviour on Your Team

It’s easy to be passive-aggressive – but it can be dangerous for your team. If you’re struggling with passive-aggressive teammates, read Liane’s advice on how to control things and keep your team safe from this type of behaviour.

You don't have to separate work and learning - here's how you can combine them

You Can Learn and Do Work at the Same Time

Do you want to expand your knowledge but still get work done at the same time? If so, read Liane’s tips on how to do both things effectively.

Deal with difficult conversations with these simple tips

A Mental Trick to Help with Challenging Conversations

Every team has to deal with challenging conversations. But, they don’t have to be so hard. Try out Liane’s mental trick to help deal with difficult conversations.

You may have a great idea, but if you don't know how to sell it it won't do you much good. Here's how to step up your ideas

Your New Idea is Worthless Unless you Know how to Sell It

You may have a gleaming new idea, but it won’t do your team any good if you don’t know how to sell it. If this is something you’re struggling with, read Liane’s thoughts on the issue, and see if you can figure out how to sell you new idea so it adds value to your team.

Stress can take over anyone - here's how to help a friend or teammate who's stressed out

Helping a Coworker Who's Stressed Out

When someone you know is stressed, what do you do? If you don’t know how to help, try out this advice from Liane on how to deal with a coworker who is stressed. Your support might benefit them a lot in the long run.

Feedback is tricky - especially when you feel as though the person didn't receive it properly. Here are tips on how to deliver feedback that sticks

Deliver Feedback that Sticks

Feedback is tricky for both the delivering and receiving parties. It’s especially tough when you don’t feel like your feedback has really landed with the other person. If this is something you experience, read Liane’s take on how to deliver feedback that sticks

It's tricky to inherit a team that's already been developed. If you have recently, avoid falling into these traps

Pitfalls to Avoid when you Inherit a Team

Inheriting a team that’s already been developed can be very hard, and there are many mistakes that are easy to make. Read Liane’s recommendations for what moves to stay away from when you first inherit a team.

Emotions are not a bad thing, contrary to the myths. Here's how to handle them effectively

Handling Emotional Outbursts on Your Team

Emotions are not a bad thing, contrary to the many myths. In fact, if they are handled properly, they can be easily dealt with. However, most people feel unequipped to deal with an emotional outburst. If you’re one of these people, read Liane’s advice on how to handle emotions in the workplace.

When your boss doesn't like you, things at work can be unpleasant. Here's how to handle it

What to Do When Your Boss Doesn't Like You

It can be extremely uncomfortable at work if your boss doesn’t like you, but there are ways to deal with it. Take a look into Liane’s thoughts on how to behave if you aren’t getting along with your boss.

When you don't like someone it can be hard to be pleasant around them. Here's how to motivate someone you don't get along with

How to Motivate Someone You Don't Like

When you don’t get along with someone, being pleasant to them can seem impossible. But, with the right tools, you can learn how to be civil to someone that you can’t stand. Here are Liane’s tips on how to motivate someone you don’t like, despite your feelings about them.

Open concept offices can be deadly - here's how to cope with them

Surviving in an Open Office Space

Open concept offices can be deadly – but they can also be no problem at all. Use Liane’s tips to help if you’re finding yourself in an open concept office.

How to deal with it when you hate your coworkers

What Do I Do When I Hate My Colleagues?

How do you handle it when you don’t get along with your colleague? While it can be difficult, it can be dealt with. Here are Liane’s tips on how to move forward when you don’t get along with a coworker

Do you struggle with afternoons? Here's why you should avoid doing important tasks then

Good People do Bad Things in the Afternoon

Afternoons are difficult for many people. But sometimes, they can be more dangerous than just a pain. Read Liane’s take on why you shouldn’t go through important tasks in the afternoon – and why it can be potentially detrimental to your team if you do.

It's difficult enough to manage people, but when they hate each other, it can feel downright impossible. Here's how to deal with is

Managing Two People Who Hate Each Other

It’s hard enough to manage people, but when you’ve got two people who hate each other, it can feel downright impossible. Here are Liane’s tips on how to handle it when you’re managing two people who don’t get along.

Strategy is tough, but it can be learned. Here's how

What Do I Do When I Hate My Colleagues?

Strategic thinking isn’t easy, but it can be learned and practiced, much like anything else. If you think about your strategy as a muscle that you need to use, then you need to learn how to exercise it. Here are Liane’s tips on how to do it.

Conflict isn't easy for anyone - and it's especially hard when you want to be a nice person. Here are some conflict strategies for those who want to be nice

Conflict Strategies for Nice People

Conflict isn’t pleasant for anybody, especially when you want to be nice in your confrontations. While it’s not necessarily effective to be polite through all of your conflicts, here are Liane’s tips on how to have conflict, even while being nice.

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