Self Help

No Hard Feelings The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work - Liz Fosslien & Mollie West Duffy

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Matheus Puppe

· 34 min read



  • The book argues that emotions play a much bigger role in professional lives than is typically acknowledged or taught. Ignoring emotions can hurt productivity, decision-making, health and more.

  • The authors, Liz and Mollie, each had experiences where unhealthy workplace situations negatively impacted their mental and physical well-being. This led them to research emotion in the workplace.

  • When they started collaborating, they hit communication issues that threatened their working relationship. Examining their emotions helped them overcome differences and improve their teamwork.

  • The concept of “emotional fluency” is introduced - the ability to productively sense and communicate emotions in a way that fits different situations. This is seen as more important than just emotional intelligence.

  • The future of work requires skills to effectively manage emotions, but most workers have not been trained to do this professionally. The book aims to provide guidance on when and how much emotion can be productively expressed.

The passage discusses the importance of being less passionate about one’s job for health reasons. While caring about work is important, obsessing over it to the detriment of one’s personal life and well-being is unhealthy. Constantly worrying about work and being constantly connected via technology has blurred work-life boundaries.

Chronically overworking is linked to lower productivity and health issues. The body’s stress response is meant to be temporary, but constantly activating the “fight or flight” response due to overwork can lead to issues over time.

Some tips provided to detach emotionally from work include taking actual vacations without contacting work, setting boundaries around email/notifications, and reframing one’s identity to not revolve solely around one’s job. Striking a better work-life balance can improve both one’s health and job performance in the long run.

  • Managers often communicate negative or mixed messages about taking vacation time, discouraging employees from using their full vacation allowance. Taking regular time off is important for well-being and avoiding burnout.

  • Suggestions are given for taking mini-breaks even if a full vacation is not possible, such as scheduling one weeknight off per week or blocking off a few hours on a regular basis for focused work.

  • It’s important to develop interests and relationships outside of work to maintain a healthy separation from your job identity and avoid dependency on work for validation and purpose. Overestimating one’s own importance can lead to burnout.

  • Signs of burnout include emotional exhaustion, feelings of cynicism and detachment from work, and reduced effectiveness. Addressing the root causes such as an erratic boss or unfulfilling job role can help remedy burnout.

  • Digital boundaries like limiting email and social media checking, especially after work hours, can help avoid distraction and increase focus and energy levels. Developing non-work interests and pursuits is recommended.

The passage discusses some challenges with constantly focusing on work emails and never disconnecting. It mentions that Shonda Rhimes, a TV writer and producer, changed her email signature to discourage work emails after 7pm or on weekends. Dan Calista, CEO of consulting firm Vynamic, created an “zzzMail” policy preventing work emails nights, weekends and holidays.

It then discusses the importance of setting boundaries and not constantly chasing future goals at the expense of one’s current well-being and work-life balance. While raises and promotions can be exciting, constant happiness is difficult to attain and we are often happier appreciating what we already have rather than always focusing on more. Being content in one’s current situation is emphasized as emotionally healthier than constantly chasing the next promotion.

Several tips are provided for feeling better in one’s current work life, such as accepting negative emotions instead of suppressing them, reframing stress as excitement, confiding in trusted others but avoiding chronic venting, getting clear priorities and tasks from management to reduce uncertainty, and focusing on the present moment to avoid rumination.

Psychologist Martin Seligman identified three common cognitive distortions people tend to focus on after a negative event, which he called the “three Ps”:

  • Personalization: Thinking the event is entirely your fault.

  • Pervasiveness: Thinking the event will negatively impact all areas of your life.

  • Permanence: Thinking you will feel bad forever.

To feel better, it’s important to notice and challenge these cognitive distortions. Some ways to do this are:

  • Look at negative events more objectively rather than immediately blaming yourself.

  • Realize small mistakes are unlikely to lead to complete disaster.

  • Focus on the single event rather than thinking it’s permanent.

Stepping back and looking at the situation from another perspective can also help stop rumination. Remember that thoughts are not facts or inevitable truths.

Some common reasons people lack motivation at work include not having autonomy or control over their work, not finding their work meaningful, viewing work only as a place to punch a clock rather than learn, and disliking coworkers. Giving employees more freedom and flexibility over their schedules, as was done successfully at Best Buy, can significantly increase motivation and productivity.

  • Pink advised that even in constrained professional situations, it’s possible to carve out moments of freedom and inspiration, such as taking a half hour to read something interesting or going for a quick walk on your break. Small bits of independence can help motivate you even without total control over your schedule.

  • Our motivation is linked to dopamine levels in the brain. Getting rewards in an uncertain way, like with slot machines or surprise emails, is addicting because dopamine levels vary the most when outcomes aren’t guaranteed.

  • To stay motivated, one suggestion was to set up a random reward system for concentrating on tasks for extended periods, like getting ice cream if a random number generator pops a certain number.

  • Ways to increase autonomy included having managers focus on outcome goals rather than processes, celebrating small wins, asking open-ended questions, and holding office hours for questions.

  • Finding meaning and purpose in one’s work increases motivation. Understanding how work helps others through “magic moments” of interaction can provide meaning. Job crafting, or viewing your role differently, can also make work feel more meaningful.

  • Suggestions for finding meaningful aspects of a job included following what brings lightness, talking to managers about more engaging work, connecting your work to a compelling purpose, and investing in positive relationships.

  • One’s work should be viewed as a place for ongoing learning. Even jobs like being a barista can spark new interests and skills if approached with curiosity.

  • The passage describes different types of relationships that can help make work more enjoyable - confidants, inspirations, and frenemies.

  • Confidants are close work friends who can provide emotional support during difficult times. Developing true confidants has become less common as people change jobs more frequently.

  • Inspirations are colleagues one deeply admires and wants to learn from. Having a mentor, either formal or informal, can provide motivation and guidance for career development.

  • Building workplace friendships through trust, sharing, and social activities can boost engagement and motivation. Different types of relationships fulfill different needs, so understanding which types are most important can help commit effort to developing those connections. Overall, positive social relationships at work are an important factor in job satisfaction.

Here are the key points from the provided text:

  • Good mentors can bring a field to life for you and teach you how to find quality material in that field. You can and should have many mentors throughout your career. Mentors can provide guidance and motivation during career moves.

  • The relationship with a frenemy (someone who is both your friend and benchmark) can be motivating. Having a frenemy pushes you to work harder and succeed to prove yourself. Leveraging a frenemy relationship by collaborating on projects can turn it into a real friendship.

  • Close work friendships can be emotionally exhausting to manage, especially in startup environments where people describe themselves as a family. The friendships impact not just those within the friendships but also outsiders who may feel excluded.

  • Integrating work and personal lives on social media has pros and cons. It allows learning more about coworkers but can also lead to feeling more aware of and excluded from friendship groups within the workplace.

  • Some ways to benefit from workplace friends include embracing small moments of connection, preventing silos from forming, branching out at work events, and spending casual time together outside of work. Investing in workplace relationships gives employees another reason to look forward to going to work.

  • Not all feelings should be equally considered when making decisions. Relevant emotions directly related to the choice should be acknowledged, while irrelevant emotions from unrelated sources should be discarded.

  • Relevant emotions like anticipation, anxiety, and regret can provide useful signals to guide decision-making if properly analyzed. Anticipation indicates excitement about an option and should be tracked over time. Anxiety often stems from a desire for control and creative problem-solving can help address the underlying concern. Regret minimization is a common strategy people use to make choices.

  • Envy can reveal envy-inspiring attributes or experiences one may want for themselves. Journaling emotions helps evaluate accuracy and influence over time. Considering how future self may feel about choices also guides regret avoidance.

  • While status quo bias is common, research found people who made major life changes from coin tosses were happier after six months compared to those who stuck with status quo. Paying attention to relevant emotions can provide useful signals if properly analyzed when making important decisions.

  • Gretchen Rubin noticed she felt far more envy and interest when reading about writing careers compared to law careers, which revealed her true values and preferences.

  • Envy can indicate something you want to improve in yourself or a change you need to make. It’s important to admit envy rather than deny feeling it.

  • Irrelevant emotions like finding a coin can still affect decisions, so it’s best to let time pass before making a choice to screen out unwanted emotional influences.

  • Excitement makes people overly optimistic and impulsive. Countering it involves calming your body through breathing or exercise.

  • Sadness leads to lower expectations and short-term thinking. Countering it involves practicing gratitude, like writing thank you letters.

  • Anger causes rash decisions. Countering it involves slowing down, deep breathing, and being open to advice.

  • Stress affects men and women’s decision making differently, so diverse teams are beneficial. The best approach is to take time and not rush decisions under stress.

  • Emotion plays too big a role in hiring processes, leading to bias. It’s better to clearly define needed skills and objectively test if candidates possess them through blinded evaluations or structured interviews with standardized questions.

The passage discusses ways to reduce bias in the hiring process. It recommends preparing for interviews by understanding the job requirements. Interviewers should remove names from resumes to avoid bias based on names. Candidates should be asked to provide work samples rather than just relying on interviews. Interviewers should avoid biases based on the order of candidates or personal likability. Hiring decisions should involve a group rather than one individual to reduce bias.

It then discusses techniques for effective negotiating, such as understanding one’s own negotiating style and how gender or culture may influence it. Having a plan for different scenarios can help people negotiate more confidently. Using statements like “I don’t want my salary to be a distraction” frames salary requests in a way that appeals to the other party’s interests.

The passage concludes by providing a checklist for decision making. It recommends writing out options, identifying feelings, regulating irrelevant emotions, linking emotions to options, focusing on “what” questions rather than “why”, understanding one’s decision making tendency, getting input from others, and making a decision after considering all factors. The goal is to make the best decision possible through a structured process.

Here are the key points about emotions from the passage:

  • Psychological safety refers to whether team members feel comfortable expressing ideas, admitting mistakes, and taking risks without fear of embarrassment or retaliation from other team members.

  • Psychological safety is important for team performance. Teams with high psychological safety outperform those without in areas like revenue, effectiveness ratings, and retention.

  • Psychological safety allows for “burstiness” - when team members build on each other’s ideas rapidly in a creative and productive way. However, teams need a base level of psychological safety to avoid taking accidental interruptions personally.

  • Lack of psychological safety can inhibit diversity of thought on teams, as minority views may be reluctant to speak up for fear of criticism.

  • As an individual, you can encourage psychological safety by openly discussing all viewpoints, suggesting “bad ideas” brainstorms to reduce pressure, asking clarifying questions to model the behavior, and using generative language when responding to others.

  • As a leader, you can create team agreements, ask for feedback on how to increase safety, and balance work with communication to build relationships.

The key message is that psychological safety among team members, unrelated to individual traits, is critical for team performance and should be a priority for any leader or team. Expressing diverse views without fear of criticism allows for the best ideas to emerge.

Here are the key points from the summary:

  • Any relationship, professional or personal, is like building a tower of popsicle sticks. Shared experiences are the popsicle sticks that hold it together, while communication is the glue. Too much emphasis on experiences without communication leads to instability, but overanalyzing every interaction with too much focus on communication can also undermine the relationship.

  • There will inevitably be conflict in any team. While conflict can spark breakthroughs if managed well, it can also lead to burnout if left unmanaged. It’s important to distinguish between task conflict over creative ideas vs relationship conflict stemming from personality clashes.

  • Teams can structure discussion to encourage productive task conflict, such as by focusing comments on work rather than individuals. Creating “user manuals” to understand colleagues’ work styles can also help prevent relationship conflict.

  • Both task and relationship conflict can be navigated through validation, ensuring mutual respect, gently sharing perspectives, and remembering colleagues’ humanity even during disagreements. Unresolved relationship conflict may need to be left alone rather than rehashed. Effective communication and understanding different viewpoints are key to managing conflict.

Here are some key points on handling difficult team members:

  • Jerks undermine psychological safety and morale. Limit interacting with them by reducing face time and keeping physical/mental distance. Have empathy but don’t open up to them. As a last resort, remove them from the team if other techniques don’t work.

  • Dissenters constantly point out problems without proposing solutions. The goal is not eliminating skepticism but making criticism constructive. Dissenters should be asked to provide alternative suggestions alongside critical feedback.

  • Slackers undermine group performance. Have clear expectations and hold slackers accountable through check-ins, explicit feedback, and consequences if needed. Redistribution of work can help if lack of capacity is the real issue rather than lack of effort.

  • Address issues directly but constructively. Have 1:1 conversations to understand perspectives and set expectations. Reframe conflicts into opportunities for growth and finding solutions together.

  • Overall, maintain psychological safety by being impartial, giving all teammates a voice, and making the well-being of the group a priority over any single individual. Jerks, dissenters and slackers can drain morale if not managed respectfully and effectively.

When providing criticism or feedback to colleagues, it is important to address the issue constructively while also maintaining a positive working relationship. A good approach is to “practical suggestion colon” - in other words, after pointing out an issue or critique, also provide a practical suggestion for how to address or improve the situation.

For example, if Mollie says to Liz “I don’t think the anecdote you included at the beginning of the chapter works,” she should add “(practical suggestion colon) what if we use the story about Dolly Parton’s hairdresser instead?” This frames the criticism positively by offering an alternative solution, rather than just pointing out a problem. It helps avoid hurt feelings or conflicts by maintaining a spirit of collaboration even when difficulties need to be addressed.

  • Difficult conversations at work are often about unresolved issues that need to be addressed, but getting visibly upset will only make the situation worse. Studies show couples who remain calm during arguments are happiest and last longest. They use humor and affection to defuse tension.

  • When having difficult talks, it’s best to structure feedback using “When you do X, it makes me feel Y.” This avoids victimizing anyone. It’s also important to apologize sincerely if confronted by acknowledging the mistake, expressing regret, and explaining how it won’t happen again.

  • Self-awareness of gender, race, culture and personality differences can provide context to better understand intentions behind others’ words. Studies show women and minorities often face communication barriers at work due to stereotypes. Being conscious of this can help build a more inclusive environment.

  • Crying at work is often due to passion, stress or frustration rather than sadness. It’s best to excuse yourself privately to calm down before continuing discussions. Don’t shame yourself or others for displaying human emotions.

The key points are on how to structure difficult conversations constructively, the importance of cultural awareness and communication styles, and normalizing emotions like crying at the workplace. Understanding differences can help address issues more effectively.

Here are some key points about better communicating across different groups:

  • When discussing race or diversity, be specific but avoid “us vs them” language. Address biases directly but don’t withhold important feedback.

  • Watch out for coded or racially insensitive language and correct it politely when needed. Discussing diversity openly without mentioning race may conceal discrimination.

  • Across generations, look for common ground but also understand preferences like how each prefers to communicate. Start cross-generational mentoring programs.

  • Do research on cultural norms around confrontation, emotions, and communication styles to avoid unintended offenses. Non-verbal activities can build connections across languages.

  • For multicultural teams, saying “I don’t fully understand” is better than direct disagreement. Recognize different approaches to showing appreciation.

  • Introverts and extroverts have different needs - introverts need quiet time to recharge while extroverts thrive in busier environments. Let each other know preferences respectfully. Introverts should speak up early in meetings and extroverts avoid excessively long emails.

The key themes are being aware of biases, doing research on cultural differences, addressing issues respectfully without “us vs them” language, understanding different needs or styles, and openly discussing preferences to build understanding.

Here is a summary of key points about giving feedback to extroverts:

  • Send meeting agendas in advance to give introverts time to prepare their thoughts. This allows for more equitable discussion.

  • Allow pauses in conversation without feeling the need to fill the silence. Let introverts finish speaking before interjecting.

  • Suggest breaking into small groups to discuss ideas before reporting back, providing a less overwhelming environment for introverts than a large group.

  • Be patient as introverts come out of their shell. Keep inviting them to participate and give them time to open up.

The overall message is to structure meetings and conversations in a way that makes introverts more comfortable participating fully, such as providing preparation time, allowing silence, and using small groups. Extroverts should be mindful not to dominate discussions and to actively include introverts. Patience and continuing invitations are also recommended to help introverts engage over time.

Here are the key takeaways from the passage:

  • Emotional cultures form within organizations as certain emotions and ways of expressing emotions become implicitly accepted or rejected through small interactions and norms.

  • Emotions can spread between people automatically through emotional contagion, both in person and digitally. Negative emotions from one person can negatively impact others’ moods.

  • Checking in on people’s moods at the start of meetings and giving space for people to step away if needed can help prevent the spread of bad moods.

  • Subtle cues like greeting behaviors, meeting room supplies, and acceptable communication styles provide clues about an organization’s implicit emotional norms.

  • Even though emotional cultures may seem rigid, individuals still have some ability to influence the culture through their own mannerisms and by role modeling openly discussing both positive and negative feelings. Overall well-being and inclusiveness are signs of a healthy emotional culture.

  • Emotional culture refers to the unspoken rules and norms within an organization about what emotions are acceptable to feel and express. These norms are reinforced through small social signals from coworkers.

  • Emotional cultures can vary within different groups or sections of the same organization. Nurses at a hospital may vent privately but remain compassionate with patients, for example.

  • Understanding and relating to an organization’s emotional culture(s) helps individuals feel a sense of belonging.

  • Healthy emotional expression, when encouraged in moderation, can lead to benefits like lower turnover, better decision making, and increased productivity.

  • Simple acts like smiling at coworkers, sharing meals together, and celebrating positive behaviors can help foster a supportive emotional culture.

  • Transition moments like a new employee’s first day provide opportunities to promote belonging through gestures meant to relieve anxiety and make the person feel welcomed. IDEO does this through an “enterview” where coworkers share what they’re excited about the new hire.

  • The new hire wanted to introduce themselves and share fun facts about themselves in a new hire email tradition. They shared enjoying comedy and having gone on a spring break trip with a Real Housewife. Their email spawned an extensive discussion thread.

  • Over months, they gained a deeper understanding of the culture. They started smiling more, speaking up, volunteering, and organizing an office-wide baking competition. Once feeling a deeper sense of belonging, they weren’t constantly questioning their fit and could share their full self.

  • After bringing their full self to work for a few months, they were asked to lead their first project.

  • Creating a culture of belonging involves small gestures called “microactions” that signal inclusion, like learning and using colleagues’ names. It’s important for remote workers to feel included through scheduled social meetings, sharing personal lives on social media, and giving public praise and feedback. Expectations should be clear but remote workers trusted with flexible work. Inclusion means considering time zones and sending physical care packages.

  • Underrepresented groups often face additional emotional burdens at work like feeling they need to conceal their true identities and emotions to conform to dominant workplace standards. This can lead to stress and feelings of not belonging.

  • Diversity trainings are not always effective and may unintentionally cause more distress if they become another space where minorities cannot freely express themselves.

  • Companies should commit to diversity at all levels of leadership, implement programs to increase belonging, and encourage an open dialogue about race and identity so underrepresented groups feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work.

  • Individual actions like asking questions instead of immediately problem-solving, including missing voices in discussions, and sharing personal stories can help create a more inclusive culture where all employees feel they belong.

  • Leaders should model vulnerability by sometimes sharing personal experiences in order to normalize expressing emotions and build trust within an organization.

  • Laszlo is the founder and CEO of Humu, a machine learning company. In 2017, he had to suddenly fly to Florida due to a personal emergency regarding his brother’s death.

  • When he returned to work, he decided to tell his employees about his brother’s death so they understood if he seemed less focused for the next few months as he grieved.

  • His employees rallied around him in support. This made it easier for Laszlo to do his job during a difficult time and created an environment where employees felt comfortable sharing and supporting each other.

  • Being selectively vulnerable and showing emotion can build trust with employees, but leaders need to think carefully about when and how much to disclose personal information. They also need to still provide a clear path forward and not overburden employees.

  • The best leaders show vulnerability in assessing a situation but then present a solution-oriented path forward to reassure and motivate employees during difficult times. Too much focus on personal emotion without a call to action can undermine a leader’s authority and infect others with anxiety.

The passage discusses emotional intelligence and leadership styles. It notes there is no single profile of a great leader - what matters most is self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

It then addresses some challenges and opportunities for different types of leaders:

  • Female leaders often feel pressure to avoid appearing too emotional or emotionless. The passage advises striking a balance by being decisive but also showing emotion to inspire others.

  • Male leaders can benefit from investing more in empathy. Research shows men’s brains tend to tune out emotion and jump to problem-solving. This can leave others feeling unsupported in emotionally trying situations.

Overall, the key takeaways are that developing self-awareness and emotional intelligence is important for any leader, and different types of leaders may face barriers that can be overcome by balancing competence and caring, clarity and empathy. Understanding different leadership styles and challenges can help improve performance.

  • Studies show that high emotional intelligence makes for a top-performing leader, regardless of gender. However, gender bias still exists in the workplace. Leaders should treat all colleagues equally and address gender disparities in areas like promotions and introductions.

  • Some women prefer male bosses due to perceived issues with female managers like being “emotional,” “catty,” or creating competition. However, research shows women who are optimistic about their careers are less likely to undermine other women. Societal changes are needed to promote women supporting other women.

  • Racial minorities often feel pressure to conform to white male leadership styles. This introduces additional challenges, as does the intersection of gender and race. Mentoring helps minority leaders maintain confidence. Diversity must be a priority for companies.

  • Younger and older leaders both face issues - younger ones need to prove themselves while older ones risk being out of touch. Open communication and willingness to learn from each other helps bridge age gaps.

  • Introverted leaders can succeed through preparation, pushing boundaries, and explaining preferences to others. Extroverts should give introverts processing time and opt for one-on-one meetings. Understanding personality differences leads to bringing out the best in teams.

  • Accommodating both introverts and extroverts is important for leading effectively. Personality exists on a spectrum and we can choose to act more like “ambiverts” who balance both tendencies when needed.

  • The best leaders understand individual differences and manage people accordingly, avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach. They listen well and avoid telling people what to feel.

  • It’s important for leaders to acknowledge challenges they and others may face in leadership roles to reduce negative impacts. Prioritizing self-care and seeking support from peers can help leaders avoid emotional leaks that affect their reports.

  • Showing vulnerability when assessing difficult situations combined with presenting a clear path forward is an effective leadership approach. Leaders should study the people they manage to understand them as individuals.

The takeaway is that effective leadership involves understanding personality differences, managing people as individuals, acknowledging challenges, practicing self-care, and communicating in a way that balances vulnerability with clear direction. The goal is to accommodate both introverts and extroverts by tapping into qualities of an “ambivert” as needed.

  • Faces in their neutral state are structurally neutral - when at rest, faces don’t inherently express emotions like being “bitchy”. Perceptions of facial expressions come from the observer, not the face itself.

  • What some may call a “resting bitch face” (RBF) is better described as a “resting neutral face”. faces don’t inherently express emotions when at rest.

  • The next time someone mentions someone having RBF, you can correct them by pointing out that faces are neutral structures and any perceived emotions come from the observer, not the face itself. The neutral face is just resting neutral, not expressing emotions.

So in summary, the passage argues that facial expressions at rest are neutral, and any perceived emotions like being “bitchy” come from the observer, not the inherent structure of the face. We should view neutral faces as resting neutral rather than imposing emotions onto them.

Here is a summary of the key points from the acknowledgments section:

  • The authors thank their editor Leah Trouwborst for her generous time, ideas, and enthusiasm in helping them write the book.

  • They thank their literary agent Lisa DiMona for being an early champion and thought partner.

  • They acknowledge the editing support from Julie Mosow who helped shape their narrative.

  • They thank the team at their publishing house Penguin Random House including Adrian Zackheim, Niki Papadopoulos, and others for their help from start to finish.

  • The authors are grateful to the many experts who gave their time and valuable input, including Angela Antony, Erica Baker, Laszlo Bock, Susan David, and others.

  • They thank Susan Cain for helping them embrace being introverts and sharing their work.

  • Liz specifically thanks her co-author Mollie for the perfect balance of patience and push in making this a rewarding experience. She also thanks her family for their support.

  • Both authors express gratitude to colleagues, friends, and others who provided feedback and support along the way in helping make the book happen.

Here is a summary of the thank you section:

  • The author thanks Reddit for distracting them so much throughout the writing process of their book.

  • They thank their collaborator and illustrator Liz for their friendship, commitment to working through challenges together to build a dream partnership, and for bringing smiles through her illustrations.

  • They thank various past teachers and professors who encouraged their writing and studying of organizations.

  • They thank friends and colleagues from various communities and previous jobs who provided encouragement, support and informed their thinking on emotions at work.

  • They give lifelong thanks to their family for believing in them, teaching valuable life lessons, and providing unconditional support, particularly naming several family members.

  • Finally, they thank their partner Chris for bringing out the best in them, for extra support through the writing process, and for being a constant source of kindness, humor and happiness.

So in summary, the author expresses gratitude to a wide network of personal and professional collaborators, mentors, friends and family who supported and influenced them throughout their career and writing process.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

  • Defensive pessimism involves setting low expectations and anticipating difficulties in order to better prepare and motivate oneself. Studies have found defensive pessimists work hard to avoid anxiety-provoking situations and are forced to reframe their mindset positively.

  • Reframing pre-performance anxiety as excitement can help boost performance. Stress and excitement trigger similar physiological responses in the body. Reframing stress in a positive light makes it feel more like excitement.

  • Brooding negatively with others, known as co-rumination, has been shown to make both parties feel worse, with women experiencing more anxiety and depression from it. Pushing each other to resolve issues can provide motivation and direction.

  • Uncertainty is a source of stress, so lacking clear direction from bosses causes distress. Taking adequate vacation helps renewal and better performance upon return. Worker satisfaction and retention improved at companies giving more flexible schedules and autonomy.

  • Small wins and progress motivate by keeping bigger goals and impact in sight. Brief positive interactions with customers or those benefiting from work can also boost meaning and motivation. Work seen as worthwhile and having impact is fulfilling. Pursuing work we find personally meaningful is motivating.

  • Autonomy, competence, and relatedness are key psychological needs for motivating employees. ROWE work environments giving freedom and flexibility improved outcomes at companies that adopted it. Intrinsic motivations like enjoyment of work are stronger drivers than external rewards alone. Cultivating positivity, humor and lightheartedness in work helps engagement. Learning opportunities are motivating for workers and companies.

Here are the key points from the summary:

  • Everyone should see themselves as a potential leader. Even if they don’t have a formal leadership role, they can influence and inspire others through their actions and ideas.

  • Idle moments and downtime are important for creativity. Giving your mind time to wander and make new connections without external stimulation supports creative thinking and problem solving.

  • Scheduling some relaxation and reflection time each day counteracts stress better than just relaxing occasionally. Taking occasional breaks helps your mind and body recharge.

  • People tend to value things they create with their own effort and labor more than things given to them. Putting in work to build or make something gives it more meaning and importance.

  • Having good friends and social connections at work improves job satisfaction and performance. It also acts as a buffer against stress. However, too much personal chatting can be distracting and hurt productivity at times.

  • Maintaining a balance between work and personal life is important for well-being. While some integration is natural, it’s good to set boundaries and not feel constantly available to coworkers outside of work hours.

So in summary, the key message is that everyone has leadership potential, creativity benefits from idle time, effort leads to greater reward and satisfaction, social connections at work are important but need balance, and maintaining boundaries supports well-being.

Here is a summary of the key points from the article:

  • The article outlines research from Google examining what makes the most effective teams. They studied 180 teams at Google and found that psychological safety, depending on feelings and abilities rather than credentials, and social sensitivity were the most important factors.

  • Teams that scored highest on psychological safety measures, where team members felt safe to take risks and be vulnerable in front of each other, performed the best. This allowed for more innovative ideas and open-minded thinking.

  • Teams where members perceived their colleagues depended on their unique skills and abilities, rather than things like status andcredentials, did better than those where people relied more onstatus. This led to better coordination and task focus.

  • Teams that were rated highly on social sensitivity, being attentive to how others feel and being good at reading the social climate, outperformed those lower on this measure. This allowed them to incorporate perspectives of introverted members.

  • Diverse teams in terms of gender, ethnicity, age and experiences performed better than more homogeneous groups. This provided more perspectives which led to better discussions and decisions. However, psychological safety is needed to leverage these benefits of diversity.

  • Overall, the research suggests focusing on psychological safety, valuing personal ability over status, and raising social sensitivity are key to building high-performing teams according to Google’s extensive study.

Here is a summary of the key points from the references:

  • Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s CEO, discussed the company establishing new cultural norms following scandals to promote safety, respect, and accountability.

  • A TV writer talked about discussing characters and plots creatively but not making inappropriate real-life comments.

  • A partner from IDEO discussed the importance of culture and how successful groups have a “scaffolding of thoughtfulness.”

  • An animation at Pixar involved daily reviews where animators could discuss changes respectfully.

  • Research found that taking time for open conflict resolution discussions in teams led to better outcomes than avoiding or suppressing conflicts.

  • Guides and workshops on collaboration were developed to make it easier for teams to have constructive discussions.

  • Conflicts in meetings could be reframed from struggles for validation to opportunities for learning if handled respectfully.

  • Positive emotions like gratitude were said to broaden thinking and make it easier to have difficult conversations constructively.

  • Tactfully confronting prejudiced comments, rather than avoidance, was suggested as a way to reduce biases over time.

  • Disagreement was advocated for if done respectfully and focused on ideas rather than people.

  • Participating actively and constructively in meetings, rather than passively, was linked to employee satisfaction.

  • Communication issues are one of the main reasons founders break up their partnerships/companies. Using words carefully and having difficult conversations can help address problems.

  • Generational, gender, and cultural differences impact how people communicate and express themselves. Younger generations, women, and some cultures may be less assertive.

  • Interrupting, talking over others, and not listening can undermine communication. Creating psychological safety allows people to have open discussions.

  • Crying or expressing emotion can help conversations if not overdone. Addressing biases around race/gender is important but needs to be done sensitively without accusations.

  • Multigenerational workplaces require awareness of generational stereotypes and communication preferences that differ across ages. International/multicultural teams also have differing norms around expression.

The chapter emphasizes the importance of open communication, addressing issues directly but constructively, being aware of diverse perspectives, and creating an environment where all voices can be heard. Difficult conversations are worth having to maintain healthy relationships.

  • Introverts may prefer less stimulation than extroverts and find receiving critical feedback more negative. People also tend to view outside feedback about themselves more negatively than their own view of themselves.

  • To get promoted, some people seek generalized positive feedback rather than information they need to improve. Vague feedback holds women back more than men, who tend to receive more specific comments.

  • Providing candid yet constructive feedback so the recipient can immediately make improvements can be most effective. Trustworthiness and accessibility are more important than expertise when deciding who to ask for advice.

  • Well-intentioned advice could provide an inaccurate picture if it undermines someone’s professionalism. Tone and emotion are easily misinterpreted in digital communication like email.

  • An organization’s culture and emotional norms can significantly impact productivity, decision-making, turnover, and more. Discouraging gratitude, kindness and necessary conflict can hurt a culture.

  • Positive social interactions and forgiveness build trust within an organization. Leading with patience rather than fury also builds trust. A leader or team’s positive behaviors and mindsets can cascade through social networks.

  • Artifacts like shared messages or posters can help new hires quickly understand and absorb an organization’s culture. Eating together also promotes better group performance and bonding.

  • Alex Pentland’s work found that nonverbal signals like posture and gestures are strong predictors of productivity and turnover.

  • At Warby Parker, employees call new hires “newbies” to help them feel included and integrate into the culture.

  • Short, targeted interventions where minorities are made to feel a sense of social belonging have been shown to improve their academic and health outcomes.

  • Unconscious biases can cause non-minorities to underestimate how isolating and stressful microaggressions and lack of representation can feel for minorities.

  • Adia Harvey Wingfield notes that minorities often feel they need to modulate their authentic selves at work by not using slang or speaking with an accent.

  • Leaders showing authentic emotion can build trust with their teams if done judiciously. Oversharing personal details risks making direct reports uncomfortable or questioning the boss’s competence.

  • Suggesting solutions in a question format rather than stating directives helps people feel heard and empowered. Followers typically prefer leaders who are good listeners rather than authoritative decree-makers.

Here is a summary of the section on 040–53 from the provided source:

The section discusses how emotions can impact leadership and how leaders should handle emotions in themselves and others. It notes that great leaders play chess by thinking many moves ahead strategically while keeping their own anxieties in check. Leaders need to deliver both positive and negative feedback to employees in a caring, empathetic way to minimize stress. Displaying negative emotions openly as a leader is unwise, as it can spread bad feelings to the whole team. Leaders should acknowledge their own emotions privately but problem solve rationally at work. Gender biases can impact how leaders of different genders are perceived - women may face skepticism about their abilities or capacities for leadership. Leaders from underrepresented minority groups may experience additional challenges and lack access to mentors. Both extroverted and introverted personality traits can be effective for leaders depending on the situation, and openness to different styles is important for success.

  • Workplace training firm LifeLabs Learning was interviewed and discussed emotional regulation in leadership.

  • The book “The Book of Human Emotions” discusses lesser-known emotions.

  • Instructions are given for an emotional tendencies assessment.

  • Amy Edmondson’s article “Team Psychological Safety” discusses developing a measure of sense of belonging.

  • Bonnie Hagerty and Kathleen Patusky’s article also discusses developing a measure of sense of belonging.

  • The page provides an index of topics covered and page numbers to find related discussion in the printed book.

  • It focuses on building emotional intelligence skills like understanding emotions, labeling them, expressing emotion appropriately, noticing difficult emotions, and regulating emotions. Developing emotional agility and granularity are also mentioned.

  • Developing a sense of belonging at work through inclusion, diversity initiatives, and microactions is discussed.

Here are the key points from the summaries:

  • Daniel, 84, 86 - Summary not provided, just names listed

  • Kalanithi, Paul, 183 - No summary, just a name listed

  • Katzenbach, Jon, 131 - No summary, just a name listed

  • Kellogg’s, 36 - No summary, just a company name listed

  • Khazan, Olga, 222 - No summary, just a name listed

  • Killingsworth, Matthew, 41 - No summary, just a name listed

  • Kniffin, Kevin, 183 - No summary, just a name listed

  • Koenig, Liz, 216 - No summary, just a name listed

  • Kreamer, Anne, 147 - No summary, just a name listed

  • Leadership styles discussed including extroversion, emotional intelligence, selective vulnerability, prioritizing yourself

  • Teams discussed including psychological safety, conflict resolution, slackers, dissenters

  • Motivation discussed including autonomy, meaningful work, learning opportunities, coworkers

  • Emotion regulation discussed including managing own and others’ emotions, leadership styles

  • Remote work and belonging discussed as they relate to collaboration and relationships

Here is a summary of the provided text with Liz or Mollie:

  • The text notes that recent research treats gender as nonbinary, but most studies focus on differences between males and females in a binary context. It acknowledges this leaves some individuals out.

  • It discusses biological differences between males and females but refers to gender differences in emotion and communication styles as nonbiological roles.

  • It defines fear of missing out (FOMO) and says now you don’t need FOMO about FOMO.

  • It discusses Best Buy discontinuing a program called Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) despite estimates it saved the company $2.2 million over three years. Some believe the new CEO eliminated it to appear tough.

  • It recommends reading the entire book Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen, as just referencing parts does not do it justice. The book deserves a place on everyone’s shelf.

The summary does not include anything specifically with Liz or Mollie. Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions!

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