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Friend and Foe - An Interview with Adam Galinsky

When to Cooperate, When to Compete and How to Succeed at Both.

Adam Galinsky, Professor of Business and Chair of the Management Division at the Columbia Business School -TotalPicture interviewAdam Galinsky

Is it Better to Play Well with Others or Play to Win?

Here's a news flash for you... when putting together a team you can have too much talent! That's right. Too much talent!

Welcome to a Leadership Channel Podcast on TotalPicture this is Peter Clayton. Joining me today by Adam Galinsky, the Vikram S. Pandit Professor of Business and Chair of the Management Division at the Columbia Business School at Columbia University. Adam along with co-author Maurice Schweitzer have just published a fascinating new book, Friend & Foe. When to Cooperate, When to Compete and How to Succeed at Both.

The foundation of all human interaction lies in two primal instincts: cooperation and competition. While we typically focus on achieving one or the other, the true key to getting more out of our lives-both personally and professionally-is to balance the tension between the two.

What does it take to succeed? This question has fueled a long-running debate. Some have argued that humans are fundamentally competitive, and that pursuing self-interest is the best way to get ahead. Others claim that humans are born to cooperate and that we are most successful when we collaborate with others.

In Friend & Foe, Columbia and Wharton Business School professors Adam Galinsky and Maurice Schweitzer unpack the psychology of when and how to interact with people as our friends and our foes, and how we can use this knowledge to get the best outcomes in life. Insights from this work help us in business (how to build trust, gain power, nail a job interview, and negotiate a raise) and in our personal lives (how to increase our motivation and our happiness, how to deal with deception, how to know what your best friend really wants, and how to deliver an effective apology).

Drawing on cutting-edge research in psychology, economics, sociology, political science, neuroscience, and animal studies, the authors explain the science behind everything from gossip to sibling rivalry, from when we're most likely to gain weight to when we most need hierarchy in the workplace, from when to make the first offer to how to take control of hurtful slurs. Galinsky and Schweitzer draw on hundreds of studies, both their own and from other leading scholars, and use dozens of entertaining stories to show how to navigate the complex and shifting social dynamics of power, trust, deception, gender, negotiations, interracial interactions, and much more.

Questions Peter Clayton Asks Adam Galinsky

How did you come up with this Friend AND Foe concept?

Back to my opening - talk to us about putting together teams - and why you might have too much talent - and how that could actually hurt the success of the project?

When I received the review copy of your book, I posted a note on my Facebook page because I thought this was fascinating - one of my friends responded by saying this is what the TV show Survivor has banked on for years.

Your research has shown that people actually crave hierarchy - and you know, Adam, a lot has been written on HR blogs about Zappo's attempt to get rid of a management structure.

Didn't Google try this a few years ago?

So a lot of your book has to do with negotiation - so let's say I want to get a raise - what's the best way of achieving that?

How about a job interview, Adam? How should people prepare - and what are some strategies people can use based on your research?

One example you give in the book regarding friend & foe is high school or college reunions - can you expand on this?

Another fascinating insight I'd like you talk about - why do women exclude each other at work?

Double-bind women face - pay equity, glass ceiling

Which brings up another point - where do many gender differences really come from?

Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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