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Navigating tough convos in the workplace

Remember that you can always say no!

Hi friends. It’s been a tough week for a lot of people around the world. So today, we’re talking about the ways that our shared reality might seep into our work convos. It’s a little bit of a different WorkDaze newsletter, and we hope you find what you’re about to read constructive and helpful. 🫶


Navigating Tough Conversations at Work

Over the weekend, Hamas—the terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip in the Middle East—invaded and attacked Israel. Over 1,500 people on both sides have been killed since Hamas’ surprise attack on Saturday, prompting Israel to declare war. This is a violent escalation of a decades-long conflict between Israel and Palestine.

It’s also one of the biggest conversations around the world this week, with good reason. Because with conflict comes conversation, and sometimes that conversation is difficult or unfamiliar. The WorkDaze team experienced just that in our weekly sync on Monday.

This week, our team (which includes members of communities deeply affected by this news) took a step back from our routine brainstorming sesh to have a different kind of chat: how to approach sensitive conversations at work.

Because sharing is caring and because we all felt this was a productive conversation, here are some of the bits and pieces that stood out in this WorkDaze team meeting →

The first big takeaway: When it comes to approaching a tough conversation, you’ve got options. A few things you can totally say when a complicated topic comes up in the break room:

  1. “I don’t know enough about this to have a thoughtful conversation and I need to educate myself more before attempting to jump in.” Remember: Some conversations can be triggering and sensitive, so admitting you need to take a sec to get the full story? We love it. Education is key.

  1. “If you’d like to talk about your experience and what you’re feeling, I am available to listen and learn.” Remember: Offering a space for someone who’s struggling is the ultimate kindness. And while affected groups shouldn’t have to carry the burden of educating everyone else, you may have a coworker or work bestie who wants to tell you more! Never hurts to hear them out.

  1. “I don’t want to talk about it.” Remember: No one can force you to discuss anything you are uncomfortable discussing. That’s it! And if they try, it’s time to go to HR.

  1. “This is close to home for me, and I need some time to process.” Remember: The ball is in your court. You can explain what’s going on and why you need to take a pause, or you can simply take a mental health day. You don’t owe anyone an explanation to take the time you need. Maybe toss your work bestie a heads up—give them the opportunity to support you or just keep you in the loop while you take a breather.

What about the managers navigating all this? You can support your direct reports by 1) offering time off to process for anyone who needs it and 2) providing a safe space for your team to share thoughts and experiences.

Here at WorkDaze, we’re not super wild about the whole idea of bringing your whole self to work (you can and should have a life outside of the office!). But some conversations are universally important, whether you’re in the office or the living room or the line to get into your local AMC Theater this Friday. So? It’s always best to have a plan for when those convos happen at work.

So that’s what we covered in this week’s WorkDaze sync. We all felt good about listening to our teammates and learning about each other’s experiences. But we would love to hear from you: Are there any other approaches you’ve taken towards addressing hard convos at the workplace? Hit reply and let us know what’s worked!

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Things To Send Your Work Besties

…After you take that mental health day.

President Biden recently approved $9 billion in student loan forgiveness. The money will go to 125,000 Americans, including long-term public service workers, those with income-driven repayment plans, and borrowers with disabilities.

She’s come a long way since Barney and Friends (relatable icon). Selena Gomez sat down with Fast Company to talk about breaking down beauty standards with her makeup empire, Rare Beauty. She also shared about coming to terms with her bipolar diagnosis, why she took a four-year break from social media, and if she’s actually fighting with Dua Lipa. Not the news we deserve, but the news we need.

Posh Spice Victoria Beckham saying she grew up working class with David Beckham swooping in to remind her that her dad drove a Rolls Royce is my kind of documentary. The Beckhams new Netflix docuseries, aptly named Beckham, is so good. But surely TikTok has told you that by now, right?

One word? Iconic.

That’s all for today! Be kind to yourself and others this week. See you back here next Wednesday!



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