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Here’s the episode:

Some coworkers and supervisors are simply terrible. They’re abusive, they’re insulting, they’re incompetent. Other coworkers and supervisors WANT to be helpful but end up being just as harmful as the abusive people because, well, their help isn’t actually all that helpful. Cheryl Gray is a doctoral candidate in industrial and organizational psychology at the University of South Florida who specializes in employee health and well-being. In particular, Cheryl studies unhelpful help, which refers to those times when a supervisor or coworker does something that others perceive as being intended as helpful but actually is unhelpful or even harmful. In this episode, Cheryl joined us to discuss unhelpful help, in which we explored: 

  • What is unhelpful help and why does it matter

  • Cutting-edge emerging research on unhelpful help

  • Implications for people, leaders, and organizations

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Links and Other Information

Gray, C. E., Spector, P. E., Lacey, K. N., Young, B. G., Jacobsen, S. T., & Taylor, M. R. (2020). Helping may be Harming: Unintended negative consequences of providing social support. Work & Stress, 34(4), 359-385. Click here 

Paul Spector’s blog post on unhelpful help

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