A weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management.
Let's Protect Our Frontline Workers from Rude Customers
From videos of drunk and disorderly airline passengers to stories of hospital visitors angrily refusing to wear masks, customer-facing work seems to have gotten a lot more difficult – even dangerous -- over the past few years. It's important that organizations understand the experience of frontline workers now, and help to better protect their employees, says Christine Porath, professor of management at Georgetown University. She's studied incivility for 20 years, and has spoken to workers in many industries in the last few years about what it's like working with customers today - with stress, anger, and incivility seemingly on the rise. And she has advice for managers and leaders. Porath is the author of the HBR Big Idea article "Frontline Work When Everyone Is Angry."
What We Still Misunderstand About Mentorship and Sponsorship
Companies offer sponsorship programs to help a more diverse group of high performers and future leaders advance. But the efforts can often misfire. Herminia Ibarra, professor at London Business School, says that’s because these arranged developmental relationships can lack authenticity and meaningful paths for action. She explains the key distinctions of mentorship and sponsorship and recommends that companies focus on two vital qualities: public advocacy and relational authenticity. Ibarra wrote the HBR article “How to Do Sponsorship Right.”
Grit Is Good. But Quitting Can Be, Too.
From politics to sports to business, we tend to glorify those who persevere, show grit, never give up. But former professional poker player and consultant Annie Duke argues that there is also great value in quitting — whether it’s a project, job, career, or company. She walks us through the biases that keep us stuck in the status quo even when other paths would be more fruitful and explains how to make better decisions. Duke is the author of "Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away.”
How Women (and Everyone) Can Form Deeper Bonds to Fight Bias at Work
The number of women—especially women of color—in leadership ranks at the world’s largest companies remains desperately small. Tina Opie, associate professor of management at Babson College, offers a new practice for women to lift each other up and fight systemic bias in the workplace, something she calls “shared sisterhood.” The idea is to be more honest with each other, forming truer bonds. That involves listening, understanding yourself, and a willingness to take risks. With University of Iowa management professor Beth Livingston, Opie wrote the new book “Shared Sisterhood: How to Take Collective Action for Racial and Gender Equity at Work.”
4 Business Ideas That Changed the World: Emotional Intelligence
In the early 1990s, publishers told science journalist Daniel Goleman not to use the word “emotion” in a business book. The popular conception was that emotions had little role in the workplace. When HBR was founded in October 1922, the practice of management focused on workers’ physical productivity, not their feelings.
And while over the decades psychologists studied “social intelligence” and “emotional strength,” businesses cultivated the so-called hard skills that drove the bottom line. Until 1990, when psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer published their landmark journal article. It proposed “emotional intelligence” as the ability to identify and manage one's own emotions as well as those of others.
Daniel Goleman popularized the idea in his 1995 book, and companies came to hire for “EI” and teach it. It’s now widely seen as a key ingredient in engaged teams, empathetic leadership, and inclusive organizations. However, critics question whether emotional intelligence operates can be meaningfully measured and contend that it acts as a catchall term for personality traits and values.
4 Business Ideas That Changed the World is a special series from HBR IdeaCast. Each week, an HBR editor talks to world-class scholars and experts on the most influential ideas of HBR’s first 100 years, such as disruptive innovation, shareholder value, and scientific management.
Discussing emotional intelligence with HBR executive editor Alison Beard are:
Daniel Goleman, psychologist and author of Emotional Intelligence
Susan David, psychologist at Harvard Medical School and author of Emotional Agility
Andy Parks, management professor at Central Washington University
HBR: Leading by Feel, with Daniel Goleman
New Yorker: The Repressive Politics of Emotional Intelligence, by Merve Emre
HBR: Emotional Agility, by Susan David and Christina Congleton
Book: Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman
What Leaders Need to Know About a Looming Recession - and Other Global Threats
Nouriel Roubini, professor emeritus at NYU’s Stern School of Business, says that a confluence of trends – from skyrocketing public and private debt and bad monetary policies to demographic shifts and the rise of AI – are pushing the world toward catastrophe. He warns of those interconnected threats, but also has suggestions for how political and business leaders can prepare for and navigate through these challenges. He draws on decades of economic research as well as his experience accurately predicting, advising on, and observing responses to the 2008 global financial crisis, and he's the author of "Megathreats: Ten Dangerous Trends that Imperil our Future, and How to Survive Them.”