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WorkLife with Adam Grant

WorkLife with Adam Grant

Author: TED

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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.
152 Episodes
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Robin Arzón is the head instructor at Peloton and an ultramarathon runner, but she didn’t plan to make her career based on her athletic prowess. In this conversation with Adam, she talks about how she fell in love with running in adulthood and her radical career pivot from lawyer to renowned exercise instructor. They discuss what hustle culture gets wrong, why motivation may be less important than momentum, and how to create a consistent practice in the gym — and beyond it. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at go.ted.com/RWAGscripts
Denise Hamilton is an inclusion strategist who works with organizations ranging from the UN to the WNBA. She is also the author of Indivisible: How to Forge our Differences into a Stronger Future. Denise and Adam discuss the pain of abandoning old stories, the value of revising long-held beliefs, and how to respond to the backlash against diversity and inclusion. Indivisible is out now. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at go.ted.com/RWAGscripts
Jared Cohen is a history buff with a career that boasts its own remarkable story. From the State Department to founding Jigsaw at Google to leading global affairs and innovation at Goldman Sachs, Jared has worked with the world’s top leaders to tackle humanity’s biggest problems. His work in international problem-solving also translates into a passion for U.S. history. His new book, Life After Power, is a fascinating exploration about what seven American presidents did after leaving the most influential job in the world. Adam and Jared discuss the psychology of the founding fathers, debate the pros and cons of pursuing a legacy, and share what these historic figures can teach us all about pursuing and finding purpose. Life After Power is out February 13, 2024. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at go.ted.com/RWAGscripts
Bob Sutton is an organizational psychologist and bestselling author. In this zesty conversation with Adam, Bob shares insights on how to overcome friction at work. The two also discuss steps for leaders to become better listeners, the surprising advantages of inconvenience, and why it’s better to be a boring leader than an a-hole boss. Bob’s latest book, The Friction Project, is out now. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at go.ted.com/RWAGscripts
You don’t always decide what you feel, but you do own how you react to those feelings. In her bestselling book and TED Talk, Harvard Medical School psychologist Susan David examines the skills involved in emotional agility. She and Adam go deep on this topic, discussing the risks of judging and suppressing unwanted emotions — and effective techniques for managing them. They explore why optimism is not essential to well-being and how to overcome pressure to be positive. And they reveal how paying attention to what you feel can reveal what you value. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at go.ted.com/RWAGscripts
Emotions are like opinions — everyone has them. Thanks to the pioneering research of today’s guest, we know that it’s possible to transform our feelings by changing how we think and talk about them. Lisa Feldman Barrett is a psychologist and neuroscientist at Northeastern University and Harvard Medical School. In this episode, Lisa and Adam bust myths about how emotions are constructed in the brain and experienced in the body. They discuss the surprising evidence that language doesn’t just describe emotions — it shapes them. And they examine how managing your emotions is easier than you may realize. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at go.ted.com/RWAGscripts
Jennifer Garner’s roles — from “13 Going on 30” to “Juno” to “Alias” — often center strong women who know how to achieve great things. In a fun and surprising live conversation, Jennifer chats with Adam about his latest book, “Hidden Potential.” They dive into the most eye-opening findings in Adam’s research and the unexpected factors that build character and long-term success. Plus, the two dream up the ideal school — and discuss what it’s like to be both “Type A” and “Type Z” parents. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at go.ted.com/RWAGscripts
As a clinical psychologist, Becky Kennedy works with parents to raise good kids. She’s best known as Dr. Becky on Instagram, and has been called the "Millennial parenting whisperer" for good reason. Becky and Adam challenge the widespread belief that it’s a parent’s job to make their children happy, talk candidly about the surprisingly difficult task of setting and maintaining boundaries, and dig into the science and practice of helping kids (and adults) deal with the ups and downs of life. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at go.ted.com/RWAGscripts
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. Find the transcript for this episode at go.ted.com/RT-Kahneman
Maurice Ashley is a trailblazing chess grandmaster — the first African-American player to claim that prestigious title. He’s also a chess coaching legend, as spotlighted in Adam's new book, “Hidden Potential.” Adam and Maurice discuss the lessons from losing, the benefits of respecting your opponents, and what drives a winning strategy in chess and life. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at go.ted.com/RWAGscripts
If you think of the arts as entertainment or luxury, Susan Magsamen and Ivy Ross might ask you to reconsider. The authors of the New York Times bestseller “Your Brain on Art” argue that engaging with music, craft projects, and museums can transform our lives in unexpected ways. Susan, Ivy, and Adam delve into the fascinating science of neuroaesthetics, and explore how art can unlock creativity, enhance well-being, and enrich communities. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at go.ted.com/RWAGscripts
Elliot Aronson is one of the preeminent psychologists of the 20th century — his mentors were Abraham Maslow and Leon Festinger, and his award-winning psychology textbooks are seminal even for non-psychologists. Adam asks Elliot about his pioneering work on making mistakes and cognitive dissonance, or the discomfort we feel when we realize that our attitudes or actions contradict our values. Then, the two discuss the dangers (and upsides) of rationalizing our beliefs — and strategies for making better decisions while keeping an open mind. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at go.ted.com/RWAGscripts
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. The transcript for this episode is available at go.ted.com/RT-vulnerability
Poet and author Maggie Smith isn’t sure where she falls on the spectrum from optimism to pessimism. But her viral poem “Good Bones” and her bestselling books have inspired countless readers with profound insights on the messiness of being human. In this episode, Maggie and Adam discuss strategies for handling complex emotions, sustaining hope while acknowledging reality, and accepting ambiguity in life and art. They explore the value of asking questions that may not have a satisfying answer — or any answer at all. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at go.ted.com/RWAGscripts
Rainn Wilson was a late bloomer: he landed the role of Dwight Schrute on “The Office” after over a decade of struggling as an actor. But success didn’t solve all of his problems — and it even created some new ones. In this live conversation for the Authors@Wharton series, Adam asks Rainn about his unlikely journey to stardom and how it led him into exploring the insights that philosophy, psychology, and the world’s great spiritual traditions can offer on modern life’s existential questions. They also discuss Rainn’s favorite moments from “The Office” and do some improv when Dunder Mifflin invites a certain organizational psychologist to talk to Dwight. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at go.ted.com/RWAGscripts
Many people are obsessed with optimizing their lives, but this might be a suboptimal way to live. Adam brings together psychologist Barry Schwartz (author of “The Paradox of Choice”) and applied mathematician Coco Krumme (author of “Optimal Illusions”) to discuss the dark side of maximizing everything. The three discuss the unintended consequences of always aiming for the best, debate different strategies for individuals and societies to make better choices, and explore how it’s possible to pursue success without sacrificing happiness. Transcripts for ReThinking are available at go.ted.com/RWAGscripts
Before his stories regularly appeared in The New Yorker, before the MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, and before being named one of the world’s most influential people by TIME, George Saunders was a roofer. And a doorman. And a technical writer. In this episode, George sits down with Adam and shares what he’s learned from his winding path towards becoming a professional author, the secrets of creating work that sticks, and how to receive feedback and elevate our rough drafts. Available transcripts for WorkLife can be found at go.ted.com/WLtranscripts
Malcolm Gladwell hosts a rollicking live discussion about Adam's new book, "Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things," which is out today. They explore why we overemphasize innate talent, how Adam grappled with impostor syndrome as a writer and perfectionism as an athlete, and how to chart a path toward achieving greater things. They also discuss the evidence on affirmative action — and riff on topics ranging from humility to psychoanalysis to whether Lions or Bills fans suffer more.
Mentoring plays an important role in growth and success for both mentors and mentees. But finding the right mentor — and being an effective one — is easier said than done. Adam digs into the science of what makes a good mentor, learns what it takes to build a strong bond from an extraordinary mentor-mentee pair, and busts lasting myths that prevent us from unlocking our potential. Available transcripts for WorkLife can be found at go.ted.com/WLtranscripts
Bureaucracy exists to provide consistency and structure, but it often stifles creativity and productivity – and breeds misery. In this episode, Adam investigates why we wind up with stupid rules, how to cut red tape without creating chaos, and what it takes to hack bad policies for a greater good. Available transcripts for WorkLife can be found at go.ted.com/WLtranscripts
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Comments (143)

Mr kibria

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Jan 27th
Reply

M&H

is it possible to write the note of you're podcast

Jan 19th
Reply

Mustafa Thunder

Instead of increasing people's happiness, policies should be geared toward reducing their misery. You cannot accurately define happiness for everyone because it means different things to different people. But you can do this for misery and sadness. Poverty, hunger, illness, and lack of security make everyone miserable whereas a new gym might make some happy but not all.

Dec 28th
Reply

Mustafa Thunder

Sharpen your decision-making by asking yourself twice. Opinions shift with mood, energy, and life's currents. This double-check samples your inner compass, leading to steadier choices. So ditch the knee-jerk reaction and sleep on it – your future self will thank you.

Dec 28th
Reply

Hooryar Mehrabi

love everyone of episodes. Thank you dear Adam!

Nov 21st
Reply

Mustafa Thunder

it doesn't happen that I decide to listen to a podcast more than once but this one hit home so deeply that I have to.

Nov 10th
Reply

MED A

agree to some big degree life

Nov 7th
Reply

Shaaheen Shahi

Would you please make a podcast and talk about reducing working hours because I think things are gettng done so faster these days beacause of the tehnologies which is being used at office. computers, emails, productivity tools, and many more things we use, caused to get things done faster. So there is no need to work for 8 frustrating hours. I think 4 to 6 hours a day is more than enough. It increases the efficiency of people and people will have more time for their own life.

Oct 8th
Reply (1)

Aakash Amanat

I absolutely love "WorkLife with Adam Grant"! The insights and discussions brought to light in each episode are not only thought-provoking but also incredibly relevant to our ever-evolving work landscape. https://www.houzz.com/pro/parchmentcrafters Adam Grant's ability to blend research, personal anecdotes, and practical advice creates a unique listening experience. The episodes on topics like leadership, productivity, and work culture have genuinely reshaped the way I approach my own career. It's refreshing to hear from experts and real-life professionals who have successfully navigated the challenges that many of us face in our professional lives. https://www.cakeresume.com/me/Parchment-Crafters

Aug 21st
Reply

Phillip Gold

It's actually sometimes very difficult to call out of work without a good reason. My advice - if you have a real reason, give it and then you won't have to blush in front of your boss if your deception is discovered. But there is also a second effective way (in fact, there are several). You can find these ways on this page https://resumekit.com/blog/how-to-call-out-of-work/ . As someone who has employees of my own, I can tell you that this would work for me. Maybe some of my employees have already used these tips and I didn't get anything about it :D

Jul 25th
Reply

Mike Horan

Do you have any tips on how to take a day off work? I only need advice that will actually help me get off work from my strict boss.

Jul 25th
Reply

Sage Birchwood

Lmao, ethical capitalism? Says the former CEO of a company that uses prison labor.

Jun 6th
Reply

Amirali Sedaghatyar

Thanks a bunch. hilarious and life_changing at the same time.

May 5th
Reply

Osprey 225

from a woman who created a toxic work environment at Barnard College......

May 2nd
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Manan Jariwala

Wonderful episode. Thanks.

Apr 13th
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Pooja Vaid

This episode was fantastic! Thank you!

Mar 28th
Reply

Ali Hajizade

worst episode ever. i fall sleep during the episode. and i was changing the volume constantly, adam speaks loud and yo-yo speaks as low as possible. i couldn't focus on the content because of yo-yo's voice

Mar 2nd
Reply (1)

Tnz. Rj

great 👍🏻

Jan 23rd
Reply

Mary

I loved this episode, you taught us vital points about criticism. Thanks a bunch for your time and effort in making this.

Jan 21st
Reply

Heather Mougeot

So So Sooo REFRESHING to hear respectful disagreement among smart people disagreeing without defensive anger or personal attacks. Very rare in the world today but extremely needed; humble confidence and personal reflection with a huge dose empathy and respectful discourse. Beautiful

Dec 29th
Reply
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