Louise Carnachan

Louise Carnachan
How To Handle Jerks with Louise Carnachan on Improving Work Relationships Strategy

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Hey everyone. Stay tuned to the end of the interview where I’ll give you some actionable insights that I learned from my guest. These insights are also in the show notes. As always, thanks for listening.

Now on to my guest for today, Louise Carnachan, an expert on workplace communications and author of the forthcoming book, Work Jerks: How To Cope With Difficult Bosses and Colleagues.

Louise came of age in the “Mad Men” era when options for women were limited. Interested in what makes people tick, she majored in psychology and graduated from college intending to work with children with autism in an institution. But, beginning a pattern she would encounter again and again throughout her life, she had to go in another direction.

She moved to Seattle from California, taking a job as a waitress and eventually earning a master’s. Her career trajectory took another turn when she was again shut out from doing what she intended, but she took a job with a team that was training school staff to work with developmentally delayed children. Through this work she found her calling in helping teams work together more effectively.

From there Louise went on to work at a hospital and eventually started her own business. When the recession hit, she turned back to being an employee, getting hired in her late 50s but continuing to grow her skills in helping people work together and communicate more effectively.

Louise’s book helps people work with difficult supervisors and coworkers by encouraging them to focus on their own behavior and communication skills. She also talks about the importance of understanding cultural differences, whether those differences are caused by work environment or identity, and how we can all handle our own inner “jerks.”

Now let’s get better together.

Actionable Insights

  • Louise says that there are two main questions to ask yourself: How do I manage myself? How do I manage my interactions with others? More effective relationships rest on good management in both areas.
  • It is possible to interrupt those moments when we find ourselves going into “fight” mode by stopping and taking deep breaths and also knowing what your triggers are and coming up with tactics before they happen. If you have to, walking away is nearly always an option.
  • Understand the culture. Whether you’re the leader of a company or you are working with people from different cultural backgrounds, cultural differences and the environment we work together in can have an effect on how people interact. Leaders who invite honesty and respond well to it will have employees who are unafraid to tell the truth.

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