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10 Mind-Blowing TED Talks On How To Be Confident, Gorgeous- And A Better Person

10 Mind-Blowing TED Talks On How To Be Confident, Gorgeous- And A Better Person

1. Your Body Language Influences the Way You Feel

In this video, social Psychologist Amy Cuddy discusses research that shows how body language shapes your reality. Our posture and nonverbal communication not only influences how others perceive us – they actually change our body chemistry. Controlling your posture and training yourself in ‘power posing’ significantly increase your chances of success. You’ll not only seem confident, but actually be more confident! Try her tips and see for yourself.

2. Love What You Do


In this funny and audacious talk, Larry Smith, a professor of economics at the University of Waterloo in Canada, explains why you will fail to get a great career. He bluntly reveals the absurd excuses provided by people who are afraid to look for and pursue their true passions. In Smith’s words, “Wasted talent is a waste I cannot stand.”

3. Trust Your Feelings

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In this video, brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor describes her experience of a massive stroke. Because she is a scientist with a vast knowledge of how the human brain works, she was able to observe her loss of body functions: speech, motion, and logical thinking. After losing touch with her rational mind, Jill experienced the ‘right-side’ brain- the purely emotional part of her brain- which she describes in her talk. It’s a fascinating story!

4. You Can Be Happy, No Matter What Life Circumstances You Face

Dan Gilbert, Harvard psychologist and author of Stumbling on Happiness, explains why most of us do badly in our lifelong pursuit of happiness. In his talk, he uses clinical research from psychology and neuroscience to prove we can be happy – even if everything goes totally wrong. He also says that getting things you want can give you exactly the same amount of happiness as not getting them at all. Check out his advice on how you can use the “psychological immune system” inside your brain to create your own happiness.

5. Embrace Your Vulnerabilities

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Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston, offers deep insights from her 10 years of study into human emotions in this talk. She shares her personal quest to explain that embracing your vulnerabilities is the key to finding inner peace. In a funny way, she explains why accepting your imperfections, loving with your whole heart, practicing gratitude, not being afraid to apologize for your mistakes, and believing that you are enough are the major components of creating a better humanity.

6. Confidence Stems From the Belief That What You Do Is Right

Dr. Ivan Joseph, Athletic Director and Head Coach of the Ryerson University Varsity Soccer team explains in this talk why confidence is the most important skill in life. You need to practice confidence and be aware that you’re good at what you do. With this belief (and persistence), you can achieve anything. Joseph demonstrates the importance of self-affirmation, interpreting reality correctly, and accepting feedback positively.

7. Looks Aren’t Everything

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Cameron Russell, a gorgeous model, gives an honest talk about how superficial physical appearance is and how easily it can be transformed. She says that everyone is just a human being with their own struggles, whether you’re a model who won the “genetic lottery” or an obese man going bald. Everyone has to learn how not to feel judged. You should not feel overwhelmed by interactions with people who seem more attractive or powerful than you because every single person in the world has their own insecurities.

8. You Are What You Eat

Dr. Terry Wahls, a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa, discussed how she used the lessons she learned about cells to cure her multiple sclerosis. She shows how she used her diet to help her deal with multiple sclerosis, which had led her to using a wheelchair. In her talk, she shows the importance of eating real, unprocessed foods and getting more of the vitamins, minerals, and essential fats our mitochondria need to thrive. In the talk she also discusses why she opposes the sugary, white flour-based products that fatigue us instead of giving us the energy to live.

9. Emotional Hygiene Is Essential

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Psychologist Guy Winch explains in this talk how neglected emotional pain can dramatically influence our happiness, success, and life expectancy. He explains that people go to the doctor when they experience certain types of pain, but neglect their emotional states (even though these can lead to serious medical conditions). Winch shows that changing your responses to failure, battling your negative thoughts, taking action when you feel lonely, and practicing emotional hygiene should be the start of your quest to reach your highest potential!

10. You’re the Only Person Who Can Define Yourself

Lizzie Velasquez, a 26-year-old motivational coach and the author of 3 books, was born with a rare disease which makes it impossible for her body to create fat. She describes the day when (as a 17-year-old girl) she discovered a YouTube video with 4 million views and thousands of mean comments naming her the “World’s Ugliest Woman.” In her talk, Velasquez gives her honest and powerful opinions on why you are the only person with the power to define who you really are.

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

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