Coffee Break

bleepatwork Difficult Conversations, Leadership, Supervisory Skills, Teambuilding, Trust, Uncategorized 0 Comments

In Melissa Davies’ book, How Not to Act Like a BLEEP at Work the characters explore the ups and downs of working in teams, client and company expectations, and the challenges of balancing careers, family, and personal goals. As people grow and change, so do their challenges. Let’s take a look at an interesting Thursday afternoon work break.

Building Trust How Employees Can Change the Conversation

“Hey Jamila, got a minute?” Khaled poked his head inside Jamila’s office. She looked up from her computer, smiled when saw him and waved him in.

“Just a sec, I’m finishing up an email,” she said.

Khaled sat. Jamila had recently been promoted and was now in charge of a growing team and a hot project. She was still working out of boxes as she waited for some new furniture for her new office. But Khaled did notice that she had pictures of her family already on her desk and a “#1” mom mug full of pens. Family first, he thought.

“So, how do you like my new digs?” she said turning to Khaled.

“Twenty-first century banker boxes, black and white, very chic,” he said.

Jamila laughed, “Yeah, I’ve been promised that I’ll have furniture soon. Are you here just to say hi?”

“Actually no,” he hesitated. “I need some advice.”


“I had a job interview yesterday.”

“Wow, I didn’t know you were looking?” Jamila said.

“I wasn’t, but I got a call from a head hunter and I’ve been really bored lately. I like the client and some of the work is interesting, but I don’t see myself going anywhere. The raise would be nice too.”

“Have you spoken to Lou about any of this? I know she’d hate to lose you and I’m sure there is something she can do to make things better.”

“That’s the problem. I tried to talk to her before the interview but we had one of our famous staff meetings where her pep talk of the day was how we need to put aside our personal needs and pull it together for the client.”

Jamila nodded remembering Lou’s failed attempts at team building.

“She’s been getting better. I just don’t trust her to talk to her about something so personal.”

“I understand,” Jamila said. “I’m guessing that if you’re coming to me you’re not sure if you are ready to leave?”

Khaled nodded. “There are a lot of good reasons to stay.

“What could Lou do or say that would make you trust her more and make you feel more comfortable?” Jamila asked.

    • She could be more open to feedback and really listen to us when we have problems instead of telling us to pull ourselves together.
    • She could take some time and get to know me beyond commenting on my latest spread sheets and time cards.
    • She could back me up when there are disagreements with the client.
    • She could share more about herself. I don’t know how to talk to her because I feel like she’s a stranger.
    • She could make me feel that she appreciates me and actually wants me on the team.

“Those are all valid arguments,” Jamila said. “And for what it’s worth, I want you to stay with the company. We may no longer be on the same team but you’re someone who I value. Can I recommend a great book for you?”

“Sure,” Khaled said.

“It’s called Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen, and Roger Fisher.  Whether you stay with us, or take another job you’ll always have to work with people who are hard to talk to. This book can help you frame your ideas and you can practice with Lou. She may surprise you.”

Read more about how Lou learns to better build her team in How Not to Act Like a BLEEP at Work.  The book is the basis for the latest training program from Wise Ways Consulting that provides an interactive and interesting approach to leadership and team communications and training.

Wise Ways Consulting is an expert in leadership and team development and training. When teams and leaders fail to communicate or a crisis happens, an outside fresh eye response can help solve problems.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *