In today’s episode, we chat with award-winning lecturer Holly Schroth who leads classes in Negotiations, Influence, and Communications.
Holly tells us a little about her history and what brought her to Haas nearly three decades ago to teach Negotiations.
She also speaks about what makes a good negotiator, her research on Gen Z negotiations, and leaves listeners with some parting wisdom.
What makes a good negotiation?
“What makes a good negotiation is that both sides walk away satisfied.”
Holly’s definition of negotiation
“My definition is sharing information in order to problem-solve to reach mutually satisfying agreements. I’m not here to talk you into anything, but I’m here to help you think a different way and come to the conclusion yourself that this direction may or may not be best for you.”
How to influence someone in a positive way
“The best way to influence someone positively is to ask good questions to get them to think differently. You have to understand their thinking so that you can work with that and understand if that’s not based on factual information or there’s some other information that could be helpful for the person to understand, and then you can work through it. But if you never find out what someone is thinking or why they hold the position they do, then you really cannot influence the person.”
(Transcripts may contain a few typographical errors due to audio quality during the podcast recording.)
Sean Li: Welcome to the OneHaas podcast. I’m your host, Sean Li. And today we’re joined by senior lecturer Holly Schroth of the Haas School of Business. She teaches a popular class, Negotiations, on campus, which I just recently took.
And I loved it. It was intense. I took it over the summer. I don’t know, even know how you kept up with the energy, Holly. It was a very intense week.
Holly Schroth: But when you love teaching something like negotiation, I get excited about it. So, it just energizes me.
Sean Li: I think our listeners would like to hear your background, your origin story, you know, Holly, where you’re from, basically how you progress into the field of negotiations.
Holly Schroth: I was born and raised in the Bay area. And my dad was a professor at UC Berkeley in plant pathology, a totally different topic. I actually hated Berkeley. The reason why is that my mom also worked on campus at the time and, well, actually let me go back, cause she’s done working, but we’d often have to just wait on the lawns for my dad to be finished working and she would often be doing something else.
And so, we just had this day there and entertain ourselves for hours. And this is a time this is in the seventies and there was a lot going on campus. It was actually a pretty scary place to be. And I was terrified of hippies. Back then they scared me. And so, I didn’t like Berkeley. And when it was, it came time for me to decide where to go to college, my dad said you can go to any UC you like, he’s a strong believer in UC as I am. I said, well, I’m not going to Berkeley. And so, without any breaks or reason or even research, I just said, I want to go to UC Santa Barbara. I want to live close to the beach. Not a very informed decision. So, I went down there and I decided that I wanted to be a psychology major. And the reason for this as I wanted to know why people were mean to each other. I’ve wanted to know that since second grade. And so, I wanted to study that a little bit more. Now, luckily, the program psychology down there was actually the strongest program in social psychology.
The study is social interaction. I didn’t know that was a name for what I wanted to study at the time but I had really amazing professors there. And the more classes I took, the more I could narrow down what I actually wanted to study. And that was something called social cognition, the study of how we think about social interaction.
Sean Li: Oh, wow.
Holly Schroth: And it was a very rigorous program in terms of science. Otherwise, my dad would not have been happy being a scientist which I appreciated. I had to take a lot of lab classes and that has served me well because I can do a lot of statistics and big data. And at the time, I didn’t appreciate that. I thought every psychology program was like that, but that was really unique to Santa Barbara.
So, I’ve worked a lot of jobs since high school and I was junior of year and deciding what do I want to do? And I was looking at my dad who seemed to have some time to coach my sports teams and I thought, hm, being a professor might be okay. I like having time to work when I want to work. Cause I am a workaholic but I like to work my own hours.
So, I decided all it give a professor thing a try and I’ll just go ask a professor, whether I can do research for him or her. And I did that and I was hired on and I was so gung ho about it that the professor hired me to be a research assistant and that was taking the place of a regular graduate student.
And this is in the early, early eighties and I was getting paid $15 an hour. It was huge back then. So, I thought, wow, this is fantastic. I was offered a scholarship to stay there and continue my graduate studies. So, I took it. And the story doesn’t go as nicely from there. And I had to make a big decision in my life because one of the professors that I was working with, the one that was actually funding me, wanted me to create data to support a research theory that was important to her. In other words, cheat on the experiment to get it published. I just couldn’t do that. Cause I had had to. I always say I’m the daughter of a scientist. I have to do these things right and well. I could not live with myself. And it was very hard cause I knew that I’d have to leave the school. And so, I did look into the rules cause I’m always been a good researcher in that way.
And it said if I pass my board exams and then I could just move schools and finish my dissertation elsewhere. So, I knew that they wanted me out because it was a very contentious thing. And I studied so hard. I don’t even remember that year, but I remember all the contents so there was no way that couldn’t pass me.
That actually has served me well because when I teach in class, I’d never have to use notes. I have all of this social psychology stuffed into my brain. So, I passed and I ended up going to Kellogg Graduate school of Management, Northwestern, and that’s kind of odd going from a psychology school to now a business school.
And that came about because we had a visitor one day, his name’s Max Bazerman and I read his research. I really liked it. He did negotiation decision making and I was the only one that volunteered to go to lunch with him. And I’m actually a shy introvert. But I really wanted to meet him cause I really admired him.
And just out of sheer desperation, I said, Oh, I really like your work. Is there any way I can come work with you? Shockingly he said, yes. And he got me some money. That’s how I ended up being over there. I learned so much from him. He’s an amazing man. He’s written great negotiation books, such as Negotiation Genius, Negotiating Rationally.
So, he’s been a phenomenal mentor. So, to finish up the story, after I learned so much there, I also met another amazing woman, Jeanne Brett, who’s now my partner in a nonprofit business disseminating teaching materials. I decided that being from California, I needed to get back to California because I didn’t know there were actual seasons elsewhere. It was nine months of winter in Chicago. That was hard. I love the people there. I love the school. I’m an outdoorsy person every day.
So, I came back to the Bay area and I knocked out on the doors of Berkeley. I worked first with a psychology cause there was a man named Tom Tyler there who does amazing work in procedural justice, which is actually my area of study. The fairness of process. And I asked whether I could work for him. And he said, yes, I’d love to have you here but I don’t have any money to pay you. But they need someone to teach Negotiations in the business school. And I heard you’re a student in math. So, I can call over there and see if that’s still open. And that’s how I ended up 28 years ago.
Sean Li: Wow.
Holly Schroth: I never left.
Sean Li: That’s amazing.
Holly Schroth: So, it’s kind of a weird story. I talked to my undergraduates a lot in class because they’ll face some of these ethical dilemmas and not be afraid to do the right thing. Things can turn out a lot better for you. And also, not to be afraid to ask. The worst someone can say is no, the best they can say is yes.
Sean Li: Yeah, absolutely. So, I definitely can connect with you on two points. First point, my parents are both professors. That’s why we moved to the US. My dad came to do his PA Master’s and Ph.D. in Reading Language Arts. So, it’s very ironic that we have these Chinese immigrants that teach teachers that will teach English pretty much in my family.
And then the second point is that I’m from Michigan. So, I know. My wife’s from Chicago so I definitely know the weather. And that’s why I moved to Los Angeles. And that’s also why, and this is no offense to the Bay area, why, compared to Southern California, I spent one summer there, I mean, I’ve been at school for the past two years but I spent the last summer there during my internship in the city, and I was just wondering why it was just 60 degrees all summer. And I think that was a nail in the coffin to say.
Holly Schroth: You have to move out to the East Bay where I live. It’s a hundred degrees here and then it can be 50 in the city.
Sean Li: Is that what it is? Oh, okay. Okay. Got it. You know, to segue into my next question, you’ve been a professor here, you’ve been a faculty for 28. What is the difference between faculty and professor?
Holly Schroth: Well, if you’re a professor, you are hired on the tenure track. And so, you are evaluated mostly on your research.
Sean Li: I see.
Holly Schroth: Less so on your teaching. As a lecturer, you’re hired solely to teach courses. Although I still did research because I was thinking I’d go get a tenure track position. But I did some soul searching and realize that although I like research, the kind of research I’d have to do to get a tenure track position was not what I wanted to do.
And that’s usually staying in a particular area and just doing the same thing over and over with little variations. I like to do completely different things. So, I’ll do procedural justice. I’ll look at language. I’ll do gen Z. That’s just how I am, but you’re not rewarded for that.
Sean Li: I guess who dictates the research?
Holly Schroth: So, you have to build up a catalog in your particular area of expertise. That’s just how it goes. And you have to be published in peer-review journals.
Sean Li: That sounds like.
Holly Schroth: You have to spend a lot of time doing research. And as I said, although I liked it, I just wasn’t getting results enough that would be published. And so, I decided to really focus on what do I like to do. One is I really liked to teach. And two, I really liked to write negotiation exercises.
And that came about because in order to stay at Berkeley as a lecturer, you have to get good ratings but sometimes the materials are not there for you. And I noticed that the negotiation materials that were on the market, a lot of students can’t relate to, they were not realistic. Because part of being a lecturer, I needed to go out and find another job.
And so, I started consulting and working with companies on their real-life negotiation issues. So, I started writing those up as negotiation exercises and I really enjoyed it. Students responded well because they were more realistic. So, I really put a lot of effort into that. And that’s what led to this partnership with a nonprofit to publish those, my mentors, and other people who want to get their materials out to others.
Sean Li: You know, over the past three decades, how have you seen the field of negotiations change?
Holly Schroth: Huge change from the eighties. And that was with the advent of the internet. And the war widespread research internet. Because before then you could get away with that behavior. And so, gambits were right regularly featured in textbooks and other books. Now with the internet, you can check on people’s behavior.
And so, it made people kinder and friendlier. So, now, so much focuses on how to build good relationships, how to build trust, because that’s where you really get value in being able to share information and use that in a way to benefit both sides? So, there’s a huge emphasis on what we call integrative negotiations where you see each other as partners rather than combatants.
Sean Li: Wow. That’s actually a little counterintuitive to what I would have thought that the internet made people meaner.
Holly Schroth: I know. But in negotiations it’s different worlds linked in and that we can find someone who knows someone. So, you have to make sure that the people you work with say good things about you.
Sean Li: That’s very true. There’s more transparency. Wow. And I guess to that point, you know, what makes a good negotiation, or what makes a good negotiator? I know that’s a pretty loaded question but do you have any kind of, you know, tips?
Holly Schroth: I do. So first, let me start with what makes a good negotiation is that both sides walk away feeling satisfied.
Now I’ve collected data for the past seven years in my executive ed class, my MBA class, undergraduate classes, of why someone is evaluated as the top negotiator in the class. And you experienced that with the peer feedback.
So, I always look at that and it comes down to three things. The first is a good negotiator not only look at looks after their own interests, they look after the other party’s interests. Really important because again, you want to make sure both sides walk away satisfied. You can’t just look after the other side’s interest and neglect your own. Or, just look at your own and hope the other side gets by cause that leads to lopsided deals.
The second is the good negotiators always had the comments that they listened well to the other side, made the other side feel their ideas were considered. They acknowledged what the other side said. And so, that was really important for people feeling valued and continuing the conversation and being willing to share information, and information is power in the negotiation.
The third is they’re flexible on how they get their value. They’re not fixated on just one item. They’re willing to log roll or make trade-offs So, I can give you this if you could give me this in return.
So, those three things, every single semester, come out on top.
Sean Li: I’ll add one more which was, for me, really important that I, this is my biggest takeaway from your class among many things, was the preparation portion of it.
Holly Schroth: Yes.
Sean Li: Yeah. Can you speak a little bit to that?
Holly Schroth: Yes. I should have addressed that right away because preparation is the most important thing to being a good negotiator. I was looking more at the interpersonal part of the negotiation but hands down preparation is key. And that’s knowing what you’re aiming for which we call the aspiration point, knowing your walkaway point which we call the resistance point. Some people call it reservation point or reservation price, your BATNA, best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or in other words, what you get when you walk away. That’s a source of power. Understanding and prioritizing your items and what’s important to the other side. The biggest mistake people make in preparation is they don’t take the other side’s perspective. To be a good negotiator, you have to do that. What are their constraints, their wants, their needs? What happens if a deal doesn’t occur for them.
Sean Li: I think that’s exactly what I took away was it was so easy for me to fill out my side of the equation. But because when you have, you know, we had these exercises where we had to do the pre-negotiation, what’d you call it?
Holly Schroth: The prep sheet.
Sean Li: Yeah. The pre-negotiation prep sheets. And we were required to fill out both sides. And at first, I was, you know, I could see the importance of it but until I actually did it and went through, you know, every single row of filling out their reservation price, their resistance point, right, their aspiration price, all these things, did I start really thinking about the other side. And even being more open-minded, I think that was the other thing, right. I think this class helped me realize that negotiation for me at least where I was failing and where I’m learning to practice more and more every day, because negotiation is a practice, right, is that it helped me open my mind more to be aware of the other side. But I’m really curious, what is the community consensus of Chris Foss and in his book?
Holly Schroth: This is my personal commentary on it is I love the first three chapters because it addressed those interpersonal aspects of negotiations which many don’t do, especially the building of a trusting relationship and how they had to use these social-psychological techniques in order to do that. And although I didn’t label them social psychology techniques.
And so, that was really important. I liked that. But then when he got talking about some more technical things, they just weren’t relevant to business negotiations and it started to get into more distributed gambit-type tactics.
Sean Li: Right.
Holly Schroth: The salary negotiation chapter, what does a hostage negotiator know about salary negotiations? It really didn’t belong in the book. And I advise not taking that information. And the beginning of the book, I was actually really dubious cause he was bragging what a great negotiator he was and good negotiators are always humble. If you brag, you’d get yourself into trouble because then people think, Oh, you took advantage of me. They’re not willing to share information because they think that you’re going to win and that means they will lose.
Sean Li: That’s very true. And that’s really the, and you’re absolutely right because when I was reading the book, that’s the feeling I was getting but then there was one comment that he made that really stuck with me, which was that he thinks one of the best negotiators is Oprah Winfrey because she is, she practices all those skills of like tactical empathy, right? Active listening, mirroring, things that helped her guests open up very personally in front of millions of people.
Holly Schroth: Yeah, it’s that really, those relationship-building techniques are very useful and that was the valuable part of his book.
Sean Li: And after I took your class, I really thought about it because, I mean, even as book there’s like little subheading it’s just so deceptive and it makes the negotiation sound like a dirty word. Right? Former FBI hostage negotiator field test tools to talk anyone into or out of just about anything like that just….
Holly Schroth: I don’t, that’s not how I see negotiations. My definition is sharing information in order to problem-solve to reach mutually satisfying agreements. I’m not here to talk you into anything, but I’m here to help you maybe think a different way and it comes to the conclusion yourself that this direction may or may not be best for you.
Sean Li: And that’s where, you know, I think I came away with the same feeling with certain chapters of his, which what’s your class really focused on, which were the aspects of really understanding the other side. And that’s where, going back to us talking about being open-minded, I started realizing that, cause I guess the question in my head was would I want someone to use these tactics or these, they’re not tricks, but these tactics on me, right? How would I feel if the other side also took your class basically, because that’s how I was thinking about this when I was taking your class like the other side is getting the same advice, the same information. How do I feel about them using these techniques on me?
And as I thought about it further, exactly where you’re saying, if what you’re trying to do is listen to the other side and really understand and ask good questions, then I absolutely want people to use these techniques only because I want to be heard. Everybody wants to be heard. Right. And that’s kind of what I was slowly discovering as I was applying some of these techniques to my daily negotiations with my wife, with my friends, was that it forced me to shut up and listen.
Holly Schroth: That’s right. The person you want to negotiate with is someone who’s had training. And that’s why I go on the companies and I train the different departments so they can interact more effectively with each other, saves time, energy, and money at the end of the day. The person you don’t want to negotiate with is someone who treats it like a used car because they don’t understand the value of the relationship and trying to work together with that.
Sean Li: That’s so true. I mean, Holly, I have so many examples, I think just from aside from personal family negotiations, which I just, I feel like we’ve taken our family communication to like another level, not just with my wife but with my parents as well. And I’ve taken a step further where I told myself, I want to dedicate at least six months to really practicing the techniques that you’ve taught very actively.
And one of my buddies heard that. And he was like, Hey, do you want to do mock negotiations every week? Basically, we’ll bring in some examples that we’re trying to negotiate. I’ll give you very personal example, my dad, right? He is being stubborn and resistant about something, about going to the dentist because, you know, his tooth hurts or something. Initially actually before taking your class, I would have thought this wasn’t a negotiation. This is just me, like, dad, you just need to go do this, you know, it’s your teeth. But then after taking your class, it was like, I need to start understanding, like, what is it about him resisting? Why is there this resistance? Right? Is it because he’s afraid? Does he have a prior history of, you know, fear of dentists? Is he afraid of COVID? Like, what is it versus just trying to tell them, Hey dad, you just need to go. Right?
Holly Schroth: Uncovering that interest, concerns, and fears, and then you have something to problem-solve.
Sean Li: And I think that’s why I’m so excited to talk to you today because I feel like, you know, just even outside of a business context, I’ve had so much more, I had so much improvement in just my communication interactions with people after taking this class. Because I think you’re absolutely, I think you mentioned this is that every day you’re negotiating every day with people, whether you realize it or not.
Holly Schroth: Lots of problem-solving interactions with it. And it’s great to teach your kids these skills because you won’t have conflict. I don’t have conflict with my kids cause we always think of it as problem-solving and let’s share the information, let’s figure this thing out, and then they can teach those skills to their friends as well.
Sean Li: And the other thing I remember was the project management exercise, sticking to the facts. That was just such a powerful exercise.
Holly Schroth: That’s the one I wrote with my son.
Sean Li: That’s I thought that was, you know, I was just talking to someone else about it the other day and they’re just asking, you know, how to basically get feedback from multiple people, negotiate with multiple parties with an organization. I had to site your case, it was like, this was so powerful because it showed us firsthand the power of sticking to the facts of having, you know, people not get emotional about some belief.
Right. I believe that we should do this. Or I think that we should do that. Like what are the facts? And keep people accountable to facts, just help smooth out and negotiate and so much quicker.
What I wanted to get to was, you know, I’m so glad you brought the kids as example because you recently published a research article on gen Z. Right? Can you talk a little bit about that?
Holly Schroth: Yes. So, oftentimes when I go into companies to work on, on negotiation challenges they have, and by the way, most of their negotiation challenges are internal. External negotiations are much easier. You have to get your own house in order though before you can negotiate externally. But when I’m in there, I often get questions about gen Z and we are fearful about the new generation coming up just as they are any new generation in the workplace.
And I’d done some research on it. And I realized there was such a big interest I decided to do a really large research project on gen Z to find out who are gen Z. What do we need to think about? How might they negotiate differently?
Sean Li: So, how do they negotiate differently?
Holly Schroth: They are actually very other-focused, believe it or not. So, they’re very accommodating. They want to please the other side. And the unfortunate thing is that when you have two people accommodating, yes, they have a great relationship, but they don’t push each other to find more value. And so, they tend to set their aspirations at their bottom line.
And so, I try to instruct them to set an aspiration point, realistic, optimistic. Cause not only does it help you achieve more value, it helps the other side as well. All research shows that. And just because you’re getting more for yourself, doesn’t mean you are hurting the other side. That’s fixed-time thinking.
Sean Li: That makes a lot of sense. And that, again, ties back to what you were talking about that with the internet. I wonder if the increased transparency just makes it, you know, gen Z a lot more aware that they could be exposed for being selfish.
Holly Schroth: Yes. They’re very relationship-oriented, which I do like, but they’re very concerned about offending others. And I’ve noticed that trend because somebody will send me an email, I hope I didn’t offend you when I said this or that. I can’t even recall what could possibly have been offensive. But they are very nervous about saying things that they think may hurt the other side.
Sean Li: Hmm. How does that, I guess, taking that into the bigger world now, how would you recommend cross-generational negotiation? Let’s say for a gen X or millennial with the gen Z. Because I think in the workplace, that’s something that realistic we’ll be dealing with, right.
Holly Schroth: Well, when I said gen Z tends to be accommodating, there’s always exceptions to the rule because there’s a lot of cultural aspects to it. So, depending on if you came from another country and now you’re in the US, you may have a completely different view of negotiations and be a little bit more competitive, for example.
So, it really can’t lump everybody into one category. So, in any negotiation of benefits, by just getting to know the other side, what their values are, how they think about things because you have to change your own style depending on who you’re negotiating with.
Sean Li: I see. Okay. So, that makes a lot of sense. So, you know, we shouldn’t stray from the techniques because the techniques are there for a reason, because then I guess I just realized that the faults, my question, then we’re building in biases, right? We’re building assumptions on who the other party is or should be and how they may or may not react.
Holly Schroth: Now it’s natural to have to go in with some assumptions and you would do a little research on this person by asking people from your LinkedIn network, but that’s just a starting point. You always want to get to know the person for who they are. That is part of the negotiation. Because really, your first offer doesn’t go on until midway through the negotiation when you’ve checked your assumptions, you really understood what their interests are, not just take a guess and go with that. And that’s what makes a good negotiator. That person is always interested in understanding the other person and actually trying to help the person get what he or she needs without looking, overlooking your own interests.
Sean Li: My next question is how should people be thinking about time? And what I mean by that is, you know, in an ideal world, you know, we have all the time to get to know the other party, right. And to really hash out the negotiation. What if you’re strapped for time, what’s kind of where’s the balance in how to manage time expectations?
Holly Schroth: Well, typically people only make deals right when there’s a deadline for them. And you guys you experienced in class, I can make the same negotiation 90 minutes or 3 hours, and you still make it at that. And when you feel a little bit of pressure. Now, my colleague here at Haas has done amazing work on deadlines and negotiations that’s done more. And he said deadlines can be very useful because if you set a deadline, it affects both parties. So, it does help people move towards something. However, if you have a time deadline and the other doesn’t or doesn’t know you have a time deadline, then they can stall. What happens is you tend to have them make too many concessions which hurts you.
So, you have to decide whether using a deadline is going to actually be very helpful for you or how you will manage the time for yourself.
Sean Li: I see, that’s really important. That’s great. That’s great.
Well, let me think about what are some, what’s some advice that you can give during these times. I mean, it’s not the first time that you’ve seen this happen, right, where we’ve had a recession back in 09. It seems like there we’re entering another one. What are some advice for our students and alumni negotiating in these times, if there’s anything different, if at all?
Holly Schroth: I think it’s actually related to our last topic of timing.
Sean Li: Okay.
Holly Schroth: This is not a great time to ask for a raise. For example, even if it’s you’re on track for that, while everybody is struggling and there are some layoffs, so it would be better if you could just postpone that until things can stable.
Now, in terms of getting a new job, if you’re a valued resource, just negotiate the way you would have anyway, what is your values, your aspiration point, your resistance point, and try to build your BATNA.
So, I have looked at research that’s been collected at the beginning of this pandemic and that’s the advice that’s come out.
Sean Li: I see, that makes sense. I guess the only reason I was thinking of this question before was, you know, we have a lot of grads right now who are in the unfortunate position of not only having jobs offers rescinded, but you know, having to go through a lot of rejection. I was curious if there’s anything in your field of work that can help them get into the right mindset. We get into a better mindset and their approach.
Holly Schroth: I don’t know if this is relevant. This comes up a lot with my undergraduates and that’s just about how to influence someone in a positive way. And the best way to influence someone positively is to ask good questions, to get them to think differently. The worst way is just to keep talking over someone. In order to influence someone, you have to understand their thinking, just as you said with your dad. Well, what is, what are his concerns? What are his fears that he has so that you can work with that and understand if that’s not based on factual information or there’s some other information that could be helpful for the person to understand? And then you can work through it, but if you never find out what someone is thinking, right, why they hold the position and they do, then you really cannot influence the person.
Sean Li: I think that message is really important because of everything that’s going on in the world right now. That’s I think that’s especially with the divisive, you know, and just not only our country, but the world is, I feel like the importance of, you know, asking questions and gaining understanding has become just average so more important.
I mean, that’s the one thing I’m realizing as I’m having some of these conversations interviewing some of our, you know, black student alumni and, you know, I find myself sometimes, you know, time and time again, they just appreciate that I’m asking, don’t even thinking about it, I’m just even asking questions and exploring, even though I don’t know to ask the right questions. It’s just the act of doing something than nothing is at least a step in the right direction is important.
And so, I think that’s where your message of really, really pushing yourself to gain understanding their sides is so important.
Holly Schroth: Yeah. And their experiences, their perspective. Because you don’t want to judge the situation just from your perspective. There’s always an interaction. That’s what I said. That’s why I study social interaction. It is an interaction. So, we have to look at all the different components.
Sean Li: And on the simple answer of curing divisiveness is asking better questions and becoming more understanding. But how do we even get people, and because you’re a social psychologist, right? I wonder if you’ve thought about how we can start tackling some of the generational rifts in our country, like these issues?
Holly Schroth: Well, I try to help the undergraduates. That’s just where I feel I can have the most influence because at least for gen Z, they’re very high achievement-oriented. They really want to do well for the world. But they have not been given the skills for, well, how do I actually get my message across?
Sean Li: Right.
Holly Schroth: And so, I talk quite a bit about social influence. And as I said again, if you really want to influence someone, you have to know their perspective first and you really have to understand it. And then, when you ask good questions, it’s more relevant to them, they’ll listen to what you have to say, because anyone who feels listened to first, then tends to be less defensive and more willing to hear what you have to say. Because you cannot persuade someone if you don’t have their attention.
Sean Li: Well, this has been a real pleasure. Thank you so much, Holly, for coming on the podcast.
Holly Schroth: My pleasure. It’s always nice to talk with you. And I love talking social psychology.
Sean Li: This is fun.