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IACM 2023

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Improving Tough Conversations by Learning From Each Other (S4)

Wednesday, 12 July 2023
9:00am - 10:30am

Aristotelis II

In this symposium, several leading scholars in the field will share work that starts to unpack how–and when–people learn from each other in conversation. Conversations are a wide and rich topic, and the authors here combine conceptual frameworks to present an integrative picture of cutting-edge research on communication strategies to improve tough conversations. Each paper focuses on a particular conversational context–from the workplace, to negotiations, to attitude conflict–and does so from both a descriptive (“how do we do X”) and a prescriptive (“how can we do X better”) perspective. The research harnesses large samples and combines a wide variety of experimental, observational, and natural language processing methods to investigate complex, naturalistic conversations in fine detail. The first paper focuses on the difficulty of providing candid performance feedback, particularly in the context of a performance evaluation. The second paper identifies a simple intervention to teach individuals in conflict how to convey a willingness to learn about opposing perspectives, thus promoting productive engagement between parties with opposing views. The third paper investigates the role of questions in negotiations. Finally, the fourth paper discusses how individuals can leverage their relational goals in difficult conversations in an archival study. Overall, our work highlights the rich and important dynamics of conversations.

Symposium Organizer: Matteo Di Stasi, ESADE Universitat Ramon Llull

Symposium Introduction: Michael Yeomans, Imperial College Business School

Overcoming Interpersonal Barriers to Improve Performance Feedback Through Expected Candor
Ariella Kristal, Columbia Business School
Michael Yeomans, Imperial College Business School
Communicating a Willingness to Learn Improves Conflictual Conversations
Hanne Collins, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Asking Open-Ended Questions Increases Personal Gains in Negotiations
Matteo Di Stasi, ESADE Business School, Universitat Ramon Llull
How Leaders Build Relationships in High-Stakes Conversations
Evita Huai-ching Liu, Bocconi University
Michael Yeomans, Imperial College Business School


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