Review of No Hard Feelings

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  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples
  • Engaging


Every office has an emotional culture. Consultant Liz Fosslien and organizational designer Mollie West Duffy explain why everyone needs to recognize and manage theirs. With charming illustrations and clear prose, they provide straightforward guidelines on “relevant and irrelevant emotions” and communication techniques. The authors provide additional resources about gender, race, age and cultural issues. Their checklists include how to observe and overcome unhelpful emotional behaviors and biases, and will make you more self-aware as an engaged team member or leader.

About the Authors

Liz Fosslien is a marketing and design consultant. Organizational designer Mollie West Duffy writes for Fast Company and Quartz.


Emotional intelligence, regulation and agility are useful skills.

People with emotional intelligence manage conflict and lead more successfully. They recognize their emotions and know when to share them. Fosslien and Duffy explain that “emotional regulation” means having control of how your emotions affect your life. Learning to appraise an emotion to determine if it is relevant means being able to reframe a situation. The authors make the case that, by shifting where you direct your attention, you can compartmentalize an emotion that isn’t serving you. That enables what Fosslien and Duffy regard as a crucial skill: “response control,” the ability to change how you respond, such as learning not to laugh at or explode at a colleague.

What the authors term “emotional agility” requires noticing emotions most people prefer to ignore. Label those feelings and expand your vocabulary for emotions. Malu, for example, is an Indonesian word of the Dusun Baguk people that acknowledges feelings of awkwardness around those with authority and power. Identifying a feeling enables reflection on why it arose. Then you can articulate the need that feeling reveals. This, Fosslien and Duffy avow,  keeps you on track to improvement and success.

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