Working Conversations Episode 166:

Listeners' Picks: The 5 Most Downloaded Episodes


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Are you curious about which episodes of the Working Conversations podcast have resonated most with listeners?

Join me as we celebrate a major milestone—20,000 downloads!

In this special episode, I take a joyful look back at the five most downloaded episodes, each packed with insights and strategies that have captivated our audience.

From mastering the art of handling conversational narcissists to crafting compelling career stories that leave a lasting impact, these episodes have struck a chord for good reason.

I also dive into crucial leadership lessons, including avoiding the common pitfall of trying to be the smartest person in the room and recognizing the damaging effects of quiet firing. Additionally, I share the best practices for conducting effective hybrid meetings, ensuring your team remains cohesive and engaged, regardless of where they are working from.

Throughout this recap, I'll reflect on the invaluable lessons learned and the impact these episodes have had on our listeners.

This episode is not just a look back but also a heartfelt thank you to my team and our amazing listeners. Your support and engagement have made this journey incredibly rewarding.

Whether you're a longtime listener or new to the podcast, this episode offers a rich recap of standout moments and valuable insights into leadership and communication.

Tune in to celebrate with us and revisit some of the most impactful conversations we've had on the Working Conversations podcast! Thank you for being part of our community—here's to many more milestones together!

Listen and catch the full episode
here or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can also watch it and replay it on my YouTube channel, JanelAndersonPhD.

If you’ve found this episode helpful, spread the word! Share this podcast episode with a friend whom you might think needs to hear this. Don’t forget to leave a review and 5-star rating, it would mean the world to me.

Episode 62: What to do with a Conversational Narcissist
Episode 1: Telling Your Career Story
Episode 114: One Big Mistake Leaders Make
Episode 108: Why Coaching an Employee Out is Better than Quiet Firing
Episode 116: My Best Advice for Hybrid Meetings


Hello and welcome to another episode of the Working Conversations podcast where we talk all things leadership, business, communication and trends in organizational life. I'm your host, Dr. Janel Anderson.

Today we have something very special in store for you. Today's episode is like a giant party. You see, this week, we're hitting 20,000 downloads on the podcast, and I am just, quite frankly, blown completely away.

So this episode is a huge celebration of those 20,000 downloads of you for supporting me and tuning in each week to listen. And as a special treat, I am going to do a quick recap of the five most downloaded episodes with a little bit of commentary about why I think they are the most downloaded episodes.

And if you haven't listened to these five, I'm gonna highly highly recommend that you absolutely go out and find these five. We will link them up in the show notes to make them easy to find.

But I am super excited to share this episode with you and think like, really it is like a party for me right now, just to be here with you and do this. All right, so number one, the number one most downloaded episode of the work in conversations podcast, is episode 62 what to do with a conversational narcissist? Yes, that's right, a conversational narcissist. Now, this came from a listener's email.

This topic, it came from a listener's email wanting advice for how to deal with a conversational narcissist who is somebody who's very close to them and they can't, like really sever ties. So whether this is your boss or your coworker or family member, the episode really hit home for a lot of people.

Again, I think most of us probably have somebody in our life, whether at work or in our personal life, who is that conversational narcissist and really monopolizes the conversation and doesn't leave room for you to get in a word edgewise.

So just to quickly summarize, the person who wrote in to me on email, again, a listener of this podcast said they have this person who's very close to them, who cannot stop talking about themselves and leaves no room for her in the conversation. She tries to interject, but she could never get a word in, and then she might post something on social media, and the conversational narcissist would call her up upset and be like, ah, that just happened to you, and you posted it on social media, but you didn't tell me, and we just spoke on the phone yesterday.

Well, of course, our dear listener, who tried to get a word in and tried to share her good news with this person over the phone the previous day, couldn't get a word in. So that's what the episode was about.

Now, in the episode, I make the distinction between the actual clinical diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder, that is a psychological disorder, which, by the way, as I mentioned in that podcast, I am not qualified to diagnose. It is something that mental health professionals can diagnose. It is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationship and troubled relationships and a lack of empathy for others.

Now a conversational narcissist, on the other hand, as I explained in that episode, who constantly turns the conversation topic toward themselves and steps away from the conversation when it's no longer about themselves, they're generally uninterested in what other people have to say. But it's not necessarily a personality disorder in the way that straight up and narcissism is so in that episode, I gave very specific advice on how to navigate the situation and when to decide that self preservation is what's needed.

Now, this person that our dear listener was referring to is not somebody that she could necessarily suffer ties with. And again, you could think about that as being like a co worker, you know, I mean, I suppose you could leave the job, or, likewise, if it was your manager, you could leave the job. But if it's a family member or somebody else who is intertwined with the rest of your life in big ways, you can't necessarily, just like, cut all ties and have the rest of your life work.

So there was some targeted advice in that episode of what to do to limit contact when you can't sever ties, and also, so again, to kind of keep on top of that self preservation idea without severing ties. But then there's also some very practical strategies for what to do and how to navigate that space. Again, I want to underscore one of the things I loved about this episode is that the question came from a listener. I love it when you write in and ask questions. I think those make for some of the most interesting, interesting episodes that I do.

The second most downloaded episode of the podcast is episode number one, telling your career story. Now this is perhaps my all time favorite. I get to talk about myself and my career story and how I make sense of it. Because if you've listened to that episode, or if you know much about my career story. It's taken some really interesting and divergent twists and turns from working for a startup technology company to being a college professor to being an entrepreneur to managing a team in a large organization.
So I've been kind of all over the map and without attention to how that story line goes and how I'm telling the narrative. It could sound really disparate, but I share this episode the way to weave various pieces together and really the most relevant and the right pieces to tell the story you want to tell. And literally, one of the other things I love about this episode, it helps people land jobs. And I am not kidding. It's on more than both hands it would take for me to explain all the different jobs that I know of personally that have been landed as a result of the advice that I give in this podcast about how to tell your career story.

I'll just quickly share a recent example. I am a board member in my old academic department at the University of Minnesota, where I used to be on the faculty. Used to be on the faculty, and as one of members there, I get invited to participate in a mentorship program, where every year I get the opportunity to mentor an undergrad, a master's degree student or a PhD candidate. And my mentor this past year as a graduate student, and used the process that I laid out in this episode, literally to land her dream job with the Mayo Clinic.

So as part of this, in as part of the mentorship program, we had a chance to meet for like 30 minutes on a zoom call and learn a little bit about each other. And I learned that she was in the market for a new job, and there was this job posting that was like, literally her dream job, as she's working on her Master's certificate. And I said, well, before you apply, before you really take any meaningful action, I want you to go listen to episode one of my podcast, telling your career story. And she did, and she completely changed her positioning about how she was going to explain all the different career moves that she had. You see as a Master's certificate candidate, she was about my age, she had three kids. She's got a bunch of different career moves that she's made over the time of her career, and she really benefited from being able to string those pieces together in a way that told a cohesive story that absolutely aligned with that job.

Now she has been in that job for six months and is totally loving it, and I can't even begin to tell you how proud I am of her. She took all of those disparate pieces of her career and she wove them into this comprehensive and compelling career story that really helped her nail the interview and land the job.

Now, if you are changing careers, or if you are a college graduate who is looking for that first career, or if you know somebody who is one of those two things, I implore you to share this episode with them. This episode is a must listen for anybody who is contemplating changing jobs or stepping into the job market. It's also a great fit for somebody who's been out of the job market for a while, let's say, being a stay at home parent for a number of years, and is thinking about how they're going to transition back into the workforce.

So there's many, many different ways that this episode is applicable. Again, I encourage you, if you have not given it a listen, go download episode number one, telling your career story. And by all means, I would say this is probably the most, the one I want you to share the most with people, because it literally helps people get jobs full stop.

See, I told you this was gonna be a party, didn't I? All right, the third most downloaded episode of the working conversations podcast is episode 114 one big mistake leaders make. Now, the big mistake that I'm talking about in this episode is being the smartest person in the room. Now, it's often the case that as people move up the organizational chart into leadership positions, they were the smartest person in the room, they had deep subject matter expertise or technical knowledge or something that positioned them to get that promotion. But when you move up the org chart into that leadership position, you simply don't have capacity to stay on top of the subject matter expertise in the same way that you needed to to get there, you just don't. And so you need to surround yourself with people who are the smartest people in the room, and you need to, instead, hone your leadership skills.

Now, why does this happen to leaders who have this great depth of experience in their field. Why does it happen? Well, in short, it kind of is about your ego. So the ego is remembering what got you there, and oftentimes what got you there was being the smartest person in the room or having the best ideas in some capacity you excelled. And some people who move into that leadership position then misplace that experience and knowledge that they have in one area, thinking it's applicable to another area, and as a result, they have confidence that they really should not have. I talked about it in the episode.

The name for this is called the Dunning Kruger effect. It is having skill in one area and confidence in that area and then and then misplacing that confidence into an adjacent area where you just really don't have the right to be confident. So the effect is first described by a couple of psychologists, David Dunning and Justin Krueger, way back in 1999 at based on research than they were at Cornell University, and now the Dunning Kruger effect refers to that tendency of people with O ability or knowledge in a particular area to overestimate their competence and believe they're more skilled or more knowledgeable than they actually are in that area.

You know, usually it comes because there was this adjacent area they did have skill and competence, but they're taking that and transferring it to another area that it just really doesn't belong. Now, in that episode, I leave the listener with advice on what to do, instead of, can you try to hold on to being the smartest person in the room, whether that's intentionally, maybe you realize that as you listen to the episode, that you've been intentionally doing that, or, quite often, it's accidental, that we, you know, can still consider our knowledge as currency.

We move into those more senior leadership positions. So you might accidentally done trying to be the smartest person in the room, when really you should just let go of that and let the smartest people be the smartest people in the room. And then again, I give advice on what to do instead, and largely it, I mean, in a nutshell, and largely improve your leadership skills. And I view very specific things that you can do to improve your leadership skills so that you can let go of the smartest person in the room and still feel confident and, in fact, be a great leader. So that was number 114, one big mistake leaders make episode.

Number four or the the fourth most downloaded episode is episode number 108. Why coaching an employee out is better than quiet firing. Now you may have remembered within the last couple years, we heard since and as he turns racing around media, social media, net, quiet firing and quiet hiring and things like that. So quiet firing is a technique that, quite frankly, has been around forever. It just kind of seems, after all the buzz about quiet quitting a couple years ago, but what firing the worker quit by making a job so unappealing that you edge the employee company, or at least that is the hope that they quit on their own. They don't have to outright fire them or lay them off.

Now, in fact, most of the time they're really grounded all to outright fire person, or a person that you might think about as somebody that you would want to fire, the employee may standards, and rather than or try to correct it, the manager would make it so unbearable to work that the employees just eventually leave. Now it doesn't typically quite go far as a hospital environment or anything that you could litigate against. But the job, the workplace becomes so little employee sees no there's lots of ways that most common are no advancement.

This person is constantly getting for promotions and stall it could be a location change, asking the employee to less desirable location, mean calling them back to the office they have been working. Mean transferring them to another physical facility, if they are somebody who is on site. Another way it shows up is just giving the person really boring work, the more boring the work it's less is in staying there on the worst projects, and again, instead of heading instead of addressing the situation head on, the manager is just disincentivizing them to work hard and kind of incentivizing them to what's elsewhere.

 Another way it shows up is micromanagement. It's always checking up on the employee, adding little check ins and reviews and all these kinds of steps that aren't necessary to the work. And then the counter side of that is no management whatsoever, the opposite of micromanagement, where the employee is practically forgotten about be canceling check ins and one on ones, getting no guidance, no mentorship, no help, and kind of being forgotten about.

 And there were a couple of other ways in which it shows up as well that I mentioned in the podcast, the big ones now it is perhaps the passive aggressive way to get a organization. It is not very at all to be straight with them if either they're not working performance or they're if they're not a good culture for each team or organizations, culture like be straight with them. Have difficult person that book if you need to, and then you literally out of the organization in the episode, I look not happens and how it happens, and I also gain death.

What do you instead of quiet firing, which is out of the position or out of the organization altogether, and steps specifically for how those conversations, especially if we're in a management leadership board directly, 108 why coaching an employee better than quiet? All right?

And then the most downloaded of the working conversations podcast Episode 116 advice for hybrid meetings. A little bit, because I said right about my advice for you on high meetings. Case in point that I mentioned in that episode, Cisco, it's one of the largest makers and disputers of the kind of video conference platforms I'm talking about.

They own the WebEx brand, and even they want their people to come back into the office and meet in person for certain types of meetings. They acknowledge. They the manufacturers of the software, the meeting platforms that we're talking about, they know that there are better experiences in face to face meetings when they are doing something like brainstorming or coming up with innovative ideas, when they're mentoring and coaching each other, when they are trying to do some sort of co creation, again, ideation and bringing new ideas to life collaboration.

So even Cisco says some meetings now they don't go so far as to say all meetings, neither do I. But the the focus I take on that episode is that I come back to the idea that things go wrong when people are not all face to face or all remote. So I cover the top five things that go wrong in hybrid meetings. That would be meetings where some of the people are co located and some of the people are participating remotely in that meeting. That's what I mean by hybrid.

And so I come back to five top ideas that tend to go wrong when you don't have everybody either all in the ether, or all in this now, that episode was recorded nearly a year ago. The technology supporting hybrid meetings continues to evolve and get better, and companies continue to invest in this technology, where the rooms are outfitted with microphones hanging from the ceiling or microphone pucks across the table and video cameras that are tracking who's speaking, making it a much more comprehensive and robust experience for the person who's participating remotely, or multiple people participating remotely.

So again, companies are continuing to invest in that technology, and I would love to do a follow up episode based on the lived experience of the meeting attendees or of my with my observational data of what's going on in the room and in the ether when organizations or teams are doing those hybrid meetings. Now if you'd like to volunteer your organization or your team for me to study, let's absolutely get in touch. I would love to connect with you, and if we're if we're in the same geographic area, maybe I come and sit in on some of your meetings in person, and I experience some of those meetings remotely, just again, as the observer, as the consultant, if you will.

You get targeted consulting and tips and techniques for what you could do better in your hybrid meetings, and I'd get that observational data that would help me better, not only serve your team and your organization, but really everyone who's listening. So it's a total win win.

Now, if you are co, if you're not located in the minutes, Minneapolis St Paul area, or greater Minnesota, where, well, and I'm in that Minneapolis St Paul metropolitan area, but we could still do this, and I could participate as a hybrid observer, being a remote participant, so calling in on teams or zoom or WebEx or whatever platform you use, so you don't have to be limited to be in the greater Minneapolis, St Paul area.

If you wanted to partner with me on a project like that, I would so love that. I think it would just be such a win, win. All right, so again, I have to go back and do a reprise of that episode, because the technology continues to change. But that was the fifth most downloaded episode, and that was episode 116 My best advice for hybrid meetings.

Now, as we wrap up this special episode highlighting the top five most downloaded episodes of the working conversations podcast. I want to take a moment to express my deep, deep gratitude to the incredible team and audience that make this podcast possible. First and foremost, I want to give a huge shout out to Ken, my audio engineer. Ken, your expertise and dedication have been instrumental in ensuring that every episode sounds professional and polished. You handle the technical side with such finesse, making sure our sound quality is top notch. And when I'm interviewing somebody, you tell me all the things to do to make the interview sound great. And if there are any hiccups, you smooth everything out seamlessly. Your ability to turn my raw recordings into clear, engaging audio is truly a craft, and I am grateful for your hard work and your commitment to excellence.

Next, I want to thank Jenny, my editorial assistant, Jenny, your attention to detail has been a game changer for this podcast, from keeping my editorial calendar and my actual calendar organized and helping me vet topics. Your contributions ensure that our content is both interesting and engaging and that I'm organized. You help me stay so organized and on track. I appreciate everything that you do to keep this podcast organized, informative and insightful.

And I must, must extend my absolute heartfelt thanks to Michelle, my social media manager, Michelle, your creativity and strategic thinking vital in expanding our reach and connecting with our audience. You come up with creative ideas. You craft engaging posts, and you push me outside of my comfort zone what I do on social media, and you manage our online presence with such enthusiasm and skill, your efforts to build a vibrant online community have helped grow our listener base and foster a sense of connection amongst our audience members. Thank you for bringing your passion and expertise to me personally and to the working conversations podcast.

And finally, the biggest thanks of all goes to you, my incredible listening audience, your support feedback and enthusiasm are what keep this podcast going. Whether you've been with us from the beginning or you're just tuning in, I am deeply grateful for each and every single one of you, your engagement, your comments and your shares make all the hard work worthwhile, and you inspire me to keep exploring new topics, diving into new research and bringing you the most relevant and thought provoking content about work and the future of work.

So thank you for being part of this journey. Your continued support and dedication mean the world to me. Here's to many more episodes, engaging discussion and a future filled with learning and growth. Thank you from the bottom of my heart as we wrapped up.

So please remember that the future of work is not only about technology, it's about the values we uphold, the communities we build, and the sustainable growth that we all strive for. We need to keep exploring, keep innovating, and keep envisioning the remarkable possibilities ahead. Now if you enjoy this podcast, I have a special favor I ask of you, help me expand the reach. The best way to do that is to review the show on Spotify or Apple podcasts. The second best way to support me is to follow my YouTube channel, youtube.com/JanelAndersonPhD, and if you've already done those, the third best way, and anyone can do this at any time, is to share an episode with a friend or colleague. Thank you for 20,000 downloads. I can't wait for the next 20,000 well, and I am so happy to have you at my side until next week, my friends, be well.

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