Balancing Work Friction and Fatigue | Huggy Rao

Have you or someone you know fallen victim to the detrimental effects of Jargon Monoxide? If so, there might be compensation waiting for you.

Joining Kurt and Tim in this episode, Huggy Rao delves into the critical aspects of organizational friction and the looming specter of burnout within workspaces. Huggy underscores the need for clear and transparent communication to escape the wearisome trap of workspeak, identified here as “jargon monoxide.”

Tune in for a succinct and transparent conversation as Huggy dissects the challenges organizations encounter with an inherent bias towards addition, prioritizing the incorporation of new elements over the removal of unnecessary ones. He sheds light on the paradoxical scenario where leaders receive accolades for their additive contributions, leaving the significance of subtraction undervalued and misunderstood.

In the episode’s conclusion, Kurt and Tim steer the discussion towards reframing friction as an avenue for improvement rather than a hindrance. They explore effective strategies for mitigating workplace friction and beyond, providing valuable insights for those grappling with end-of-the-year work fatigue. Don’t miss out on this episode if you’re seeking a fresh perspective on navigating workplace challenges.

© 2023 Behavioral Grooves


(6:12) Intro and Speed Round

(12:21) Good Friction vs Bad Friction

(17:38) Health Pyramids and Reframing the Workplace

(25:07) Rational vs Emotional

(30:25) Corporate time wasters

(37:04) Addition bias and Obliviousness

(45:10) Jargon Monoxide

(54:55) Grooving Session: Strategies for Burnout and Friction 

© 2023 Behavioral Grooves

Related Episodes

Episode 231, Why We Work At Our Best, When We Feel At Our Best with Larry Senn

Episode 301, How To Fix Burnout (Hint: It Isn’t Another Yoga Session) | Jennifer Moss

About The Friction Project

The definitive guide to eliminating the forces that make it harder, more complicated, or downright impossible to get things done in organizations. Find out why Adam Grant says “If every leader took the ideas in this book seriously, the world would be a less miserable, more productive place.”

Every organization is plagued by destructive friction. Yet some forms of friction are incredibly useful, and leaders who attempt to improve workplace efficiency often make things even worse. Drawing from seven years of hands-on research, The Friction Project by bestselling authors Robert I. Sutton and Huggy Rao teaches readers how to become “friction fixers.”

Sutton and Rao kick off the book by unpacking how skilled friction fixers think and act like trustees of others’ time. They provide friction forensics to help readers identify where to avert and repair bad organizational friction and where to maintain and inject good friction. Then their help pyramid shows how friction fixers do their work, from reframing friction troubles they can’t fix right now, so they feel less threatening, to designing and repairing organizations. The heart of the book digs into the causes and solutions for five of the most common and damaging friction troubles: oblivious leaders, addition sickness, broken connections, jargon monoxide, and fast and frenzied people and teams.

Sound familiar? Sutton and Rao are here to help. They wrap things up with lessons for leading your own friction project, including linking little things to big things; the power of civility, caring, and love for propelling designs and repairs; and embracing the mess that is an inevitable part of the process (while still trying to clean it up).

AIRDATE: December 17, 2023 EPISODE 387

This episode also available via:

Balancing Work Friction and Fatigue | Huggy Rao

Featured Guest

Huggy Rao

Featured Artists

Yo Yo Ma

Camarón De La Isla