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090: Bringing Our Best Selves to Work with Julia Lee, Assistant Professor at the Ross School of Business

]ulia Lee-bio-pic

Julia Lee, Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, explains her research which seeks to help employees navigate modern workplace challenges. Lee’s work in Relational Self Affirmation and her Reflective Best Self exercise help participants learn about themselves when at their best.

Julia and Jen also discuss the impact of distress, both how it shows up at the workplace and how it is perceived by others. Julia also shares how reframing distress can lead to positive outcomes on competence, promotability, and ability to maintain self-control. Finally the pair dive into the impact of commuting to and from work. Listen in to understand how Julia Lee’s research can have a positive impact on your organization.


Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want to Miss:
  • Relational Self Affirmation broadens a person’s perspective on how they are  contributing to their own network and relationships.
  • The Reflective Best Self exercise has been shown to help teams work better together.
  • There are positive health and emotional benefits from receiving positive stories from other people.
  • As an employee, you do have the power to help other people to view themselves in a socially valued way.
  • Lengthy commutes tend to have negative effects on people’s well-being.
Check out these highlights:
  • How the Reflective Best Self exercise impacts the participant and individuals in the workplace [9:20]
  • Relational Self Affirmation impacts emotional and physiological well-being [14:30]
  • Learn how companies can incorporate Relational Self Affirmation into their organization [20:00]
  • How emotional reframing can lead to positive outcomes [28:43]
  • The impact of commuting [35:10]
Links mentioned in this episode:

Harvard Business Review article

Center for Positive Organizations


Full Bio:

Julia Lee is an Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, and a Non-resident Fellow at Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University.  Previously, she was a 2014-2015 Lab Fellow in Institutional Corruption at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and 2013-2014 Research Fellow in Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard University.  She received a PhD in Public Policy at Harvard University in March 2015, where she was trained in organizational behavior, psychology, and behavioral economics.

Her research seeks to help employees navigate modern workplace challenges by exploring ways they can proactively tap into their relationships, reinterpret negative events, and change their implicit beliefs.  She has  conducted research with governments, companies, and non-profit organizations. Her work has been published in top academic journals in both psychology and management. Her studies have been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Time, and Financial Times. 

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