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Biography

Stanford Graduate School of Business
Lecturer in Organizational Behavior

Teaching Statement

Melissa Jones Briggs combines performance technique with social science research to provide actionable insight into how one’s behaviors and nonverbal cues affect everyday personal and business interactions. Her students examine their relationship to power, authority and status and broaden their authentic behavioral range to show up more effectively across diverse contexts, and to transition with agility between roles. Outside academia, she teaches people to maximize interpersonal communication, fulfill leadership potential, and enhance community integration, through personalized coaching, or bespoke curricula, workshops, and full-scale programs. Briggs' passion for working with women to break down barriers to their advancement, drives her focus and commitment. Trained as a theatre artist in London and New York, Briggs still performs and teaches acting. Briggs’ specialization in the field is theatre as a tool for social change. She also develops curricula for at risk and severe special needs youth, empowering students to explore, and express their authentic voice through devised performance. Research and teaching interests include interdisciplinary performance practice; psychology of performance; quotidian application of performance craft in public and private life; methodology of coaching; practices of theatre technique that build social cohesion and community resiliency; the role of informal arts play in personal and organizational development; design theory and pedagogy. Her teaching focus bridges the gap between the the privileged and the marginalized, the professional and the creative, the academic and the practitioner.

Bio

Melissa Jones Briggs elevates leaders by combining research from the fields of social science and the practical application of performance techniques. She designs, directs and deploys global leadership and inclusion programs; these initiatives help people, teams and organizations navigate power dynamics in the workplace, through practical coaching and advising, backed up by ever-evolving data. Briggs works with executives, engineers, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, political leaders, actors, directors, academics, attorneys and medical professionals. Her expertise ranges from the corporate (Intel, Twitter, Cisco, eBay, Ubisoft, Lyft, Mozilla, Dechert LLP), and academic (Clayman Institute for Gender Research, Singularity University, Stanford’s School of Medicine and School of Law), to healthcare (Lorraine Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford Hospitals & Clinics, The Public Health Institute), and nonprofit sectors (Clinton Global Initiative, Watermark, Invoking the Pause Foundation, 52nd Street Project, Youth in Arts, Williamstown Theatre Festival), among others. As guest faculty, Briggs has taught at London Business School in the UK, Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland and the United States Naval Academy. An honors graduate of Wake Forest University, Briggs also studied at the Coaches Training Institute, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and the Actor’s Center Conservatory in New York. Briggs co-teaches OB333: Acting with Power with Deborah Gruenfeld & Benoit Monin in spring quarter. 

Teaching

Degree Courses

2017-18

OB 333: Acting with Power

The ability to function effectively within a hierarchy is a crucial determinant of managerial success, yet many people struggle with "authority issues" that make certain hierarchical roles and positions difficult for them. This course draws on...

2016-17

OB 333: Acting with Power

The ability to function effectively within a hierarchy is a crucial determinant of managerial success, yet many people struggle with "authority issues" that make certain hierarchical roles and positions difficult for them. This course draws on...

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