TED Talks


I often ask my coaching clients to access outside relevant resources as they go through the process of self-discovery.  There is so much good information online today that one would be a fool to ignore these resources.  One such example are TED Talks.  The following TED Talks have particular relevance to coaching.  They are given by experts in their fields or just ordinary people who have unique takes on related subjects.  Enjoy!

Assertion:  

"How to speak up for yourself," Adam Galinsky, 15 min. Speaking up is hard to do, even when you know you should. Learn how to assert yourself, navigate tricky social situations and expand your personal power with sage guidance from social psychologist Adam Galinsky.

Choice Overload:

"The paradox of choice," Barry Schwartz, 19 min.     Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz's estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.Collaboration.

Collaboration and Working Together

"First step to collaboration?  Don't be so defensive, 15 min. Ever become angry and "see red"? Being defensive, as it turns out, is one of the greatest inhibitors to true collaboration. Jim Tamm shares years of experience in getting out of the red zone and cultivating a "green zone" attitude.

"How to ask for help--and get a yes," 12 min.     Asking for help is tough. But to get through life, you have to do it all the time. So how do you get comfortable asking? In this actionable talk, social psychologist Heidi Grant shares four simple rules for asking for help and getting it -- while making the process more rewarding for your helper, too.

Communication:  

"How to disagree productively and find common ground," Julia Dhar, 15 min. Some days, it feels like the only thing we can agree on is that we can't agree -- on anything. Drawing on her background as a world debate champion, Julia Dhar offers three techniques to reshape the way we talk to each other so we can start disagreeing productively and finding common ground -- over family dinners, during work meetings and in our national conversations.

"The Counterintuitive Way to be More Persuasive," Neal Katyal, 18 min.The secret to winning an argument isn't grand rhetoric or elegant style, says US Supreme Court litigator Neal Katyal -- it takes more than that. With stories of some of the most impactful cases he's argued before the Court, Katyal shows why the key to crafting a persuasive and successful argument lies in human connection, empathy and faith in the power of your ideas. "The question is not how to win every argument," he says. "It's how to get back up when you do lose."

Confidence:

"To overcome challenges, stop comparing yourself to others,"  13 min."How to speak so that people want to listen," 10 min.  Have you ever felt like you're talking, but nobody is listening? Here's Julian Treasure to help. In this useful talk, the sound expert demonstrates the how-to's of powerful speaking -- from some handy vocal exercises to tips on how to speak with empathy.

Emotional Intelligence:

"Why aren't we more compassionate?" Dan Goleman, 15 min.

"Why we all need to practice emotional first aid,"  Guy Winch, 18 min.   We'll go to the doctor when we feel flu-ish or a nagging pain. So why don't we see a health professional when we feel emotional pain: guilt, loss, loneliness? Too many of us deal with common psychological-health issues on our own, says Guy Winch. But we don't have to. He makes a compelling case to practice emotional hygiene — taking care of our emotions, our minds, with the same diligence we take care of our bodies.

Engineering and Art:           

"To create for all the ages, let's combine art and engineering," Ben Ferren, 20 min.     When Bran Ferren was just 9, his parents took him to see the Pantheon in Rome — and it changed everything. In that moment, he began to understand how the tools of science and engineering become more powerful when combined with art, with design and beauty. Ever since, he's been searching for a convincing modern-day equivalent to Rome's masterpiece. Stay tuned to the end of the talk for his unexpected suggestion.

Fear:

"Why you should define your fears instead of your goals," Tim Ferriss, 13 min.     The hard choices -- what we most fear doing, asking, saying -- are very often exactly what we need to do. How can we overcome self-paralysis and take action? Tim Ferriss encourages us to fully envision and write down our fears in detail, in a simple but powerful exercise he calls "fear-setting." Learn more about how this practice can help you thrive in high-stress environments and separate what you can control from what you cannot.

Focus:

 "My secret to staying focused under pressure," Russell Wilson, 6 min.     Athletes train their bodies to run faster, jump higher, throw farther -- so why don't they train their minds, too? Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson talks about the power of "neutral thinking," which helps him thrive under pressure (both on the field and off) -- and shows how you can use this mindset to make the right moves in your own life.

Health and Wellness

"Why sleep matters now more than ever," Matt Walker, 1 Hr.   A good night's sleep has perhaps never been more important. Sharing wisdom and debunking myths, sleep scientist Matt Walker discusses the impact of sleep on mind and body -- from unleashing your creative powers to boosting your memory and immune health -- and details practices you can start (and stop) doing tonight to get some rest. (This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers. Recorded April 1, 2020)

Humorous, But With A Message

"The happy secret to better work," Shawn Achor, 12 min.     We believe we should work hard in order to be happy, but could we be thinking about things backwards? In this fast-moving and very funny talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that, actually, happiness inspires us to be more productive.

Imposter Syndrome:

"How you can use imposter syndrome to your benefit," Mike Cannon-Brookes, 14 min.     Have you ever doubted your abilities, feared you were going to be discovered as a "fraud"? That's called "impostor syndrome," and you're definitely not alone in feeling it, says entrepreneur and CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes. In this funny, relatable talk, he shares how his own experiences of impostor syndrome helped pave the way to his success -- and shows how you can use it to your advantage, too.

Introversion: 

"The Power of introverts," Susan Cain, 19 min.   In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.

"What's the difference between shyness and introversion? And, how can companies help introverts thrive?  A Q&A with Susan Cain after her Ted Talk, above.  From Ideas.Ted.Com.

Leadership:

"How great leaders inspire action," Simon Sinek, 18 min.     Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership -- starting with a golden circle and the question: "Why?" His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Wright brothers ...

Motivation:

"The puzzle of motivation," Daniel Pink, 19 min.     Career analyst and former speech writer for Al Gore, Dan Pink, examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories -- and maybe, a way forward.

"5 ways to kill your dreams," Bel Pesce, 6 min. All of us want to invent that game-changing product, launch that successful company, write that best-selling book. And yet so few of us actually do it. TED Fellow and Brazilian entrepreneur Bel Pesce breaks down five easy-to-believe myths that ensure your dream projects will never come to fruition.

Neurology:

"How memories form and how we lose them," Catherine Young, 4 min. (animated)     Think back to a really vivid memory. Got it? Now try to remember what you had for lunch three weeks ago. That second memory probably isn't as strong— but why not? Why do we remember some things, and not others? And why do memories eventually fade? Catharine Young gives the basics on memory and memory loss. This is a short, TED Education talk.

"The neurons that shaped civilization," Vlayanur Ramachandran, 8 min.     Neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramachandran outlines the fascinating functions of mirror neurons. Only recently discovered, these neurons allow us to learn complex social behaviors, some of which formed the foundations of human civilization as we know it.

"Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality," Anil Seth, 17 min.     Right now, billions of neurons in your brain are working together to generate a conscious experience -- and not just any conscious experience, your experience of the world around you and of yourself within it. How does this happen? According to neuroscientist Anil Seth, we're all hallucinating all the time; when we agree about our hallucinations, we call it "reality." Join Seth for a delightfully disorienting talk that may leave you questioning the very nature of your existence.

Perception / Self-Perception:

 "Good' and 'bad' are incomplete stories we tell ourselves," Heather Lanier, 14 min.     Heather Lanier's daughter Fiona has Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a genetic condition that results in developmental delays -- but that doesn't make her tragic, angelic or any of the other stereotypes about kids like her. In this talk about the beautiful, complicated, joyful and hard journey of raising a rare girl, Lanier questions our assumptions about what makes a life "good" or "bad," challenging us to stop fixating on solutions for whatever we deem not normal, and instead to take life as it comes.

"Why incompetent people think they're amazing," David Dunning, 5 min.     How good are you with money? What about reading people's emotions? How healthy are you, compared to other people you know? Knowing how our skills stack up against others is useful in many ways. But psychological research suggests that we're not very good at evaluating ourselves accurately. In fact, we frequently overestimate our own abilities. David Dunning describes the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Perseverance: 

"Never, ever give up," Diana Nyad, 16 min.     In the pitch-black night, stung by jellyfish, choking on salt water, singing to herself, hallucinating … Diana Nyad just kept on swimming. And that's how she finally achieved her lifetime goal as an athlete: an extreme 100-mile swim from Cuba to Florida -- at age 64. Hear her story.

Procrastination:

"Inside the mind of a master procrastinator," Tim Urban, 15 min.    Tim Urban knows that procrastination doesn't make sense, but he's never been able to shake his habit of waiting until the last minute to get things done. In this hilarious and insightful talk, Urban takes us on a journey through YouTube binges, Wikipedia rabbit holes and bouts of staring out the window -- and encourages us to think harder about what we're really procrastinating on, before we run out of time.

Resiliency:

"3 secrets of resilient people," Dr. Lucy Horne, 17 min.    To most people in the field, resilience research is a calling, an academic interest or maybe even just a buzzword. For resilient expert Lucy Hone, it turned out to be an essential survival skill. In this powerful and personal talk, she shares the three strategies that got her through an unimaginable tragedy and—in doing so—offers profound insights on how to find meaning in loss.

"How creative writing can help you through life's hardest moments, Sakinah Hofler, 15 min."  Have you ever seen or experienced something and wished you spoke up? Writer Sakinah Hofler makes the case for writing as a tool to help you process difficult memories and reclaim the power they may hold over you. Pick up a pen or pull up a keyboard and follow along as she walks you through how to unburden your mind and inspire reflection.

Respect:

"Why being respectful of your coworkers is good for business," Christine Porath, 15 min.     Looking to get ahead in your career? Start by being respectful to your coworkers, says leadership researcher Christine Porath. In this science-backed talk, she shares surprising insights about the costs of rudeness and shows how little acts of respect can boost your professional success -- and your company's bottom line.

Shame:

"The power of vulnerability," Brené Brown, 20 min.    Brené Brown studies human connection -- our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share."

Listening to shame," Brené Brown, 20 min.     Shame is an unspoken epidemic, the secret behind many forms of broken behavior. Dr. Brené Brown, whose earlier talk on vulnerability became a viral hit, explores what can happen when people confront their shame head-on. Her own humor, humanity and vulnerability shine through every word.

Sleep:

"How caffeine and alcohol affect your sleep," Matt Walker, 5 min.     Caffeine wakes you up, and alcohol makes you nod off, right? It's not that simple. Sleep scientist Matt Walker takes us into the eye-opening ways that these drinks affect the quantity and quality of our sleep.

"Sleep is your superpower," Matt Walker, 20 min.     Sleep is your life-support system and Mother Nature's best effort yet at immortality, says sleep scientist Matt Walker. In this deep dive into the science of slumber, Walker shares the wonderfully good things that happen when you get sleep -- and the alarmingly bad things that happen when you don't, for both your brain and body. Learn more about sleep's impact on your learning, memory, immune system and even your genetic code -- as well as some helpful tips for getting some shut-eye.  

"How sleep affects your emotions," 3:40 min.     It's not just your imagination -- you're more irritable when you're low on zzzzs. Sleep scientist Matt Walker explains how our nightly slumber affects the emotional centers in our brains, and why we can think of sleep as first aid for our feelings.
Stress:

"How stress affects your brain," Madhumita Muirgia, (primer, animated), 4 min.     Stress isn't always a bad thing; it can be handy for a burst of extra energy and focus, like when you're playing a competitive sport or have to speak in public. But when it's continuous, it actually begins to change your brain. Madhumita Murgia shows how chronic stress can affect brain size, its structure, and how it functions, right down to the level of your genes.

"The surprising link between stress and memory," Elizabeth Cox, 5 min.     You spend weeks studying for an important test. On the big day, you wait nervously as your teacher hands it out. You're working your way through, when you're asked to define "ataraxia." You know you've seen the word before, but your mind goes blank. What just happened? Elizabeth Cox details the complex relationship between stress and memory. A TED Ed presentation.

"How to manage stress like an ER doctor," Darria Long, 12 min.     How do doctors in the emergency room stay calm and focused amidst the chaos? Drawing on years of experience, ER doctor Darria Long shares a straightforward framework to help you take back control and feel less overwhelmed when life starts to get "crazy busy."

"The cost of work stress and how to reduce it," Rob Cooke, 10 min.     By some estimates, work-related stress drains the US economy of nearly 300 billion dollars a year -- and it can hurt your productivity and personal health too, says wellness advocate Rob Cooke. He shares some strategies to help put your mental, physical and emotional well-being back at the forefront.

"How to make stress your friend," Kelly McGonigal, 14 min.     Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.

Trust:

"How to build (and rebuild) trust," Frances Frei, 15 min.     Trust is the foundation for everything we do. But what do we do when it's broken? In an eye-opening talk, Harvard Business School professor Frances Frei gives a crash course in trust: how to build it, maintain it and rebuild it -- something she worked on during a recent stint at Uber. "If we can learn to trust one another more, we can have unprecedented human progress," Frei says. Frei makes an interesting connection between trust and technology, as in using cell phones and computers during business meetings.

Work-Life Balance:

"How to turn off work thoughts during your free time," Guy Winch, 12 min.     Feeling burned out? You may be spending too much time ruminating about your job, says psychologist Guy Winch. Learn how to stop worrying about tomorrow's tasks or stewing over office tensions with three simple techniques aimed at helping you truly relax and recharge after work.


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