365: Övül Sezer | Impression Mismanagement, Bragging Wisely, And Navigating Social Feedback


How can we best navigate our social world to make a good impression and not err in showcasing our good qualities? What does it take to identify what the mistakes are in this category, and what kind of analysis should we do of the feedback that people give us? Professor Övül Sezer joins on episode 365 of the show to guide us in understanding impression mis-management and more.

Professor Övül Sezer is Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations at Cornell University. She received her BA in Applied Math and PhD in Organizational Behavior from Harvard University. She teaches courses in managerial decision-making and negotiations. When it comes to her research, she applies the same observational tools that she also uses in doing stand-up routines at comedy clubs, which is identifying a “particular human behavior that strikes me as odd, interesting, or confusing, and either study it in-depth using experiments or describe it with humor.”

Most people think they know how to make a positive impression and can easily spot the mistakes others make, but when it comes to their own missteps, they tend to be oblivious. She identifies these mistakes and investigate how to better navigate our social world. She explores: How can we signal that we are both competent and likable? How can we brag wisely? How can we give valuable feedback in a way that strengthens our relationships rather than harming them? How can we network less awkwardly? Her research identifies useful strategies for making better impressions.

Dr. Sezer’s work has been published in leading academic journals including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. It also has been featured in Harvard Business Review, The Washington PostForbesFinancial Times and Scientific American. She was honored as one the “Top 40 Business School Professors under 40” by Poets & Quants.


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