OG Tuesday Issue #93

The Assist Newsletter
July 1, 2022


Bad-Boss Counter Behaviors


Bad bosses come in many shapes and sizes.

There are the bullies who abuse, humiliate, demean, and exploit, without remorse. (According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, 30% of Americans get bullied at work.)

There are the incompetent managers, who fail to communicate, establish clear goals, and give actional feedback. (These baddies contribute to the low workplace engagement plaguing today’s offices.)

Then there are the bad bosses you can’t even describe, the ones who just drive you nuts and get under your skin.

If you have a bad boss, you might feel powerless, but never forget you’re not. Here are some ideas for counteracting* some of the most common bad boss behaviors.

*If you’re suffering from abuse, then please get help and get out of the situation as soon as possible. 

Bad boss behavior: Punishing you for mistakes

Counter behavior: Challenge them. Tell them what you learned from the mistake. Explain how it was actually a growth opportunity. Even if you don’t convince them, articulating the defense will make you feel better and also signal that you won’t just smile and nod when faced with pointless feedback.

Bad boss behavior: Taking credit for your accomplishments

Counter behavior: Talk yourself up as much as possible. This Society for Human Resource Management post recommends putting your initials on all applicable work and bringing up your achievements in casual conversations, especially with leaders.

Bad boss behavior: Taking every opportunity to belittle you

Counter behavior: Confront them.

First, write out your script:   

  • What specific behaviors and tendencies would you like to see improved?
  • What about those behaviors bothers you?

Work on your script until it’s as clear and concise as possible, and you can read it out loud without getting emotional. If you truly don’t feel safe confronting your boss, then ask a trusted co-worker to support you during the confrontation.

Bad boss behavior: Communicating in terrible, clipped, or vague terms or just not communicating at all

Counter behavior: Ask questions, lots of questions, to compensate for the sad fact that they probably won’t volunteer any information. If you can, try to meet with this person every day or as frequently as possible so you always have an opportunity to squeeze out the information and clarity you need.

Bad boss behavior: Being a negative Nancy all day, every day

Counter behavior: Prepare for interactions by engaging in activities that make you feel high arousal, positive emotions, like happiness, admiration, and delight. You’ll be better prepared to weather any negativity coming your way.

Bad boss behavior: Shutting down your ideas 

Counter behavior: Present your ideas gradually and strategically, for example, by mentioning them casually,  when you’re talking about other things or in the context of other successful departments or companies.

When you officially present the idea for consideration, the extra familiarity might make them more receptive or even convince them they actually had the idea first.


Don’t Fear the *Ding*



Growing a culture for remote employees without the natural social interaction an office provides can be quite the challenge. Add in a few sprinkles of Zoom fatigue and Slack exhaustion and you’ve got a culture problem.

Enter CultureBot – the first Slack integration specifically designed to foster connections, start conversations, and help your company culture bloom.

Made to merge seamlessly with your existing workflow, CultureBot levels up with automatic birthday and anniversary celebrations, conversation starters, and shoutouts for recognition and team wins.

Learn more about the mission to revive your team’s day-to-day and get your first two weeks free.

Let’s get cultured

P.S. Small team need a jumpstart? Great news – CultureBot is free forever for teams of 15 or fewer.


Stress Reduction in a Meditative Format


We’ve heard of mindfulness for cultivating clarity or building gratitude, but is there a mindfulness practice specifically designed to bust stress levels?

There sure is.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a specific mindfulness practice designed to help you recognize your own stress patterns. Systematic reviews suggest it works, leading to measurable improvements in anxiety and depression scores.

Here are some practices you can do today: 


Streamline Your Work With Templates


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We’ve compared monday.com to the Swiss army knife of project management softwares — and they’ve taken it up a notch by launching industry specific templates.

Here are some of our fave templates that you can use today (for free) —

For HR & Recruiting:

For EAs/Admins/Operations:

See more templates


Transition from “Hectic” to “Efficient”


Do you or your boss have a work life that can be summarized as “Hectic” with a capital H?

Rx: Efficiency, specifically a systematic approach to identifying, creating, and leveraging efficiency.

Approach this goal by leveraging your optimal productivity time (OPT), using the Getting Things Done Method, or practicing deep work.

APPROACH 1: Optimal productivity time (OPT)

This approach increases efficiency by harnessing your optimal productivity time (OPT), the times you’re naturally at your most energetic and clear-headed.

Applying this approach:  

  • Identify your OPT by keeping a time journal for a week or two
  • Use your OPT in daily task planning, by blocking priority tasks into your OPT zones
  • Accept and work within the limits of your low-energy zones by scheduling meetings, breaks, or busy work during these times

APPROACH 2: Getting Things Done (GTD) Method  

This approach increases efficiency by optimizing your engagement and attention throughout the day.

Applying this approach:  

Adopting this methodology means adopting a long-term mindful approach to your daily work. You’ll have to frequently remind yourself of and check in with the key tenets until they become second nature.

Check in with yourself throughout the day with these questions:  
  • What is dominating your attention and energy?
  • Why is it dominating your attention and energy?
  • Can and should you take care of it now?
    • If not, put the task in a later list where it won’t clutter your brain.
    • If yes, then engage fully and complete it before moving on to the next thing.

APPROACH 3: Deep Work (from Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

This approach increases efficiency through complete and sustained attention.

Applying this approach:  

  • Choose a time block each day to dedicate to deep work
  • When it’s time for deep work:
    • Work on only one priority
    • Challenge yourself to avoid distractions when you grow bored or frustrated (Persevering through these moments of weakness is when the magic of deep work happens.)
    • Avoid responding to messages


Happy Birthday, Frida!


July 6 marks the birthday of Frida Kahlo, the late Mexican painter and luminary. We’re celebrating her inspired life by reflecting on some of her words of wisdom:

“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.”

A bus accident left Frida with a fractured spine and pelvis and a lifetime of unspeakable chronic pain. She endured this pain, sometimes expressing it in her art, through works such as The Broken Column.

“I don’t paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality.”

Frida poured her good and bad emotions and experiences into her paintings, creating, as a result, deeply evocative and expressive pieces that move viewers with a single look.

As one curator told the Smithsonian Magazine:

“Kahlo made personal women’s experiences serious subjects for art, but because of their intense emotional content, her paintings transcend gender boundaries. Intimate and powerful, they demand that viewers—men and women—be moved by them.”

“I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.”

Frida reminds us that the self, while we inhabit it each day, always offers something more to discover, explore, and reflect on.

“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.” 


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