Dr Austin Tay



Ask an Expert


I recently attended a webinar which advertised that the speaker is an expert in dealing with workplace toxicity. I was so looking forward to the webinar to listen to the speaker’s perspectives and research. I was all ears and ready to take notes. The webinar started with an introduction from the host and then the speaker. An anecdotal example was used by the speaker to elaborate on the circumstances of how workplace toxicity can take place. The focus of the story was how communication could create opportunities for toxicity in the workplace to happen.


Next, the speaker shared a qualitative study conducted with her clients about their experience of toxicity in the workplace. There was also a slide on how the various parts of the brain will light up when someone has experienced toxicity in the workplace. If you are still reading and feeling a bit confused, well, this was how I felt on the webinar. I frantically wrote some questions and sent them to the host. I waited patiently for the speaker to answer. One of my questions was asked but not answered. I must confess that some of my questions might not be questions per se; rather, they were observations about what the speaker had said. I needed the speaker to clarify what was said and shared. I reckoned that some of my questions were unanswered because there was not enough time?


I went back to look at the webinar description for the session and the speaker’s profile and think to myself that I might have registered for a wrong webinar. The speaker was supposed to have done years of research in this area, but all I heard were anecdotal evidence. There were questions I wanted answers to such as, “How can communication cause workplace toxicity?”, “What is the relationship between workplace toxicity and brain activity?”


Sadly, the webinar, to me, did not satisfy my expectations. Perhaps I need to lower my expectations when I sign up for any other webinar. However, one question remains – “Is it right to call yourself an expert when what you shared did not demonstrate any expertise at all?”




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