Is it ok to express emotions at work?

Photo of 3 women with laptops at a tableInformation designer and illustrator Liz Fosslien and organizational designer Mollie West Duffy teamed up to write a book all about emotions at work, and how our workplaces would be a much more enjoyable place if we weren’t discouraged from feeling any feelings while we’re there. They also point out that it is possible to be the same person in work that you are in life. So what does that mean?

Think about a recent interaction at work that didn’t go quite as you wanted. Maybe you felt you didn’t get your point across or the other person didn’t understand you. Maybe you’re stuck overthinking emails on a regular basis. These frustrations may be result of not authentically embracing your emotions at work. As West Duffy explains it, you can’t communicate clearly unless you are aware of your own emotions and the emotions you spark in others. If you’re not being your real self at work and communicating clearly, you won’t build productive relationships at work. The skill to develop is how to be mindful of your emotions, as well as context and delivery of communication.

Studies show that miscommunication in the workplace has a real cost. Fierce, Inc. did a recent study which found that 50% of employees said they are never, almost never, or rarely directly involved in workplace miscommunications. However, the same employees surveyed also showed a result that 81% of employees say that workplace miscommunication happens frequently or occasionally. Obviously, we don’t want to blame ourselves for miscommunication . . . but obviously, something’s not quite right here.  Cartoon showing different examples of email communication and funny interpretations

When we don’t communicate effectively at work, there can be a significantly negative impact: the top talent can leave due to frustration and the people who stay can feel like there is a lack of trust in the organization, and also find that they lose their sense of purpose at work.  However, effective communication, when people are honest and authentic, can have a very positive impact on not only interpersonal communication, but on an organization as a whole.

We are very excited to welcome author Mollie West Duffy to Central Library on Wednesday, August 21st!  As mentioned above, West Duffy is the the co-author of No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotion at Work. She is an Organizational Designer at the global innovation firm IDEO, where she works with companies of all sizes to develop good workplace culture. This is a great opportunity to hear her speak and also pick up a copy of this wonderful book!  Books will be available for purchase from Left Bank Books. No pre-registration for this program is necessary. Free parking is available to attendees at our large 15th Street Lot.

No Hard Feelings

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