What to Do When a Work Friendship Becomes Emotionally Draining

Having a close friend at work can make you happier, more productive, and less likely to quit. But office friendships can have downsides, too. When you’re neglecting your responsibilities to tend to a work friend, it’s a sign that something needs to change. But, in most cases, there’s no need to abruptly end the relationship. Instead, gradually shift how you interact so that you’re spending less time communicating with the person. For example, if you spend a lot of time together in person, replace those interactions with emails. You can also offer to connect the person with someone who can help them with their problems. And don’t give in if they try to pull you back in; you need to hold strong to the boundaries you’ve set.

Read More
Amy Gallo
How to Ask Your Boss for an Unpaid Leave to Travel, Study, or Spend Time with Family

You’d like to take time off work but you don’t have the vacation days to cover the time away. How do you ask your boss for an unpaid leave? Start by doing your homework. Has this been done before? Did it work? When building your case, make sure to present how taking this opportunity. If you need a break in order to avoid burnout, explain how the extended absence will revitalize you to work even harder when you come back. Plan your leave to minimize the impact on coworkers and clients. Try to head off any possible objections but be flexible to other options. Framing the opportunity well can go a long way.

Read More
Amy Gallo
How to Approach an Office Romance (and How Not To)

Should you date a coworker? Before you act on your feelings, it’s important to think through the risks — and there are quite a few. If you still want to move forward, research shows that your intentions matter. Your coworkers’ reactions will reflect what they believe your motives to be. It’s also important to know your companies policies. Many companies prohibit employees from dating coworkers, vendors, customers, or suppliers, or require specific disclosures, so be sure to investigate before you start a relationship. And if you do start dating someone, don’t try to hide the relationship from your manager or colleagues — it will only erode trust.

Read More
Amy Gallo
Why We Should Be Disagreeing More at Work

Disagreements are an inevitable, normal, and healthy part of relating to other people. There is no such thing as a conflict-free work environment. You might dream of working in a peaceful utopia, but it wouldn’t be good for your company, your work, or you. In fact, disagreements — when managed well — have lots of positive outcomes. 

Read More
Amy Gallo
How to Control Your Emotions During a Difficult Conversation

It’s hard not to get worked up emotionally when you’re in a tense conversation. After all, a disagreement can feel like a threat. You’re afraid you’re going to have to give up something — your point of view, the way you’re used to doing something, the notion that you’re right, or maybe even power – and your body therefore ramps up for a fight by triggering the sympathetic nervous system. 

Read More
Amy Gallo
How to Navigate a Turf War at Work

You’re in the middle of a turf war. How do you determine who has authority? How do you navigate the situation with your boss, your counterpart, and others in the group? And even if you can come to an agreement, how do you make sure it lasts?

Read More
Amy Gallo
How People with Different Conflict Styles Can Work Together

It’s useful to know what your natural tendency is and, when you get into a conflict with someone else, to put some thought into the other person’s style. If you’re a seeker and the other person is an avoider, how should you handle the situation? And is all hope of reaching a resolution lost if you’re both avoiders?

Read More
Amy Gallo