Do you have communication skills QUESTIONS

Perhaps you’re wondering how to deal with a difficult boss, or you’re not sure how to set yourself apart in a job search, or maybe you’re an introvert looking for tips on getting more comfortable “on stage.”

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You’ve got questions, I’ve got answers!

Earlier this year, my friend Maye Samoiel, an impressive forensic accountant and cyber consultant, invited me to participate in a live Q&A session on the FishBowl app.

Episode 102 - Communication Skills Questions - FishBowl Q&A logo

If you’re not familiar with FishBowl, I highly recommend you check it out! FishBowl is a platform for professionals to have honest career conversations with other verified professionals. 

I jumped at the chance to participate in one of their live, “Ask An Executive Coach” Q&A sessions!

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The session was a lot of fun, and it went so well that I asked the FishBowl folks if I could share the audio… 

Get ready for a podcast episode like never before!

In this week’s episode of Talk About Talk, you’ll hear this FishBowl live Q&A session. There were >750 people in the audience and they asked GREAT questions! 

Some of their questions were related to topics I’ve discussed on previous podcast episodes, like how to introduce yourself with confidence, and how to prepare for situations in which you are “on stage.”

Read on to learn how one of my answers included advice I learned from my Dad, plus how to deal with difficult people!

Take MY DAD’s Advice!

Whether it’s a boss, a supervisor, or a colleague, I think we’ve all had to deal with people who are overly negative or critical.

So what do we do in those situations? How should we deal with the people in our professional lives we’d politely label as DIFFICULT?

Start by asking yourself whether this person is an anomaly, or whether their VALUES reflect the organization as a whole.

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This brilliant piece of advice is courtesy of MY DAD! He asked me this question when I found myself in this situation as a young Brand Manager, and he was right!


If the person truly does reflect the values of the organization, it may be time to move on. But if, as in my case, that person is an anomaly, it may be a great opportunity to learn HOW to deal with this person, and WHY they might behave the way they do. 


Which leads me to…

The SCARF Model

If you’re wondering WHAT might lead someone to be especially negative or critical, try using the SCARF model.

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Not that kind of scarf!

SCARF is an acronym developed by David Rock. The letters in SCARF stand for what David describes as the “5 key ‘domains’ that influence our behaviour in social situations”:


Difficult people often don’t intend to be difficult, but may be acting in a negative way towards you because they feel that one or more of these areas is under threat.

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Image by Dmitrii_Guzhanin from Getty Images/Canva

If you can figure out WHY they feel threatened, you can begin to understand HOW to deal with them.

That’s it for this week! Thank you to Maye Samoiel and the FishBowl team for organizing a great event, and for graciously allowing me to share the audio. And thank you to everyone who attended and asked such interesting questions. 

Do you have COMMUNICATIONS SKILLS questions that weren’t covered in this episode? Feel free to get in touch. I’d love to hear from you!

Please forward to your friends who might like help with their communication skills. Thank you.

Have a great week.

Talk soon,

Learn about 1-on-1 COACHING with Andrea,
 schedule a free 20-minute consult.