No Hard Feelings | Liz Fosslien

Summary of: No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work
By: Liz Fosslien


Enter the world of ‘No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work’ by Liz Fosslien, a book that centers on the importance of a healthy emotional culture in the workplace. This captivating summary provides valuable insights into the need for fostering positive emotions, such as compassion and gratitude, and discusses various ways to build a sense of belonging. Learn about the crucial role played by leaders in promoting emotional expression and how specific emotions can inform decision-making. With a focus on emotions and their due consideration, this book summary will provide readers with practical strategies to make their work life healthier, happier, and more successful.

Building a Positive Emotional Culture in the Workplace

A positive emotional culture in the workplace can decrease staff turnover rates, increase employee productivity, and prevent poor decision-making. Small gestures such as smiling, making eye contact, and offering a friendly “hello” can go a long way. Cultivating a sense of belonging through a first-day enterview and simple touches like favorite snacks can also contribute to a positive emotional culture. Leaders have a special responsibility in building a healthy emotional culture at work.

Employers often wonder if a healthy emotional culture in the workplace can make a difference. The answer is a resounding yes. Research studies from various professors demonstrate that organizations that discourage compassion and gratitude have higher staff turnover rates. Employees whose managers are rude are more likely to make poor decisions, and they forget important information more frequently. Therefore, building a positive emotional culture in the workplace should be prioritized.

Interestingly, it doesn’t require an organizational overhaul to encourage emotional expression in the workplace. Small gestures such as smiling, making eye contact, and offering a friendly “hello” can have significant impacts. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Group’s 10/5 rule, implemented in hospitals, shows that it can make not just customers but employees happier too.

Another way to build a positive emotional culture is to cultivate a sense of belonging among the employees. A feeling of not belonging is one of the highest predictors of turnover. This means that employees who get a warm welcome from their managers on the first day at the office are more productive nine months later. For example, IDEO, the design consultancy where one of the authors works, gives each of their new hires a first-day “enterview,” where everyone who interviewed the new employee shares exactly why they are excited for them to join. They also go one step further by providing a pack of favorite snacks on the employee’s desk on their first day of work.

While everyone has a part to play in building a healthy emotional culture at work, leaders have a particular responsibility. They can set the tone by leading by example and creating a workplace where compassion, gratitude, and emotional expression are encouraged.

The Power of Vulnerability

Sharing emotions can help leaders connect with employees, but they must be selective in what they share and how they do it. Howard Schultz’s open display of emotions, followed by a clear plan, led to positive feedback and growth for Starbucks. However, leaders who share too much or express negative emotions without a plan can lose their authority and negatively impact employee stress levels. It’s important for leaders to practice vulnerability, but in a controlled and thoughtful manner.

Work-Life Balance

Do you find yourself obsessing over work even during your leisure time? It’s time to prioritize yourself. Start with taking a vacation, as over 50% of Americans don’t take all their paid leave. Leaders should encourage their team to take a break, as research shows that everyone benefits from it. If taking a vacation is not possible, take what breaks you can and be strictly unproductive during your leisure activities. A balanced life means caring about yourself as much as your work.

Finding Motivation at Work

Only 15 percent of employees feel engaged at work, indicating that many struggle to find motivation. Feeling a sense of control and purpose can boost motivation. Giving employees more control has been successful for companies, such as Best Buy, which saw an increase in productivity and morale after implementing a Results-Only Work Environment. Even if you can’t change your company’s policies, you can still build autonomy by setting desired outcomes with your manager. Feeling a sense of purpose can also boost motivation. Connecting with or reflecting on the people who ultimately benefit from your work can give you a motivational boost and help you find meaning in your job.

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