Summary of Flex

The New Playbook for Managing Across Differences

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Flex book summary
Adapt or “flex” your communication style to reach different groups of employees.


7 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


The topic of diversity makes many managers uncomfortable: Men hesitate to talk to women. Baby boomer managers sometimes can’t relate to tech-knowledgeable, independent generation Y. The assertiveness of Western culture can be a problem for employees from other cultures. Authors Jane Hyun and Audrey S. Lee believe people should acknowledge and embrace their differences. They show leaders how to “flex” or adapt their communications, and how to understand status differences or “power gaps.” They emphasize ways to close power gaps between people of different genders, cultures and ages. getAbstract recommends their approach to HR professionals, department heads and line managers, especially those with a diverse workforce.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why you should embrace diversity instead of ignoring it,
  • What methods you can use to reach different groups, and
  • How “onboarding” and mentoring can help your company.


Part I: Bridging the Gaps
Today, your employees are more likely to be multicultural, female, part of the millennial generation or all three. In this setting, a manager’s lack of diversity training can lead to expensive turnover. “According to HR executives, costs to replace an employee...
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About the Authors

Jane Hyun, author of Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling, is an executive coach and global leadership strategist to Fortune 500 companies. Audrey S. Lee is a global leadership strategist and executive coach, working with with Fortune 500 companies, universities and nonprofit organizations.

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