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Creating Respectful Work Cultures Through Coaching Abrasive Leaders with Catherine Mattice

Episode 89

About Catherine Mattice: Catherine founded Civility Partners in 2008 as a result of working in a toxic environment and has since served a huge array of clients with consulting, training and coaching services.

She’s written three books, one of which Ken Blanchard called, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic” of workplace bullying.

Catherine’s also been cited in such media outlets as, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur, and USA Today, and appeared as a guest on such venues as NPR and CNN.

Catherine is active in the International Association for Workplace Bullying & Harassment (IAWBH) and one of the four founding members of the National Workplace Bullying Coalition, a nonprofit organization focused on ending workplace bullying.

She has a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Communication, and taught communication courses at the college level for ten years.


In this episode, Jordan and Catherine discuss:

  • The part that the organization plays in abrasive cultures

  • The paradox of a respectful culture

  • Overcoming one’s own abrasiveness

  • The cost of having an unhealthy culture

Key Takeaways

  • The organization plays a much bigger role than they're often given credit for. In many cases, an organization has an abrasive leader because the organization has allowed it to happen or they don't have the right policies and procedures in place to keep it from happening.

  • The goal with creating a respectful culture is creating a psychologically safe environment. This doesn’t mean that we promote or empower a culture of victimhood because victimhood in itself is a bullying tactic. People should be allowed to show up as authentic while also making them feel safe.

  • A big piece of being able to overcome abrasive behavior is acknowledging that you’re imperfect, you make mistakes, and that you can learn from these mistakes. Telling others that you have a tendency to say things the wrong way but you’re working on it would be a huge boost in morale for people that you lead.

  • If people feel scared, they are more likely to make mistakes and in some workplace environments, mistakes can be riskier or could mean accidental physical harm. That’s why it’s important, in all environments, to create a culture of psychological safety.

“A lot of times what the clients are essentially saying is ‘I'm learning that mistakes are okay, that we can learn from them. It's okay to be human.’” — Catherine Mattice

Get your own electronic copy of “How To Coach Abrasive Leaders” ebook for free by clicking on this link:

FREE Resources For Developing A Healthy Workplace Culture:

Connect with Catherine Mattice:

Jordan Goldrich

Your host, Jordan Goldrich, grew up in a loud New York family and once lost an executive position because of his style. He is co-author of the Amazon Best Seller, Workplace Warrior®: People Skills For The No-Bulls**t Executive, Chief Operations Officer, Master Corporate Executive Coach, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. His guests are part of his international network of Workplace Warrior® executives, master corporate executive coaches, and thought leaders. Each guest will engage you in conversation about their successes, mistakes, and solutions. You will get strategies for being completely authentic, while you fulfill your commitment to your organization, build positive relationships, and take performance to an even higher level.

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