‘No Hard Feelings’ Provides the Career Advice We Need in 2020

‘No Hard Feelings’ Provides the Career Advice We Need in 2020

No Hard Feelings - Liz Fosslien

Author Liz Fosslien Illustrates the Need to Embrace Emotions at Work

The world is saturated with career advice.

If you go online and simply type in “career advice books” there will be so many results that you could fill a Barnes and Noble with the sheer amount of books that pop up. Although this sounds like a good thing, much of this advice is archaic and will not do you any good in the 2020 job market.

Sure, some of this advice might have helped you grandparents find a job, but times have changed and business simply do not operate the same as they did even 20 years ago.

This is one of the reasons why “No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work” is such a breath of fresh air. Authors Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy offer advice and share stories of their professional experience for a modern audience.

No Hard Feelings by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy

It’s so refreshing to hear career advice from people who didn’t grow up in an era where they found all of their job listings in the newspaper.

“No Hard Feelings” dives in to the need to embrace your emotions at work in both healthy and beneficial ways.

“The point of the book is not to bust into work tomorrow, and open a fire hose of emotions,” Fosslien said. “The point is to realize that it is fine to feel our emotions, and to find opportunities to express our emotions.”

Fosslien is the Head of Content at Humu who also illustrates a web comic called “Out of the Office.” and writes an entertaining monthly newsletter. Duffy is an organizational designer and also teaches an undergraduate class on design thinking. Upon entering the workforce, Fosslien and Duffy entered a professional culture that chastised emotions at work. Both Fosslien and Duffy saw need for a change.

“When we both got out of college, we thought that emotion had no place in the office,” Fosslien said. “For me, I burnt out of my first job, which was really quite scary.”

“I was working a lot and I very much felt like in order to be successful I had to give it my all. That’s not my viewpoint now. Working all the time is a great way to burn yourself out,” Fosslien said.

The authors promote high emotional IQ in the workplace. This means that all workers at a company from all levels embrace emotions in the workplace, and know how to act on them.

“We are emotional creatures. We get scared,” Fosslien said. “Our emotions are going to leak out. If we don’t have safe outlets for them, we will have outbursts.”

Although the book encourages employees to embrace their emotions, the authors discourage them to act on those feelings rashly or right away.

“When you have a strong emotion do not act on it right away,” Fosslien said. “Take the time that you need to calm down a little bit. It’s not that the emotion isn’t real, but it might not be an accurate view of what is happening.”

Lis Fosslien Author
Liz Fosslien

Having a high emotional IQ isn’t just important for employees, it is also wildly important that managers and supervisors have high emotional IQ, according to Fosslien.

“You have to figure out how to organize people, how to get them to work most productively, and how to get them to work together. You can’t do that without good emotional intelligence,” Fosslien said.

Fosslien also suggests that managers and supervisors need high emotional IQ in order to effectively build trust at work.

“It’s better if you can trust people rather than having to police them,” Fosslien said. The reason why meltdowns happen at work is because we don’t have outlets for showing our emotions. Having the ability to process our emotions makes it so we don’t have those outbursts down the road.”

One of the highlights of the book are the authors’ seven new rules for emotion at work, which include the following:

  1. Be less passionate about your job.
  2. Inspire yourself.
  3. Emotion is part of the equation
  4. Psychological safety first
  5. Your feelings aren’t facts.
  6. Emotional culture cascades from you.
  7. Be selectively vulnerable.

The first point (Be less passionate about your job) can be a polarizing viewpoint for workaholics; however, being less passionate does not mean that you should stop caring about your work altogether. Instead, the authors encourage workers to feel able to go on vacation, take breaks and have less FOMO (fear of missing out).

“We often think of ourselves as important. We need to realize that the company is not going to grind to a halt if we take a day off or if we take a week off,” Fosslien said. “We need to form relationships with our coworkers so that we know that they have things covered when we take time off. It’s rare, but there are people who are so high energy and can keep going without burning out. But for most people, there are lulls in productivity.”

Fosslien went on to say that managers and supervisors need to set an example for their employees by showing that they work in an environment where it is okay to take breaks and go on vacation.

“Too many managers will take a vacation, but they will email their employees non-stop from their phones, Fosslien said“

Fosslien’s belief that workers are not taking vacation days is not unfounded. A report from CNN showed that in 2018, 768 million vacation days went unused in the United States.

“Businesses need to take vacation days more seriously,” Fosslien said. “A 24-hour mental health day is not going to solve all of your problems. You need to time to identify what you are feeling, and have it addressed.”

The book also dives into the need for taking breaks at work. Fosslien even suggests that breaks should be added to your daily calendar due to their importance. This claim is also legitimate as studies have shown that not taking a break actually decreases productivity and affects mental health.

“Even five-minute breaks can make a difference,” Fosslien said. “Get up, get a glass of water, and then get back to work. If you can, take breaks with a colleague.”

Even during the unprecedented era of the pandemic, Fosslien believes that having a high emotional IQ is still important in the workplace. According to Fosslien, managers and supervisors are becoming paranoid that their employees are “slacking off” and therefore need to be micromanaged to ensure that they are doing their jobs.

“Mangers need to resist the urge to micromanage,” Fosslien said. “We don’t always need to know what people are working on or what they are doing. Managers need to trust their employees and not loom over them.”

“No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work” is available wherever books are sold. You can even listen to the book on Audible where both Fosslien and Duffy read it.

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