10 TED Talks that will change how you work forever

You've heard all the usual advice on how to work smarter. Now you want something a little different. You want the kind of ideas that break the mould. If you're looking for unconventional ways to supercharge each day, then the following talks, courtesy of TED, will more than suit your needs.

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From the secrets to being happier at work and excellent leadership tips to embracing downtime and finding the courage to disagree, expect incredible wisdom from the likes of Stefan Sagmeister, Margaret Heffernan and Jason Fried.

1. The happy secret to better work – Shawn Achor

If you think working harder will make you happier, think again. Because it could be that things should be the other way around. In this fast-moving and hilarious talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that happiness inspires us to be more productive.

2. Why work doesn't happen at work – Jason Fried

Here's a radical theory on successful working – the office isn't an excellent place to do it. That's certainly the suggestion from Jason Fried who offers alternative ideas to make the workplace work.

3. What it takes to be a great leader – Roselinde Torres

If you're managing teams, or indeed clients, and wondering how to become a better leader, then this talk is for you. Roselinde Torres describes 25 years observing truly great leaders at work and shares the three simple but crucial questions would-be company chiefs need to ask to thrive in the future.

4. The power of time off – Stefan Sagmeister

Did you know that every seven years, designer Stefan Sagmeister closes his New York studio for a year-long sabbatical to rejuvenate and refresh their creative outlook? Here, he explains the often overlooked value of time off and shows the innovative projects inspired by his time in Bali.

5. Dare to disagree – Margaret Heffernan

Are you one of those people who purposefully avoid conflict? Being British, it's practically in our DNA. But, as Margaret Heffernan shows us, reasonable disagreement is central to progress. She illustrates how the best partners aren’t echo chambers – and how great research teams, relationships and businesses allow people to disagree profoundly.

6. As work gets more complicated, six rules to simplify – Yves Morieux

Feeling miserable and disengaged at work? Business can be complicated and stressful, certainly. Even worse, the traditional pillars of management are obsolete, according to Yves Morieux. So, he says, it falls to individual employees to navigate the rabbit's warren of interdependencies. In this energetic talk, Morieux offers six rules for "smart simplicity". And rule number one is: Understand what your colleagues do.

7. Got a meeting? Take a walk – Nilofer Merchant

Can a small idea have a significant impact on your life and health? Nilofer Merchant certainly thinks so. She believes that the next time you have a meeting with someone, you should make it a "walking meeting" – and let ideas flow while you walk and talk.

8. The career advice you probably didn't get – Susan Colantuono

You're working your ass off, so why aren't you getting that promotion? Susan Colantuono shares a simple yet surprising piece of advice you might not have heard before. This talk, while aimed at an audience of women, has universal takeaways – for men and women, new grads and mid-career workers.

9. How to speak up for yourself – Adam Galinsky

Whether you're a shy introvert or don't feel comfortable speaking up, social psychologist Adam Galinsky teaches you how to assert yourself, navigate tricky social situations and expand your power with sage guidance.

10. How to save the world (or at least yourself) from bad meetings – David Grady

The business world is plagued by inefficient, overcrowded meetings, and making workers miserable. David Grady has some exciting ideas on how to stop it.

Special thanks to TED for the inspiration.


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