No Hard Feelings: Emotions at Work and How They Help Us Succeed will be published by Penguin Portfolio in November 2018. The book is a visual exploration of how to embrace emotion at work and become more authentic and fulfilled while staying professional.

About our book:

From information designer and illustrator Liz Fosslien and organizational designer Mollie West Duffy: No Hard Feelings, a wickedly funny interactive guide to un-repressing your emotions at work, finding constructive channels even for jealousy and anxiety, demystifying digital interactions and coworker communication styles, and ultimately allowing readers to be the same person in work and in life.


When it comes to emotions at work, there are no rules. In some offices, your boss might send you Snaps of her weekend getaway in Vegas, or your co-worker might send you twenty texts about how Susan ate his clearly labelled lunch… again. Other offices are buttoned-up emotional deserts where crying is only allowed in the bathroom and you suspect your coworkers might be robots. Either end of the spectrum hurts employee health and productivity. There has to be a better way.  

Success at work depends on fluently expressing emotion. Strategy and design consultant Liz Fosslien and organizational designer Mollie West Duffy take a charming and deeply researched look at how emotions affect our professional lives, giving readers the tools to understand and navigate emotions at work. Even for those of us who are fairly self-aware, the modern workplace can be an emotional minefield, filled with confusing power structures (do I shake my boss’ hand or give her a hug?), unique stressors (did I forget to mute my phone on the conference call?) and unwritten rules about how authentic to be within a formal setting. As our jobs become more collaborative, complex, and stressful-- as well as the center of our identities-- effectively embracing emotion will only become more important.

The book offers practical advice and relies on scientific research to give readers a clear-sighted toolkit for navigating emotion at work. For instance:

  • Forget “unemotional” decisions. There are none. In fact, rational decisions require you to acknowledge and examine your emotions. Take fear. It often indicates anticipated future regret. Before big decisions, ask yourself: will I feel more regret if I take path A or path B?
  • Real, valuable feedback is not going to feel like a gift. Hearing what you need to do differently is painful! Realize that negative feedback often means the criticizer cares about helping you make things better and is willing to bear the awkwardness of a difficult conversation.
  • Stop letting someone else’s bad mood ruin your day. Emotions are viral-- we catch the feelings of those around us. If you’re stuck next to a constant complainer, mentally removing yourself from the situation protects you from catching their bad mood (and spreading it further).
  • Learn to communicate and interpret digital messages. That “totally normal” email you sent was probably interpreted as hostile because you didn’t explicitly state your positive emotions (e.g., “I love what you did here!”).

Thanks to Fosslien’s intuitive, sharply funny two-color illustrations and charts, No Hard Feelings is a romp through behavioral economics, psychology, and organizational design. By redefining the boundaries between our personal and professional emotional selves, we can shift our mindset and behavior to thrive in the workplace. No Hard Feelings contains a timely message and will be endlessly bought, gifted, and memed.

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