Leslie John


About Leslie John - Harvard Business School Professor & Speaker on Consumer Behavior and Social Psychology:

Leslie John is an associate professor of business administration in the Negotiations, Organizations, and Markets unit at Harvard Business School. She teaches the Negotiations course in the MBA elective curriculum, as well as in various Executive Education courses. In the past, she has taught the core Marketing course in the MBA required curriculum.

Professor John’s research centers on how consumers’ behavior and lives are influenced by their interaction with firms and with public policy. Her work has been published in leading journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and has received widespread media attention from outlets including Time Magazine and The New York Times. 

Professor John holds a Ph.D. in behavioral decision research from Carnegie Mellon University, where she also earned an M.Sc. in psychology and behavioral decision research. She completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Waterloo. 

Read more


What Leslie John Talks About:

The Privacy Paradox
Why are people so willing to share personal information on ambiguous quiz sites, but still skeptical about making online payments through sober-looking, online retailers? And why do people continue to post salacious photos or incendiary comments on social media, even when the reputational damage -to their relationships and careers-of doing so is so permanent? These phenomena relate to an emerging area of inquiry, which is proving to be central to understanding human behavior in domains ranging from social media and romantic relationships to job interviews and professional behavior: the psychology of privacy. This research-backed talk sheds insight on the psychology of privacy by identifying and unpacking a central element – the privacy paradox.

How to Negotiate with a Liar
People, including negotiators, lie every day, so when you’re trying to make a deal, it’s important to defend against deception. The best strategy, says the author, is to focus not on detecting lies but on preventing them. She outlines five tactics that research has shown to be effective: (1) Encourage reciprocity. You can build trust and prompt other parties to disclose strategic information by sharing information yourself. (2) Ask the right questions. Negotiators often lie by omission, keeping mum about relevant facts, but if directly asked, they are more likely to respond honestly. (3) Watch for dodging. Don’t let your counterparts sidestep your questions–write them down in advance, take notes on the answers, and make sure you get the information you’re seeking. (4) Don’t dwell on confidentiality. Studies show that the more you reassure others that you’ll protect their privacy, the more guarded and apt to lie they become. So be nonchalant when discussing sensitive topics. (5) Cultivate leaks. People often reveal information unwittingly, so listen carefully for any slips and try indirect approaches to gaining information.

Other Topics Include:

  • The Marketing Value of Social Media
  • Behavioral Economics
  • How to Influence People
  • Medical Decision Making

Read more

 Recent Publications

For more information about this speaker:

Call toll-free on 1-866-727-7555
Or, email your request.

Book Now