Imagine this: you are sitting at work and your boss makes an announcement:
Boss: “Guess what? We’ve got a best-selling author and speaker coming to the office today to give a presentation.”
You: “Sweet. . . do we get CEUs for it?”
What if that happened at your office all the time? And not just with authors, but other wicked smart and talented people:
- Filmmakers and Musicians
- Innovators and Scientists
- Political Candidates and Chefs
- Actors and Actresses
Well, this does happen, and regularly, at one company. What magical place does that for their employees?
A little company based in Mountain View, California. You may have heard of it. Starts with a G. Ends with an OOGLE.
Google rocks in so many ways.
Seriously, I don’t think a day has gone by in the past decade when I didn’t Google (v.) something or use their other products:
- Gmail and Google Maps
- Google Drive and Google Calendar
- YouTube and Chrome
Google has some of the smartest minds in the world working on those products. One of the ways this company nurtures their employees is by arranging for world class presenters and lecturers.
And true to its more “open-source philosophy”, Google shares those presentations with us . . . for free.
They are called “Talks at Google”
If you’re like me, until recently, I had never heard of a Talk at Google (also known as Google Talks).
Since 2006 Google began sharing these recorded talks and most are now available on YouTube.
TED Talks vs Talks at Google
TED Talks are notable for their polished production and bite-size 18-minute length. Google Talks are more informal, less polished, and a little longer.
Think of it like an old album: TED talks are the tight studio recording while Google Talks are the bootleg B-Sides.
The laid back Google approach allows for more intimate and two-way communication with the audience.
In today’s post, you are going to learn about 10 awesome Talks at Google and what you can learn from each.
If you’re into mindfulness, gender equality, being a better parent, and happiness . . . this post is for you.
You ready? Let’s do this.
1. Chade-Meng Tan: “Search Inside Yourself”
Chade-Meng Tan was one of Google’s earliest engineers (employee number 107), and may have had the coolest job title ever, “Jolly Good Fellow”. While at Google, Tan created a course for their employees and wrote the best selling book Search Inside Yourself:The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace). In Meng’s talk, he shares some insights into mindfulness and emotional intelligence.
2. Susan Pinker: “The Village Effect”
Susan Pinker is a developmental psychologist, journalist and author of The Village Effect. In Pinker’s Talk at Google, she discusses the profound effect social isolation can have on humans. She shares about the strength that strong in-person, social networks have on our overall health.
3. Ron Sieglman: “The Science of Mindfulness”
Dr. Ronald D. Siegel is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School, where he has taught for over 30 years. His talk on the science of mindfulness is a great foundation for understanding empathy. Siegel provides helpful examples of applying mindfulness and psychotherapy in daily practice.
4. Caroline Webb: “How To Have A Good Day”
Caroline Webb is an economist, management consultant and executive coach who has spent the last fifteen years showing her clients how to apply insights from behavioral science (neuroscience, psychology and behavioral economics) to boost their professional effectiveness and job satisfaction. In Webb’s Google Talk, she discusses the core tenets from her book How To Have A Good Day.
5. Craig Lambert: “Shadow Work”
Craig Lambert, Ph.D. is a sociologist and author of the book Unpaid Work: The Unpaid, Unseen Jobs That Fill Your Day; what he calls middle-class serfdom. Lambert’s observations are illuminating and give insights into how some of these tasks can feel liberating, but can also creep into our downtime.
6. Iris Bohnet: “Gender Equality By Design”
Iris Bohnet’s is a researcher and author of the book What Works: Gender Equality By Design. Part of Bohnet’s premise is to focus on not changing the biases in individuals, but rather focus on the organizations where individuals work and live. In Bohnet’s Talk at Google she provides excellent examples and easy-to-implement steps for achieving equality.
7. Janice Kaplan: “The Gratitude Diaries”
Janice Kaplan is former editor-in-chief of Parade magazine and author of the best-selling The Gratitude Diaries. Kaplan explores how gratitude can transform every aspect of life including marriage and friendship, money and ambition, and health and fitness in this Google Talk.
8. Dan Goleman: “Focus: The Hidden Driver Of Excellence”
Dan Goleman wrote a book on emotional intelligence. Literally he wrote the book Emotional Intelligence, an international bestseller. In this Google Talk though, Goleman discusses the finite resource of attention. He describes three types of attention or focus: inner, other and outer. If you are going to be a successful social worker, you are going to need all three.
9. Dan Ariely: “On Dating & Relationships”
Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. Ariely is widely published in scholarly journals and multiple New York Times bestsellers. In this talk, Ariely covers some broad ground: colonoscopies, canoeing, and Tinder.
10. Carla Naumburg: “Ready, Set, Breathe”
Carla is a mother, a writer, and one of our peeps: a clinical social worker. In December 2015, Carla gave a Talk at Google (her second) on her most recent book, Ready, Set, Breathe: Practicing Mindfulness with Your Children for Fewer Meltdowns and a More Peaceful Family. As a parent of a 4-year-old and meditation practitioner myself, Naumburg’s suggestions for teaching young children to “notice” their senses hits home for me.
Sometimes you need to disengage your brain. . . that is why Netflix and Buzzfeed were created.
Other times your brain needs to be fed something other than escapism. Enter Google Talks.
These ten talks were just a small sample of the thousands of topics for you to explore. Give them a watch when you have time, even with no CEU credit.
Do you have any favorite Talks at Google? Leave a comment below and tell me about it.