The workplace is designed, inhabited, and controlled by people, but people make mistakes. Executives make decisions today that lead to unforeseen problems tomorrow, competitors mispredict their rival’s moves and motives, and coworkers misperceive each other’s thoughts and feelings. This course highlights how the human mind comes to make such errors, and what to do about them—ultimately, to understand how to manage yourself and others just a bit more wisely, both in the work environment and in daily life.
To accomplish this goal we will draw upon experimental social psychology, the bedrock of the course. Through laboratory findings and basic science, each week you will learn well-tested, well-replicated insights about social life: you’ll be armed with management wisdom that works as opposed to management wisdom that “sounds right.” The first few weeks (Internal Thought) outline the psychological underpinnings of how people—you, me, colleagues, clients, all of us—process information in biased ways. The latter few weeks (External Change) use these insights to understand real organizational issues like persuasion, giving feedback, building culture, working in groups, and work-life balance.