Tessa West is an Associate Professor of Psychology at New York University and a leading expert in the science of interpersonal communication. Her research focuses on questions such as: How can we improve communication across cultural and national divides, and what hurdles do we need to overcome to make hybrid communication work?
Tessa received her PhD from the University of Connecticut and has published over 70 academic articles in psychology’s most prestigious journals, including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Psychological Science, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. She has received multiple grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Tessa has also received several career awards, including the early career award from the Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology, and the Theoretical Innovation Prize from the Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology among others.
Tessa’s work has been covered by Scientific American, the New York Times, ABC World News, TIME, the Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail, Bloomberg, Strategy and Business, and the US Supreme Court. She has appeared on the Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, David McRaney’s live “You are not so smart” podcast, and the WNYC. She is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal.
Tessa has worked with and delivered keynotes for Capital Group, Splunk, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Bristol-Myer Squibb, CoreLogic, Capital One, KPMG, Premise Health, HPE, Gilead, Pfizer, Relativity, Survey Monkey and more, on topics related to improving diversity inclusion practices, fostering better leadership, and improving communication more generally. She is the author of the book Jerks at Work (2022) on coping with toxic colleagues.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion: How to bridge the communication divide in diverse organizations
Performance Management: Creating a workplace culture where people know how to ask for feedback, and know how to give it
Leadership development: Learning how to lead as a daily practice
Most people at work were promoted because they were good at their old job, not because they excel at managing others. In fact, most people receive very little leadership training as they climb up the ranks at work. In this talk, based on her upcoming book “Jerks at Work: Toxic coworkers and what to do about them,” Tessa discusses the science behind the two biggest errors managers make as they take on new responsibilities: micromanaging, and neglecting the people who work for them. She provides clear guidelines for preventing rising leaders from slipping into unproductive patterns of behavior, and what small, structural changes organizations can embrace to insure that as people rise through the ranks, they develop strong leadership skills that they pass on to others.
In this talk you will learn:
Why bosses and managers slip into patterns into micromanagement and neglect (Hint: it’s not entirely their fault)
What current leaders can do to “train away” these tempting tendencies in rising leaders
How organizations can create long-lasting structural changes to promote healthy patterns of leadership over time
Hybrid Work: Improving communication in a hybrid world
The modern workplace is at a crossroad: Some of us are returning to the office, whereas others of us will continue to work from home for the rest of our careers. That new hybrid workplace creates a host of challenges, but one of the biggest is this: By virtue of being in person, the office people will have a much richer exposure to people’s behaviors at work than the remote people. They will have a shared reality—and a shared language—that simply isn’t available to people outside the office.
In this talk, based on Tessa’s Wall Street Journal article on hybrid communication, Tessa dives into the challenges of communicating in a hybrid world, and discusses the hidden advantages in-person employees have over at-home employees. She provides clear guidelines for how organizations can level the playing field, and how to make hybrid meetings feel more productive and less awkward.
In this talk you will learn:
The long-term benefits of coming to the office for social networking and showcasing “hidden” work
Best practices for when to bring at-home workers to the office
How to create structural changes in the ways we communicate when half of the team is in the office, and half is conference-calling in
How to ensure that no one group—at-home or at-the-office—is falling behind at work