WorkLife with Adam Grant

WorkLife with Adam Grant

You spend a quarter of your life at work. You should enjoy it! Organizational psychologist Adam Grant takes you inside the minds of some of the world’s most unusual professionals to discover the keys to a better work life. From learning how to love your rivals to harnessing the power of frustration, one thing’s for sure: You’ll never see your job the same way again. Produced in partnership with Transmitter Media.

Episodes

November 9, 2021 56 min

When Esther Duflo took her first economics class, she hated it. In 2019, she won a Nobel Prize in economics. Esther talks with Adam about her groundbreaking experiments to fight poverty, busts myths about what motivates people, and reveals how to make meaningful progress toward solving daunting problems. Read the text transcript for this episode at go.ted.com/T4G24

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PepsiCo's trailblazing former CEO drove record profits—but did so while investing in employee well-being, consumer health, and environmental sustainability. In their second conversation, she and Adam are on stage for a lively, entertaining dialogue about how to improve our work lives and our workplaces. They talk about striking a balance between fitting in and standing out, winning support for major change up and down the org c...

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The longtime PepsiCo CEO is one of the world’s most powerful women and Time’s 100 most influential people. In the first of two rich conversations, she explains why she wrote more than 400 letters about her direct reports… to their parents. Indra and Adam discuss what she’s learned about leadership, finding and being a mentor, championing ideas from below, and making big career decisions. They also explore some of the big questions ...

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At the age of 18, Allyson Felix took home the Olympic silver medal in the 200 meter dash. She was devastated. Where others saw “second-best in the world,” she only saw “not first.” That race lit a fire that would carry her on to become the most decorated track and field athlete in American history. Adam talks with her about achieving excellence, bouncing back from her so-called “failures,” and sustaining motivation to medal in five...

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We're back soon with new episodes of Taken for Granted, but for now, here's a TED Talk Adam gave recently. Have you found yourself staying up late, joylessly bingeing TV shows and doomscrolling through the news, or simply navigating your day uninspired and aimless? Chances are you're languishing—a psychic malaise that has become all too common after many months of the pandemic. Adam breaks down the key indicators of lan...

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People are finally paying attention to mental health at work, but some major myths are holding us back. Adam breaks down what we get wrong about mental health at work, what individuals and organizations can do to start getting it right, and why we all need compassion more than empathy. Thanks to our guests Demar Derozan, Sally Maitlis, Darlene Upton and Paul Bloom for joining us on this episode. For the full text transcript, visit ...

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July 20, 2021 37 min

Are you afraid to share bad news, ask for help, or admit you were wrong? These are signs of being in a psychologically unsafe work environment. Adam breaks down the importance of psychological safety in preventing errors and promoting innovation and inclusion, and examines what it takes to build a culture of voice rather than silence. Thanks to guests Ed Pierson, Amy Edmondson, Captain Bill Wilson and Admiral McRaven for appearing ...

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In a world obsessed with efficiency, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash Broadway hits Hamilton and In the Heights began with idle curiosity. Adam interviews Lin together with his father, Luis, about finding harmony between creativity and productivity—and rhythm between work and life. They discuss what motivated Lin to take a big risk on the biggest stage of his life, the challenges of fitting in when you stand out, the importance of delega...

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Do you pay attention to your attention? John Green is the beloved author of The Fault In Our Stars, and when he started tracking his attention, he realized he was obsessed with evaluating human progress. He decided to start rating everything—from the capacity for human wonder to Canadian geese—on a five-point scale. In this deeply thoughtful conversation with Adam, John shares what he learned from his series of Yelp-style reviews, ...

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Criticism rarely comes wrapped in a shiny gift box, tied with a bow. As a trailblazing leader, one of Mellody Hobson’s gifts is finding the diamond in the rough. She and Adam unpack how to look for the grain of truth in any critique, when to discount feedback, and what it takes to be honest without being brutal. Find the full text transcript at go.ted.com/T4G7

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It’s been 25 years since the concept of emotional intelligence exploded onto the scene. Cultural critic Merve Emre makes a bold case that in the wrong hands, it can be used to exploit people. We unpack the surprising roots of emotional intelligence, how it’s been co-opted as a form of corporate control, and why you might want to rethink some of your core assumptions about emotions at work. You can find the full transcript for this ...

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“I can’t do this.” “I didn’t deserve this promotion.” “When will they find me out?” If you’ve had thoughts like these, you aren’t alone. Nearly 70% of people have experienced imposter syndrome—even some of the most successful ones! The difference is in how they can use imposter thoughts as fuel, rather than a fire to burn them out. Adam shares three steps you can take to harness your own self-doubt as a fuel for success, and why we...

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May 25, 2021 41 min

Workers are now expecting more from their employers beyond a paycheck and benefits. Employees want an employer who lines up with their values outside of work and stands up in the name of justice. And when they don’t, employees are becoming more active about asking their companies to cancel partnerships or are walking out in protest--as we’ve seen with workers at Facebook, Google and others.

A company is not a democracy, but it doe...

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May 18, 2021 43 min

We’ve all been to bias training, but it rarely works—and sometimes backfires. Science suggests that to drive real change, it’s not enough to run one-off workshops. We need to change individual and organizational habits. Find out how people can overcome their own prejudices and workplaces can break barriers to help marginalized groups advance into leadership roles. Find the full text transcript for this episode at go.ted.com/WLTrans...

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May 11, 2021 44 min

When employees are paid more, they give more. Going above market pay might sound like a fantasy, but in a growing number of companies it’s becoming a profitable reality. Peek inside workplaces that have reinvented their pay structures to give employees their worth and more—and explore the science of how it can pay off for everyone in the long run. Find the full text transcript for this episode at go.ted.com/WLTranscript47. WorkLife...

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Comedian, actor, and Armchair Expert host Dax Shepard steps into the hot seat for a conversation with Adam on Clubhouse. They discuss what he's learned over the course of 300+ interviews, how he thinks about humor at work, and how he’s rethought his views on masculinity. They also field questions from past WorkLife guests like Malcolm Gladwell and Kat Cole. You can find the full transcript for this episode at go.ted.com/WLT...

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Adam wrote a viral article for The New York Times on a feeling many of us are struggling with right now. It's somewhere between burnout and depression: languishing. This neglected middle child of mental health can dull your motivation and focus—and it may be the dominant emotion of 2021.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times on April 19, 2021, with the headline, 'There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling:...

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Author and activist Glennon Doyle used to say “I am a Christian. I am straight. I am an addict.” Now she simply says “I am.” In this episode, Doyle sits down with Adam to discuss letting go of past identities — and rethinking the idea of identity as a whole. They explore insights from Doyle’s bestselling book, Untamed, on dealing with unpleasant emotions, redefining weaknesses and redefining ourselves. Warning: their conversation m...

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April 20, 2021 50 min

Over the last year, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, many companies have paid lip service to racial inclusion. But what does it actually take to change individuals — and the structures and cultures of organizations? In the first of two episodes on bias, psychologist John Amaechi shares powerful insights on inclusion — and several experts weigh in on the latest science of privilege, allyship, and opportunity at work. A key take...

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April 13, 2021 39 min

Whether it's over a project, politics, or pizza toppings, conflict with colleagues is inevitable. The goal is not to eliminate it; it’s to handle it better. There’s a whole science of managing individual and team conflicts, and it suggests that we don’t have to agree to disagree. We need to start by understanding what our clashes are actually about—because often, we’re not arguing about what we THINK we’re arguing about at all....

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