Share this post

🔑 Key Takeaways

  1. Understanding and managing emotions in the workplace is crucial for maintaining well-being and success. Striking a balance between acknowledging emotions and maintaining professionalism is key.
  2. Prioritizing self-care is essential for long-term success and productivity, as it prevents burnout and negative consequences from being overly consumed by work.
  3. Balancing work and personal life is crucial for mental and physical health. Engaging in activities outside of work brings joy and fulfillment, enhancing both career satisfaction and overall life purpose.
  4. Take intentional time to listen to yourself, prioritize personal preferences and boundaries, and create a customized rest portfolio to maintain a sustainable career and prevent burnout.
  5. Finding motivation and meaning in our work is crucial for our well-being. Building in autonomy and finding purpose in even mundane tasks can greatly enhance our work experience and prevent burnout.
  6. By shifting our mindset and focusing on what makes us proud and excited about our work, exploring creative approaches, and seeking out enjoyable aspects, we can find more motivation and enjoyment in our tasks.
  7. Acknowledging and understanding emotions is crucial for making informed choices and avoiding negative outcomes in decision-making. Emotions should be considered in the decision-making process for better results.
  8. Recognizing and addressing our emotions in the workplace is essential for maintaining positive relationships and preventing negative impacts on work.
  9. Emotions are not inherently negative, but should be recognized and explored without judgment. By understanding their relevance, we can use emotions to make better decisions and communicate effectively.
  10. Emotions can provide valuable insights, but it's important to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant emotions. Using objective tests and maintaining a structured process can help reduce biases and ensure hiring decisions are based on merit.
  11. Emotions are important but should be balanced with objective factors in decision-making for hiring and firing. A structured process can minimize biases and ensure informed decisions.
  12. By promoting psychological safety, managers and teams can create an environment where everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves, leading to enhanced collaboration and inclusivity.
  13. Managers have a significant impact on creating psychological safety within their teams. They can encourage open discussions, lead by example, and prioritize small gestures that make individuals feel valued and authentic.
  14. Creating a safe space for open discussions and addressing conflicts promptly can prevent resentment and maintain positive relationships within a team, while diversity is valuable when psychological safety is established.
  15. Open dialogue, mutual respect, and addressing issues promptly are crucial for building trust and achieving success in a team. Difficult conversations can strengthen relationships when approached with understanding and validation.
  16. Taking the time to clarify and question our assumptions can help resolve misunderstandings and improve communication in relationships.
  17. Leaders must be aware of and manage their emotions effectively, finding a balance between authenticity and selective vulnerability to create a positive and productive workplace culture.
  18. Leaders today are expected to be emotionally attuned and open, recognizing their default emotional tendencies and adapting to different situations to create effective team dynamics.
  19. Explicitly defining and promoting emotional norms within a team can enhance performance and job satisfaction and create a supportive environment for individuals, including acknowledging and accommodating moments of vulnerability.
  20. Creating a safe and open environment in the workplace, where individuals can freely express their emotions without judgment, promotes better communication and understanding among diverse teams.
  21. Awareness of cultural differences in emotional expression is crucial for effective communication and preventing burnout in diverse work environments.
  22. Prioritizing self-care and heeding the signals for rest and rejuvenation is essential for maintaining well-being and achieving long-term happiness and success.
  23. Recognizing the humanity in those in positions of power and fostering trust and open communication can improve team dynamics.
  24. Creating a safe space where vulnerability is accepted and emotional expression is encouraged can foster a positive work environment, boosting individual and team performance.
  25. Expressing emotions and creating psychological safety by encouraging open dialogue and embracing vulnerability can lead to better relationships and personal growth.
  26. Open dialogue and a supportive work culture are essential for improving job performance and addressing mental health concerns, leading to increased productivity and overall well-being.

📝 Podcast Summary

Finding a Middle Path for Emotions at Work

Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy have found a middle path for handling emotions at work. They emphasize that stifling emotions is unwise and impossible, but being a dysregulated and sloppy overshare is also not ideal. They have developed seven rules of emotions at work that strike a balance between acknowledging and embracing emotions while maintaining professionalism. Liz and Mollie, who have firsthand experience with burnout and unhealthy work environments, stress the importance of taking breaks, setting oneself up for success, and addressing emotions in a healthy way. This conversation highlights the significance of understanding and managing emotions in the workplace for overall well-being and success.

The importance of self-care and finding a work-life balance

It is important to prioritize self-care and mental health over being overly passionate about your job. Despite societal beliefs and expectations, being too consumed by work can lead to burnout and negative consequences for both individuals and their employers. Liz and Mollie's personal experiences with burnout highlight the need to find a balance between work and personal well-being. While it is still important to find fulfillment in one's job, taking care of oneself is crucial for long-term success and productivity. Recognizing the limits and boundaries of personal energy and knowing when to step back and prioritize self-care will ultimately lead to a healthier and more sustainable work-life balance.

The Importance of Work-Life Balance for Well-being and Meaning in Life

Finding a balance between work and personal life is crucial for overall well-being and meaning in life. Overinvesting in work can lead to burnout, making small setbacks feel like a major failure and negatively impacting mental and physical health. It is important to maintain a diverse portfolio of meaning that includes activities outside of work that bring joy and fulfillment, such as spending time alone, engaging in creative pursuits, connecting with loved ones, or taking care of oneself. Having a balanced life not only prevents the negative impact of being overly invested in work, but also enhances the enjoyment and meaning derived from one's career. Rest and work are interconnected, and finding meaningful activities outside of work can contribute to a more fulfilling and purposeful life.

Prioritizing Rest and Self-Care for Productivity and Wellbeing.

Prioritizing rest and self-care is crucial for enhancing productivity and preventing burnout. Liz Fosslien emphasizes the importance of viewing wellbeing and recharging as the foundation for success, rather than something that needs to be earned. Different individuals have different needs when it comes to rest, and it requires intentional time and experimentation to determine what works best for each person. It is essential to listen to oneself and not feel guilty for prioritizing personal preferences and boundaries. Listening to what works for you and creating a customized rest portfolio is key to maintaining a sustainable career and avoiding burnout. It is not about following a checklist, but about finding activities that truly re-energize and rejuvenate you.

Prioritizing Autonomy and Meaning in Work

Finding motivation and meaning in our work is crucial for our overall satisfaction and well-being. It is important to identify what aspects of our job we have control over and what brings us a sense of purpose. Building in autonomy by creating our own processes and schedules can significantly increase our motivation. Managers should focus on defining outcomes rather than rigid processes, allowing employees to create their own ways of doing things. Additionally, finding meaning in our work, even in seemingly mundane tasks, can greatly impact our level of engagement. However, it is important to note that if we are in a toxic work environment, we should consider finding something else. Ultimately, prioritizing meaning and enjoyment in our work can enhance our overall work experience and prevent burnout.

Shifting Mindsets for Motivation and Enjoyment at Work

Shifting our mindset and approach to work can have a significant impact on our motivation and enjoyment. Rather than focusing solely on crossing tasks off our to-do list, taking a step back and asking ourselves what would make us proud and excited about our work can make the process more engaging and fulfilling. Time constraints are still important, but by freeing ourselves from expectations and exploring creative ways to approach our tasks, even with limited time, we can find more enjoyment and motivation in what we do. Additionally, small reminders from colleagues to have fun and actively seek out enjoyable aspects of our work can turn a tough day around and make a positive difference in our overall experience.

Embracing emotions for better decision-making and positive interactions

Acknowledging and embracing our emotions is essential for making better decisions and having more positive interactions. Emotions are not separate from rationality but are an integral part of the decision-making process. When we ignore or suppress our emotions, we are more likely to make poor decisions and have negative outcomes. By understanding and accepting our emotions, we can gain valuable insights into our own reactions and behaviors. For example, when feeling stressed, it is crucial to recognize how it may influence our risk aversion and decision-making. By considering our emotional state, we can make more informed choices and avoid attributing our fears to inadequacy. Emotions should be included in decision-making checklists for better outcomes.

The importance of acknowledging and understanding emotions in the workplace.

Acknowledging and understanding our emotions is crucial in the workplace. Liz Fosslien emphasizes the importance of recognizing our feelings and how they can impact our interactions and decision-making. By being self-aware and addressing our emotions, we can prevent them from negatively affecting our work and relationships with colleagues. This does not mean suppressing emotions, but rather being open and honest about what we are experiencing. Fosslien suggests communicating with others, providing brief explanations or reassurance when necessary. Mollie West highlights that emotions are an inherent part of being human and pretending they do not exist in a work setting is unrealistic. Recognizing and managing our emotions ultimately leads to a more stable and productive work environment.

Understanding the Role of Emotions in Decision Making and Communication

Emotions play a crucial role in decision making and communication. It is important to recognize when emotions are helpful and when they are not. While it is not beneficial to let emotions overpower rational thinking or to vent them in unproductive ways, suppressing emotions completely can mean missing out on valuable insights. Emotions such as envy and anger can provide valuable data about our values and needs. Instead of labeling emotions as "bad" or "negative," it is important to acknowledge and explore them without judgment or shame. By differentiating between relevant and irrelevant emotions, we can better regulate and utilize our emotions in a way that supports informed decision making and effective communication.

Differentiating between relevant and irrelevant emotions in decision-making.

Emotions play a crucial role in decision-making, but it's important to differentiate between relevant and irrelevant emotions. Relevant emotions, such as excitement and a sense of lightness when considering a job offer, can provide valuable insights into what aligns with our subconscious desires. On the other hand, irrelevant emotions, like being grumpy due to lack of sleep, should not heavily influence decisions as they may not accurately reflect the situation at hand. When it comes to hiring and firing, relying solely on gut feelings or emotional connections can lead to biased decisions. To mitigate this, managers should focus on clearly defining necessary skills, implementing objective tests, conducting blind evaluations, and maintaining a structured process to reduce biases and ensure the best candidates are selected based on merit rather than personal biases.

Balancing Emotions and Structure in Hiring and Firing

When it comes to making decisions about hiring and firing, it is important to balance emotions with a structured approach. Emotions are natural and can provide valuable insights, but relying solely on emotions can lead to biased decisions. It is crucial to consider objective factors such as qualifications, skills, and job fit. By having a structured process, such as standardized interview questions and blind work samples, biases can be minimized, especially in the workplace where biases tend to be more prevalent. While emotions should not be completely disregarded, they should be examined critically to ensure that they do not override rational judgment. Ultimately, the goal is to recognize and manage the influence of emotions while making informed decisions.

Creating Effective and Inclusive Teams Through Psychological Safety

Psychological safety is crucial in creating effective and inclusive teams. Psychological safety refers to an environment where everyone feels comfortable suggesting ideas, admitting mistakes, and taking risks without fear of embarrassment or punishment. This concept was highlighted in a study conducted by Google and has been supported by research, particularly by Amy Edmondson at Harvard Business School. Psychological safety enables individuals to express their emotions at work and fosters open communication. To promote psychological safety, it is recommended that managers and teams dedicate time to address difficult topics and encourage everyone to share their thoughts and concerns. By prioritizing psychological safety, teams can enhance collaboration and create a more inclusive work environment.

Fostering Psychological Safety: The Manager's Role

Creating psychological safety is essential in any group setting, whether it is at work, within friend groups, volunteering, or families. It is crucial for managers to prioritize and promote psychological safety within their teams, as they have a significant impact on it. Managers can encourage open discussions by setting aside time for sharing and inviting opposing viewpoints. They can also lead by example and share their own vulnerabilities, failures, and learnings to create a safe space for others. Additionally, seemingly small gestures, such as pronouncing someone's name correctly, thanking people for their participation, and providing context in conversations, can profoundly impact how individuals feel and their ability to show up authentically. Ultimately, while everyone is responsible for psychological safety, managers play a vital role in fostering it within their teams.

Fostering Psychological Safety for Effective Team Communication and Conflict Resolution

Creating psychological safety within a team is crucial for open discussions and effective conflict management. Managers may unintentionally neglect creating this space due to a lack of skill or being overwhelmed with other responsibilities. However, individuals can take the initiative to lead from below or from the side by proposing dedicated time for human check-ins and open discussions. Conflict is inevitable in any group, but the best teams have systems in place to navigate both task and relationship conflicts. Task conflicts, such as clashes of ideas, are easier to handle compared to relationship conflicts driven by personality differences. Addressing task conflicts before they escalate can prevent resentment and maintain positive relationships within the team. Additionally, diversity within a team is beneficial, but only if psychological safety is established, allowing everyone to bring their unique perspectives to the table.

The Power of Communication and Validation in Team Building

Effective communication and validation are essential for building trust and resolving conflicts within a team. Liz and Mollie learned the importance of open dialogue and mutual respect through their editing process. They discovered that by having conversations about their strengths and value each other's contributions, they were able to establish a more efficient workflow for their second book. Mollie emphasized the significance of addressing issues before they become major problems, allowing for timely resolution and trust-building. They also found that bringing up difficult conversations actually strengthened the relationship, as the other person often appreciates the opportunity to work through the issue together. By validating each other's perspectives and goals, they were able to achieve common success.

Challenging Assumptions and Improving Communication

Our feelings are not always based on accurate information, and we often make assumptions that can lead to misunderstandings. Liz Fosslien shares a personal experience where she initially assumed that her now husband's slow speaking was a sign of him thinking she was unintelligent or sexist. However, when she finally asked him about it, she discovered that he was actually carefully choosing his words because he didn't want to sound uninformed in front of her. This shows that our feelings and judgments can be based on incorrect data and assumptions. The conversation highlights the importance of approaching conflicts with curiosity and checking the assumptions on which our feelings are founded. Giving ourselves time to process and asking clarifying questions can help resolve misunderstandings and lead to better communication.

Managing Emotions in the Workplace: A Leader's Responsibility

Emotions play a significant role in the workplace, and leaders have a responsibility to manage and express them effectively. Emotions have the power to spread among colleagues and even beyond the workplace, impacting relationships and overall culture. Leaders must be aware of their emotions and the influence they have on others. While it is important for leaders to be authentic and vulnerable, it is equally crucial to practice selective vulnerability. This means finding the balance between expressing emotions authentically and not overwhelming others with constant anxieties or excessive emotions. Leaders should consider the impact of their emotions when delivering difficult news or leading through challenging situations, combining their authentic emotions with a clear path forward.

Evolving Leadership Styles: Embracing Emotionality

Leadership styles have evolved over time, and today's leaders are expected to be more emotionally attuned and open. In the past, the traditional model of leadership was often stoic and emotionless. However, now leaders are encouraged to share their emotions and be more expressive. It is important for leaders to understand their own default emotional tendencies and determine if they lean towards being an over-emoter or an under-emoter. By recognizing their preferred style, they can make conscious efforts to verbalize their thoughts and emotions, especially when their natural tendency may leave others confused or unsure. Adapting to different situations and being aware of how emotions impact team dynamics is crucial for effective leadership.

Understanding and Shaping Emotional Culture in Organizations

Emotional culture is distinct from company culture and is usually implicit rather than explicit. Emotional culture is formed by the small gestures and behaviors within an organization and can vary between different teams. It is important to make the norms and expectations of emotional culture explicit through activities like creating an "it's okay to" list. This list should include things like having a bad day, needing to have your camera off, or asking questions, as these factors can greatly impact performance and job satisfaction. By codifying the emotional culture, individuals can hold each other accountable and strive towards creating the desired emotional environment. It is also acknowledged that crying at work is a common experience, and it's important to create a supportive space for oneself in those moments.

Fostering Emotional Intelligence and Cultural Awareness in the Workplace

It is crucial to have open and honest conversations about emotions in the workplace. It is important to create a safe environment where individuals feel comfortable discussing their feelings without fear of judgment or misunderstanding. This involves understanding that crying or emotional reactions may not always indicate sadness; they can also stem from frustration, anger, or feeling overwhelmed. Managers should actively listen and offer support when someone displays a strong emotional reaction. Additionally, it is essential to recognize that cultural backgrounds play a significant role in how individuals express and perceive emotions. By fostering emotional intelligence and cultural awareness, organizations can promote better communication and understanding among their diverse teams.

Understanding and navigating cultural differences in the workplace

Cultural differences, particularly in emotional expression, can greatly impact working relationships and potential conflicts within teams or organizations. It is important to have awareness and education about these generalities to better understand and appreciate colleagues from different cultural backgrounds. The example given of an Israeli colleague in a consulting environment highlights the need for open communication and acknowledging cultural differences in emotional expression. Furthermore, the conversation touches on the importance of recognizing early signs of burnout, such as irritability, neglecting self-care activities, and longing for sick days. By listening to these subtle signs and addressing them early on, one can prevent reaching a crisis point of burnout.

Acknowledging the Importance of Self-Care

It's important not to ignore the signals that indicate we need to take a break and prioritize self-care. Liz Fosslien highlighted the harmful cycle of bedtime procrastination and doom scrolling, which ultimately leaves us exhausted and prevents us from getting the rest we need. The pressure to constantly stay busy and power through these signs can lead to a detrimental impact on our well-being and future happiness. It's crucial to recognize that prioritizing self-care and listening to these signals is not a sign of weakness, but rather a way to ensure a meaningful and sustainable life and career. Ignoring these signals only hinders our chances of finding joy and fulfillment in the long run.

Humanizing Power Dynamics

There is often a tendency to dehumanize those in positions of power, such as bosses or those higher up on the hierarchy. This dehumanization arises from a lack of considering their personal experiences, emotions, and struggles. It was observed that when someone has a power differential over us, we focus more on how they perceive us rather than recognizing their own humanity. Additionally, pre-existing knowledge about someone, such as reading their book or seeing them on TV, can create a sense of unease in knowing what can or cannot be discussed with them. Building trust and open communication can help overcome these barriers and strengthen team dynamics.

Embracing Vulnerability: Creating a Safe and Supportive Workplace

Vulnerability and emotions play a crucial role in the workplace. Crying at work, although stigmatized, can serve as a signal that someone is going through something difficult and needs support. Rather than being judgmental, it is important to create a safe environment where people feel comfortable expressing their emotions. Recognizing that everyone has their own struggles and that these struggles can impact their ability to perform their job effectively is essential. Psychological safety and addressing someone's emotional state should be prioritized, allowing for open and honest communication. Additionally, the conversation highlights societal factors such as gender and age that have influenced attitudes towards emotional expression in the workplace. Overall, embracing vulnerability can ultimately help individuals and teams thrive in their jobs.

Breaking Societal Expectations: Embracing Vulnerability and Creating Psychological Safety for Better Health and Relationships.

The concept of masculinity and societal expectations can negatively impact our overall health and relationships. It is important to recognize that expressing emotions, such as crying, is healthy and should not be suppressed. The conversation highlights the significance of psychological safety, which involves creating an environment where individuals feel comfortable asking questions and expressing themselves without fear of judgment. Establishing psychological safety can take time and effort, but it is crucial for fostering open communication and addressing concerns. By encouraging open dialogue and embracing vulnerability, we can create an atmosphere where individuals feel safe to share their thoughts and emotions, ultimately leading to better relationships and personal growth.

The Power of Effective Communication and Psychological Safety in the Workplace

Effective communication is crucial for improving job performance and creating a positive work environment. Mollie and Dan acknowledge the importance of good communication but also recognize that it is a skill that needs to be learned and constantly improved upon. They highlight the impact of psychological safety in fostering open conversations and addressing mental health concerns. Mollie's military background and the changing attitudes towards mental health indicate a shift towards a more supportive and understanding work culture. Despite initial perceptions, Dan demonstrates growth and transitioned into a leader who prioritizes creating a non-intimidating work environment. This conversation emphasizes the significance of open dialogue, learning from past experiences, and adapting to changing circumstances in order to enhance productivity and overall well-being.