Episodes
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
Published 05/11/21
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/WLTranscript46
Published 05/04/21
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: It’s Called Languishing'. To hear more audio stories from...
Published 05/03/21
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 might lead you to start redefining yourself. You can find the...
Published 04/27/21
Over the last year, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, many companies have paid lip service to anti-racism. 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 takeaway: your culture is defined by the worst behavior you tolerate....
Published 04/20/21
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. For the transcript of this episode, head to...
Published 04/13/21
Everyone’s career will hit some turbulence at some point. The past year has left us all reacting to dramatic change. Instead of pushing harder against the headwinds, we’re sometimes better off tilting our rudder and charting a new course. In this episode, hear from people who have taken unusual steps to battle uncertainty, rethought their approach to finding and landing a job, and reached out for help in unexpected places—as well as an expert on recessions who forecasts the future by looking...
Published 04/06/21
In life and work, we have a hard time changing course. When we wind up in a miserable job, a failing project, or a floundering romantic relationship, we rationalize, make excuses, and stick with our bad decisions—even when the writing's on the wall. Why? Usually we assume the driving force is sunk costs: we don't want to admit we've wasted that time or money. But in fact, the root of our stubbornness is a psychological trap called “escalation of commitment.” Once we understand that, we can...
Published 03/30/21
Daniel Kahneman is a Nobel Prize winner who transformed our understanding of the biases that cloud our thinking. In this conversation, he and Adam explore when to trust our intuition and when to second-guess it. Danny explains how he finds joy in being wrong, spells out steps to smarter interviewing, and reveals how he—the master decoder of decision-making—makes decisions.
Published 03/16/21
When Adam Grant and Malcolm Gladwell sit down to challenge each other, everything is fair game. Sit ringside for this collegial cage match in which two preeminent writers rethink each other's ideas in an insatiable quest to get closer to the truth. Is intelligence undersold or oversold? Does individual blaming and shaming obscure the pursuit of real change on racism? Could rethinking everything lead not only to a better business but a better life? In pursuit of answers, Grant and Gladwell...
Published 03/09/21
Have you ever felt your work colleagues sometimes act like animals? In this conversation, Jane and Adam take that idea literally, exploring what Jane's expertise on chimp behavior can teach us about how humans relate and organize. With grace and wisdom, Jane shares primal insights on how we acquire and keep power, the difference between being a leader and being a boss, and the role of patience in making discoveries and making a career.
Published 03/02/21
We usually wear our thickest armor at work, and Brené Brown has blazed the trail of teaching us why—and how to shed it. In this conversation, Adam and Brené unpack the power of showing vulnerability at work—and explore how much is too much. Learn when and where to set boundaries, find out how to get more comfortable with being uncomfortable, and hear Brené rethink a key assumption that she took for granted in her own work.
Published 02/23/21
JJ Abrams joins as the interviewer for an exclusive first look at Adam's forthcoming book: “Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know.” Together, they illuminate strategies for maintaining humility, curiosity, and mental flexibility in a world that rewards confidence, conviction, and foolish consistency. Plus, JJ shares some of his favorite rethinking moments from writing “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” producing “Lost,” and directing an episode of “The Office.”
Published 01/31/21
Remote work was a trend that some companies and gig workers were trying out, even as others resisted. Then the pandemic made it an overnight reality for many of us. This feels like uncharted territory, but there’s already plenty of knowledge on how to do it well. Learn from someone who has done more remote work than almost anyone on the planet—and find out what science says about how to keep your teams cohesive, fight screenout, and build resilience by mentally traveling in time.
Published 05/12/20
As we age, we often feel like the clock starts ticking on our careers. But there are ways to sustain—and even gain—excellence over time. Meet a musician whose career ended too soon, and an entrepreneur and a social media star who defied the stereotypes on professional decline. They illuminate steps that fuel great second and third acts. WorkLife listeners—we're running a survey and we'd love to hear what you think of the show. Please give us some feedback at surveynerds.com/worklife. It only...
Published 05/05/20
Exclusive: In his first public interview since WeWork’s collapse, former Chief Growth Officer David Fano opens up about the company’s leadership and culture. We go deep on the rewards and risks of charismatic leadership and bold visions, the differences between strong cultures and cults, and how a meteoric rise can come crashing down.
Published 04/30/20
Published 04/30/20
"We’ve all answered our share of cringeworthy interview questions—and watched managers pick the wrong person while rejecting the right one. Is it time to delegate hiring decisions to algorithms? Find out what the experts recommend, and meet a pair of leaders who have reimagined the interview process by ignoring credentials and refusing to look at resumes. Heads up—we've got a bonus coming next week, so you'll get a chance to listen to that on Thursday instead of our regular WorkLife episode...
Published 04/21/20
Many workplaces have become increasingly lonely, even before the coronavirus pandemic made more of us literally remote. It’s not just an unpleasant feeling—loneliness can hurt our health and our job performance. Find out why it's time for happy hours to finally die—and how it might take less than a minute to start building real connections.
Published 04/14/20
"Just be yourself." That's popular work advice these days, with more and more companies encouraging people to “be authentic” and bring their whole selves to work. But when we get real at the wrong time or in the wrong way, it can backfire. What does effective authenticity look like, and how can we learn to strike the right balance?
Published 04/07/20
Work relationships are complicated. Who holds the power and why? What are effective ways to solve conflict? And how do you know when it’s time to walk away? Adam gets personal with therapist Esther Perel to explore the dynamics of trust, power, and people pleasing.
Published 03/30/20
Most of us negotiate in one of two ways: either you roll right over the other party, or you just roll over. But great negotiators refuse to believe that we have to choose between results and relationships. Sharpen your negotiation skills for both business and life with evidence and insights from a trio of negotiators who transformed their styles—and one who pulled off one of the most consequential agreements in human history.
Published 03/24/20
Burnout seems to be everywhere. But it’s not inevitable. Come inside some high-pressure workplaces that have figured out how to fight exhaustion by redesigning jobs—and changing cultures.
Published 03/17/20
You procrastinate because you're lazy, right? Wrong. The truth is more complex—and far more interesting. Learn how to stop putting off important tasks ... with a little help from master procrastinator Margaret Atwood.
Published 03/10/20
We’re constantly seeking advice about our work lives. Which job offer to take. When to quit. Whether to blow the whistle on a bad boss. But so much of the advice we get—and give—turns out to be bad. For some sage advice, Adam sought out master advice-giver Cheryl Strayed, the author of Wild.
Published 02/12/20