In Praise of Compliments

Does the act of giving someone a compliment pave the way for a more productive work meeting? And how do you praise someone authentically, and avoid the “Gap greeter” approach (which is to tell you that your ski hat is so adorable because they’ve been trained to believe that saying that to you when you walk in the door will make you feel like buying more). In this episode, Rachel and Suzanne break down the Art of the Compliment. Also? Rachel bemoans what’s become an all too familiar response to photos on Facebook, and Suzanne shares that she actually really likes Rachel’s earrings, but she doesn’t want to tell her, for reasons that might surprise you.

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The Best of the Big Payoff 100 (if we don’t say so ourselves)

We have a special treat for you. (Ok, it was for us to, but really, it was for you.) To mark the 100th episode of The Big Payoff Podcast, we thought it would be fun to share our favorite episodes. Some of our picks were those our listeners related to most, and some were those where we really did help ourselves (always a bonus). There were also a few that simply contained moments that only audio can capture. We appreciate each and every one of you who takes the 24 minutes out of your day to join us on our journey to dive more deeply into the conversations that can make all of us better at our work, and more comfortable with ourselves in our lives every day (that is, after all, the big payoff). We hope you’ll have as much fun listening as we did creating this for you.

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Own It | #87

We know how it goes– you get an assignment that you completely dread. You wonder if anyone will notice if you do a half-assed job. You start fantasizing about how you can get out of it– who can you get to do it for you. Today we’re going to give you the strange secret to getting REAL satisfaction from a dreaded project and your job– even one you are hating on right now. You will not only end up doing better, you will feel better. Warning: it’s completely counterintuitive. So much so that Rachel whines… a lot. Stick around to the bitter end to see if Rachel and Suzanne actually take their own advice!

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Managing your Boss | #86

You’re having a bad time at work and blame your boss. She’s a nightmare. But wait. Instead of complaining about it–which doesn’t change the situation–how about learning to manage HER? We call this “managing up” and it’s the key to getting sh*t done at work…and to your success over time. Managing those who have power over you is not just a work skill–it’s a life skill, and it can be learned. By listening to this show, for starters. Rachel and Suzanne have been there. And done that.

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Claiming your expertise | #85

When someone asks you, “What do you do?” you go right to your job title, and possibly even say something self-deprecating as a chaser. But that’s not the way to claim your expertise, or your power in the room. Here’s a hint at what you’ll hear on this podcast: your expertise is a far bigger piece of territory than you think. It’s the skills, talents, insights and experience that you’ve accumulated over time, and now it’s just about claiming that package. Rachel and Suzanne help you fill out a “claims report” that will help you talk about your expertise in an entirely new way.

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Planning for that difficult conversation | # 83

You are anticipating a difficult conversation, so you have the whole narrative figured out. You’ve painstakingly scripted both sides of the conversation. The bad news: it NEVER goes the way you think it will, and you’ve wasted your time and energy for nothing. The good news: help is on the way. Listen in as Rachel tries to counsel Suzanne on this issue, and proves that she is a better podcast host than behavioral psychologist (or maybe Suzanne is just a terrible patient).

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You’re Such a Badass | #84

You are hearing and seeing this term everywhere, right? You share your opinion at a meeting, and you’re a badass. Or maybe you pull an all nighter for the presentation…or give a talk in front of a group…or run a 5k And the next thing you know…you’re a badass?! Something feels wrong about that, so Rachel and Suzanne set out to uncover the true meaning of the term, and go straight to the source– the ACTUAL queen of badass, extreme action hero, choreographer and warrior, Elizabeth Streb. Turns out, being a badass takes more than you may think (and no, it’s not a biker jacket).

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Being OK with Being No. 2 | #82

There are times when your job is about helping someone else look good, get the credit or shine in the spotlight. When that’s your role, do you embrace it, or does your ego fight it? Rachel and Suzanne talk about how to make “being Number 2” a position of power, and as always, share stories of their cringe-worthy mistakes. As they say in the theatre– there are no small parts, only small podcasters.

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Stress is Not the Boss of Me | #81

With thanks to Tina Fey for introducing all of us to “sheetcaking” as an emotional release in turbulent times, we bring you this podcast episode on the topic of reducing your stress in ways that actually work. Whether it’s your boss, your clients, or and the crazy “back to school” insanity, we all need better ways to not only relieve stress in the moment, but reduce it entirely. As always, Rachel and Suzanne give you a completely different take on how to take back control over your life, and let your stress know it is NOT THE BOSS OF YOU.

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Don’t Quite Fit In? She’s Gets You w/ Jennifer Romolini | # 80

Jennifer Romolini, chief content officer for, is a self-proclaimed misfit. Even while killing it in her career she has never felt that she looked or acted like she was supposed to, and just couldn’t shake the awkwardness and anxiety that has always been a part of her. So she wrote a book about it called, “Weird in a World That’s Not: A Career Guide for Misfits, F*ckups, and Failures.” Jenn joined us in the studio for an amazing conversation about herself, her book, and gave us a little sneak peak into the upcoming world of You’re gonna love it.

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