Learn More About Dolly Chugh
Most of us like to believe we are “good people.” But, despite the large number of good people in the world, bias persists within many of our societal systems and organizations. If so many of us are good, why does society continue to tolerate bias, and how can we change for the better?
Award-winning social psychologist and New York University (NYU) Stern School of Business Professor Dolly Chugh (she/her, hear her name) has the answer: let go of our internal definition of a “good person.” In her interactive presentations and fireside chats, Chugh illustrates clear, actionable techniques for leaders interested in listening with intent, increasing accountability and raising inclusivity. Her TED Talk on these groundbreaking concepts was named one of the 25 Most Popular TED Talks of 2018 and currently has almost 5 million views.
“What if I told you that our attachment to being good people is getting in the way of us being better people?” Dolly asks. “We have this definition of good person that’s either or. Either you are a good person or you’re not. And in this either-or definition, there’s no room to grow. In every other part of our lives, we give ourselves room to grow… except in this one, where it matters most.”
At NYU Stern, Chugh’s top-rated classes on cutting-edge leadership, management and negotiation strategies are lauded for their transformational effect on students and executives alike. Noted for her teaching and facilitation skills, Chugh was one of six professors chosen from thousands at NYU to receive the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2020 and one of five to receive the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Award in 2013. Her newest research, which focuses on “bounded ethicality,” explores and explains the “psychology of good-ish people.”
“The person I mean to be stands up for equality, equity, and diversity and inclusion. The person I mean to be fights bias. Sometimes, I do. Sometimes, I don’t,” Chugh admits. “As a believer in these values, I need to do better. The research is there to help us move from having the identity of a believer to the skills of a builder, someone prepared for the necessary growing and grappling involved in driving change.”
Noting that many of the key principles of leadership and management are essentially principles of inclusion, Chugh partners her approachable personality with decades of research to illustrate the small interventions we can take to make a disproportionately positive impact.
An award-winning author, Chugh’s critically-acclaimed, bestselling book, “The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias” (2018), explores surprising concepts that hold organizations back from achieving success and unpacks the tools believers must use to become builders. Her popular newsletter Dear Good People – a free monthly email offering bite-sized and actionable advice on how to be the inclusive person YOU mean to be – continues to grow as she pursues new avenues to create and disseminate knowledge. Her new book, “A More Just Future: Psychological Tools for Reckoning with our Past and Driving Social Change” (Atria Books, October 2022), is already reviewed as a “revolutionary, evidence-based guide for developing resilience and grit and building a better future.” Grounded in established principles such as growth mindset and psychological safety, Chugh’s prominent and refreshing new thinking on empathetic leadership is already helping create more inclusive organizations.
“The fixed mindset tax can be costly for organizations, but research shows we can escape the either/or mindset,” Chugh emphasizes. “By removing the pressure of being a ‘good person’ and equipping people with the right tools, we can make mistakes and learn from them, making mistakes less likely in the future.”
Professor Dolly Chugh is one of the highest-rated instructors on student surveys at New York University Stern School of Business in the Management and Organizations Department. A former contributor to Forbes, Professor Chugh has been interviewed by major media outlets including National Public Radio and University of Chicago Radio. She has also been featured in top publications including Harvard Business Review, New York Times, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, Academy of Management Journal and The American Economic Review, among others.
Chugh has been named an SPSP Fellow, received the Academy of Management Journal Best Paper Award, been named one of the top 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics by Ethisphere Magazine, and received many other research honors.
Chugh’s first book, “The Person You Mean to Be,” received rave praise from Adam Grant, Angela Duckworth, Liz Wiseman, Billie Jean King and many others. It has been covered on The TODAY Show, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Atlantic, the 10% Happier Podcast, the goop Podcast, NPR and other media outlets. Her second book, “A More Just Future,” releases in October 2022.
Prior to becoming an academic, Chugh worked at Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Sibson and Company, Scholastic and Time Inc. Chugh attended Cornell University, where she majored in psychology and economics for her undergraduate degree and Harvard University for her MBA and PhD.
Dolly Chugh is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.
Award-winning social psychologist and New York University (NYU) Stern School of Business Professor Dolly Chugh is a master of helping organizations become the organizations they want to be. As the author of the bestselling “The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias,” and the upcoming “A More Just Future: Psychological Tools for Reckoning with Our Past and Driving Social Change” (October 2022), she has a full understanding of how labeling a person or organization as “good” can prove to be its biggest hindrance, hampering innovation. Chugh draws on multiple avenues of experience to inform her organizational mastery, including her undergraduate degree in psychology and economics from Cornell University, her Harvard University MBA and Ph.D., and her experience working for Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Sibson and Company, Scholastic and Time Inc. prior to entering academia. Whether presented virtually or in person for leaders, teams and executives, or delivered as keynotes or intimate workshops, Chugh’s advisory services are useful, memorable and engaging. “At work, the day after we connect,” she divulges, “you will see things you didn’t see before, and you’ll be more comfortable hearing ideas and experiences different than your own.”
The People We Mean to Be – How to Champion Inclusion
If you think you’re already a “good person,” great news – you’re on your way to transforming from “believer” to “builder.” According to NYU Professor Dolly Chugh, being a believer means you already have great faith in the value of an ethical, moral and inclusive organizational culture. All you need are the knowledge and tools to build it. In seeking to shift our natural tendency to view being a good person as a binary concept towards one of being a learner who is always aspiring to understand and do better, Chugh challenges us to reach the higher standard of being “good-ish.” Called “real, raw and memorable” by her students, she illuminates invisible biases and our moral identities, helping leaders and organizations recognize “good-ish” as the next goal on their path to becoming more inclusive.
In her highly interactive workshops, Chugh teaches leaders how to shape a more just future by adopting the personal skills needed to lead diverse teams and integrate perspectives representative of their employees. Highly experiential and surprisingly entertaining, Chugh draws on decades of social psychology research to unpack the science of bias and the skills of challenging it. Noted for her teaching and facilitation skills, Chugh’s top-rated classes on cutting-edge leadership, management and negotiation strategies are lauded for their transformational effect on students and executives alike. Using essential truths drawn from her bestselling “The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias” (2018) and the upcoming “A More Just Future: Psychological Tools for Reckoning with Our Past and Driving Social Change” (October 2022), she clearly conveys, “Believing in the values of equality is no longer enough. We need to be people with the skills to make it better and fight bias.”
Her workshops offer a customizable opportunity for groups and individuals to look outwardly at their responsibilities to the world, to look inwardly at practices already existing in organizations and systems, and to look within their personal skills and perspectives to lead effectively. Topics covered can include:
- How to Be a Great Boss
- Reflecting on the Why and Creating Norms
- Designing and Facilitating Meetings
- Delegating to Others
- Listening to and Coaching Others
- Championing Inclusion