OG Tuesday Issue #198

The Assist Newsletter
July 8, 2024
Text over a calm ocean background reads, "I create my own happiness and find joy in every moment.”

Today’s Checklist:

  • Make yourself impervious to know-it-all behavior
  • Cultivate unconditional commitment to that big dream
  • TA reader Alison encourages authentic appreciation

🤔 Riddle me this: I can be flipped and broken but I never move. I can be closed and opened and you would still approve. What am I? (Find the answer on the bottom).


🔥 Burnout: These are the career paths most likely to intersect with stress and burnout.

🌱 Resilience: Entrepreneurs in developing economies find strength in maintaining a growth mindset.

🛡️ Workplace Vulnerability: A boss weighs in on when workers can feel safe admitting they’re struggling.

🚀 Career: What to expect when you’re building your own brand, platform, and audience from scratch.

👥 Leadership: Learn how Microsoft transformed employee experiences through investment prioritization.


A woman angrily shouting symbols while another woman gestures for her to be quiet.

How to Handle a Know-It-All


Chronic know-it-all behavior can be frustrating and baffling to those on the receiving end.

This may be even more pronounced when the behavior comes from people you know only casually but must communicate and collaborate with regularly—you know, people like co-workers.

One of the biggest barriers to productively handling know-it-all behavior is that it requires working against the automatic responses it tends to trigger.

For example, calmly expressing and rationally explaining disagreement could simply exacerbate the know-it-all behavior instead of earning you the acknowledgement and respect you were going for.

The escalating exchange could leave you wondering why you didn’t just shut your mouth, force a smile, and let the know-it-all invalidate your opinions and ideas without protest.

The mental health experts at BetterHelp have some go-to tips for neutralizing this behavior without spiraling into a dead-end conflict.

Here’s your cheat sheet:

Redirect instead of reacting.

This may take practice as know-it-all behavior tends to make our annoyance and frustration instantly flare up.

BetterHelp recommends using frustration as a cue to take a deep breath and turn your attention inward to disrupt the automatic reaction process.

Focus on your breath, your kindness and compassion, and your present physical sensations.

Repeat in your head the magic words that keep you grounded in your truth instead of being pulled into theirs: *This is about them, not me.

Even if they pointed out a legitimate error you made or a detail you had wrong, there’s rarely any constructive foundation to a know-it-all’s comments.

They may make you feel guilty for being incorrect and unsafe to do so again. That’s their hang-up; not yours. Do yourself a favor by actively choosing not to believe it.

Remember that everyone—even the know-it-all, despite what they think—makes mistakes, and that mistakes are an important part of learning, growing, and developing.

A growth mindset is much more nurturing and productive than a know-it-all mindset.

Affirm yourself instead of arguing with them.

People who have a healthy sense of self esteem may be understandably upset when a know-it-all tries so rudely and forcefully to rip their assurance to shreds.

However, arguing and defending yourself, while a healthy impulse, may backfire.

You may crave validation from the know-it-all who made you doubt yourself in the first place but must also acknowledge you may never get it from them.

In these situations, the only person you can count on to give you what you need is you. Affirm your thoughts and ideas are valid and useful.

Keep doing so until the know-it-all comments really do start rolling off you like water off a duck’s back, as the saying goes.


A diverse group of people smiling and chatting with each other, surrounded by speech bubbles with positive icons.

Are You Struggling to Give Effective Feedback?


Providing effective feedback can be challenging, especially with remote teams.

Here are 5 essential tips to ensure your feedback is impactful and constructive:

  1. Check Your Motivations: Clearly define your goals and keep the feedback focused on improvement.
  2. Choose The Right Time and Tool: Face-to-face or video call is usually best for serious feedback; while an async tool like Candor can help you give light and continuous feedback supporting your team’s growth over time.
  3. Be Specific and Factual: Use clear examples and avoid personal or overly subjective comments.
  4. Follow Up Regularly: Ensure continuous improvement by following up on feedback and offering support.
  5. Make it a Two-Way Conversation: Encourage dialogue, allowing the recipient to share their perspective and give you feedback as well.

To make your feedback sessions more productive, discover popular feedback frameworks like EEC, CORE & SBI.

Get more tips & get a free guide to start transforming your feedback approach today >

*In collaboration with Candor


A woman balancing confidently on a single domino, with fallen dominoes around her.

Strike a Balance Between Optimism and Pragmatism


One TA Subscriber is trying to get comfortable with the uncomfortable facets of dreaming big dreams:

Trying to build my personal business outside of full time work. That business is also in the creative industry which is intimidating to try and pursue—the numbers don’t look great.

Forgive the cheesiness, but as hockey player Wayne Gretzky once said and real-life and fictional bosses and coaches have repeated again and again: You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

This idea may be eye-rollingly obvious, but it’s also undeniably useful to remember. No matter how unlikely or even impossible something seems, the only way to truly know whether or not your dream can ever come to fruition is to give it a try.

That’s not to say you should just ignore the numbers, cross your fingers, and take the big leap. The key thing is figuring out what’s needed for you to feel informed, prepared, and comfortable enough with the downsides and risks.

A perfect and decidedly less sugar-coated complement to Gretzky’s quote comes from Mark Manson, author of the The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. He makes the pragmatic statement that even our most precious, cherished dreams come with their own unique downsides.

“Everything sucks, some of the time,” he writes in his classic bestseller. “You just have to decide what sort of suckage you’re willing to deal with. So the question is not so much ‘What are you passionate about?’ The question is ‘What are you passionate enough about that you can endure the most disagreeable aspects of the work?’”

To put a more touchy-feely spin on this core wisdom: Like our loved ones, our career and self-fulfillment dreams have flaws. Accepting those flaws and loving them regardless only strengthens our bonds.

In other words, don’t let the risks of following the dream deter you. Instead, let them inform you, both of the reality of your path and of the level of your commitment to it.

Knowing some of the numbers and the risks associated with the dream in question is a positive, a peak behind the curtain. The planning and anticipation phase of pursuing any dream can often suffer from an overly optimistic outlook.

Our excitement casts a rosy tint over the future endeavor. If we don’t stop to pay the cons as much attention and respect as the pros, we’ll be all the more shocked and dismayed when they pop up later in the process.

Accepting, embracing, and planning for the challenges and downsides we can reasonably anticipate before we get started is validation that we feel truly and unconditionally committed to the goal, which is far more empowering than convincing yourself everything will just be awesome.


A selection of branded promo items including a smart mug, a grey backpack, a notebook, a portable speaker, and a red t-shirt.

Timeless Swag 


I handled a majority of swag ordering at work because I managed marketing events, and also because it was this odd job that didn’t fully fit into any single person’s job description.

I’ve learned over the years that swag is more than just another temporary water bottle—it can be your new employee’s favorite backpack of all time, or your client’s go-to mug they have at their desk daily.

Thoughtful swag can reduce wasteful spend and increase your brand’s overall likability.

Here were some of my go-to swag pieces:

Ember mug: An ideal higher-end gift for employee milestones, giveaways at events, or client gifts.

A trusty backpack: Don’t skimp on backpacks—trust me you’ll end up spending more on replacements than if you would have just invested a few more bucks in a higher quality bag that will last longer. Great for new employee kits.

Notebooks: Branded notebooks are versatile and actually get used; keep them around for various swag bags, company and marketing events, etc.

Bluetooth speaker: One of those things that you wouldn’t necessarily buy yourself—it’s a fun and functional gift that brings quality sound to any space, perfect for employee appreciation or client gifts.

T-shirt: You can probably think of multiple times you’d need a branded t-shirt. My go-to brand was Bella+Canvas for the quality and price point.

Explore these and other great swag options to elevate your brand, and delight your team and clients.

Explore what Swag.com has to offer.

Joanna (Co-Founder of TA)

Joanna (Co-founder of TA)


Create a Lasting Impact


Expressing gratitude consistently, from the front line to behind-the-scenes, cultivates lasting connections and fosters a supportive network.

Acknowledging the efforts of every individual, whether it’s the security guard who assisted at your event or the executive assistant who managed a challenging meeting schedule, fosters goodwill and trust.

Authentic appreciation creates a lasting impact.

By acknowledging the efforts of all, gratitude becomes a powerful tool for collaboration and assistance in one’s career journey.

TA reader Alison H., Director of Development

Alison H., Director of Development

⭐️ We want to hear from you! Share your best career advice here.


Stuff We’re Loving This Week


📊 See why 2M+ people use this LMS to make their training programs more efficient and measurable.

📧 Keep your inbox organized with Sanebox and save 25% off your subscription.

🔦 Dive into the chilling mystery of A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham, where secrets lurk in the shadows.

🖨️ Simplify your printing needs with Printfriendly.com, turning any web page into a printable format.


A two-panel comic showing a man crawling toward a "We're hiring" sign, then looking dismayed at "5 days a week in the office.”


🚨 Job Alerts



Before you go…


Answer to the riddle.

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