The 8 Very Best TEDx Talks for Building Teams in Business

Heather Harper

Written by Heather Harper

Jul 16, 2018  - Last updated: Jul 18, 2018

From talks about personality, to talks about the stars, TEDx talks cover many topic areas that will inspire all those interested.

The topic area I am personally most interested in is occupational/organisational/industrial (whatever you want to call it!) psychology. I find business and the people in business fascinating, and since discovering TEDx talks at university, I have enjoyed watching, listening to and learning from them. These TEDx talks are my favourite ones as they are interesting, enticing and helpful.

TEDx Talks

1. [Building a Psychologically Safe Workplace']( by Amanda Edmondson

After learning that one of the main reasons why google is so successful is because of their promotion of 'psychological safety' within their workplace, I was confused as to what this actually was and why it was important, so I headed to google to do some research and stumbled across a brilliant TEDx talk. So this introduces you to one of my favourite TEDx talks, 'Building a Psychologically Safe Workplace' by Amanda Edmondson, a Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School.

With relevant and relatable examples of how a lack of psychological safety feels within your team, Amanda explains, in a humorous mannerism, the dangers of not feeling psychological safety and how it prevents a team or organisation from moving forwards. Amanda then goes onto explain how to build psychological safety within any team, and why it doesn't mean comprising excellence.

If it works for google, it'll work for you, and I really recommended understanding psychological safety for your own benefit, and for your employees benefit.

2. [Missing the Obvious in Employee Retention]( by Claire McCarty

By using simple and easy to understand examples, Claire explains that Employee appreciation and recognition (well, lack of it) is normally always in the top three reasons why people leave. Claire explains how to increase appreciation and recognition, for examples by giving 'reinforcing feedback', team celebration, create team visions, sharing information, and much much more. Essentially, Claire believes that improving your teams culture will reduce employee turnover.

This talk takes things back to simplicity, and by using humorous mannerisms and enticing examples, this engaging and funny TEDx talk provides really valuable information on how to reduce employee retention.

3. ['Stop trying to motivate your employees']( by Kerry Goyette

In this TEDx talk, Kerry begins to tackles the myths on employee motivation. She talks about different motivational styles and explains in an informative way how people are motived by different things; essentially, some people are motivated by feeling 'pleasure' and others are motivated by the avoidance of 'pain'. From this, Kerry goes on to highlight the need to be careful about engineering teams, explaining motivational fit and the importance of testing for this in recruitment, and the need to understand employees and communicate with them to match them to tasks that use their motivational style. "Our brains will never be fully realised unless we are part of a healthy group", is a quote that Kerry used that has really stuck in my head.

4. ['The Secret to Building a Healthy & Happy Workplace']( by Wolter Smit

Wolter Smit owns a Tech company that has consistently been noticed for its employee satisfaction. In a funny and entertaining style, Wolter talks about how he built this great and happy culture within his company.

Glenn explains how when he attended a university lecture, the lecturer explained a theory by Douglas McGregor that explains that when it comes to opinions on work, there are two kinds of person: X type people, who think that people do not want to work at all; and Y type people, who think that people want to work because its fun and its enjoyable to work).

After this lecture, Wolter realised he had been hiring Y type people, and how by investing in your employees and using the same interviewing processes that he does, you too can employee Y type people. This will make you more effective as Y type people are 'self propelled' and you can give them freedom because they won't misuse this freedom because they are motivated to work and you have created a secure work environment,

5. ['How to Start Changing an Unhealthy Work Environment']( by Glenn Rolfsen

Another one of my favourite TEDx talks is 'How to Start Changing an Unhealthy Work Environment'. Glenn Rolfsen is a psychotherapist who has worked closely with occupational health. In this talk, Glenn talks about how in the past he has used leadership coaching, conflict resolutions, group discussion and individual interviews to change a toxic working environment, and has failed.

After beginning his own investigation, Glenn realised that one of the main reasons that employees are so unhappy at work, is because their employees talk negatively about their colleagues when they were not present - Glenn calls this 'Back Biting' (I know what I'd call it). In this talk, Glen then goes on talk about why we feel the need to gossip, and to explain his strategies to fix this behaviour - 'Gossip 2016' and the 'Triple Filter Test', ideas to prevent back biting' that you could use wit your own team.

Personally, I think employees will always gossip and back bite, but Glenn's simple and interesting attempt to prevent this is admirable and proven, as results have showed that by using Gossip 2016 sick leave goes down, productivity increases. Workplace bullying, gossiping and 'back biting' is a problem that many people face - and I admire and appreciate Glenn's openness about the subject and how it is affecting employees.

6. ['Bullying and Corporate Psychopaths at Work]( by Clive Boddy

['Bullying and Corporate Psychopaths at Work] by Clive Boddy, a Leadership and Organizational Behavior at Middlesex University in England, is another one of my favourite occupational psychology TEDx talks because the topic is so fascinating.

Telling his own personal story and basing this talk on his own research in both the UK and Australia, Clive explains what corporate psychopaths look like, why they do it, what causes psychopathy and what they're like to work with. Clive talks about workplace bullying in the modern world, and why is still occurs and remains a problem. Clive also talks about the devastating effects bullying has on the victims wellbeing, and the organisation as a whole; ethical and moral values decrease, which effects everything about the company.

7. [What do all Great Leaders have in Common]( by Matt Beeton

Starting off with some griping statistics on Leader dissatisfaction, Matt explains what all leaders have in common - and its not IQ, privilege or job title. Based on 20 years of research, Matt explains in detail the three common traits he has found in most leaders: people (the ability to connect, self-reflect, self-regulate and self-percept with others), vision and passion. Matt explains how these things will help a leader, and how you can build them.

8. ['Want to sound like a leader? Start by saying your name right']( by Laura Sicola

The lowest on my list because although interesting and valuable, I did find it a bit complexed to understand. Laura explains how as a leader, your tone of voice and how you speak can make a difference, not the actual words we say. Using detailed examples of how we process speech, Laura explains how the 'up and downs' of our voice patterns have cognitive and emotional influences that will effect how people react to, process and understand what we say.

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Heather Harper

About the author

Heather Harper is a psychology student from the University of Lincoln. She currently works as an intern for WorkStyle and is studying a Masters in Occupational Psychology at the University of Manchester.