There’s something innately uplifting about a good TED talk, and at the end of a year and the start of a new one, uplifting is what we need!

Here are some of the TED talks from this year that caught our eye in 2017. They’ve been selected because they are relevant to all of us that work with people, and can help motivate you for whatever you want to achieve in 2018.

How to speak up for yourself


Do you find it hard to be heard sometimes? To win backing for new ideas or initiatives that could benefit your business and the workforce you support?

Adam Galinsky’s talk looks at how to speak up effectively.  Key takeaways are:  you can find ways to get yourself heard by becoming an advocate for others, and finding your inner passion and using it to inspire.

Are you a giver or a taker?


It would be easy to assume that to be successful, we have to take rather than give. According to Adam Grant’s talk, the worst performers in a lot of jobs are givers; however, the highest performers are also givers. Givers are over-represented at both ends of the spectrum.

In his TED talk, Adam explains how to bring givers up, so that they thrive at the top of the spectrum. If we all become givers, our individual success goes up, and our organisations flourish. Watch this video to understand why givers contribute to business success.

A pro wrestler’s guide to confidence


You might look at the title of this talk and think, “what’s pro wrestling got to do with HR?”

Well, according to Mike Kinney, everyone has something inside them which is unique and special. A pro wrestler’s job is to find that uniqueness and turn it into a personality people can enjoy and believe in. He argues that anyone can do this: we all have it in us to be the best version of ourselves we can be.

A thought-provoking talk for HR, and also a pretty heart-warming tale about making our parents proud and doing what we love.

How to build a company where the best ideas win


What if everyone in your company knew what others thought of them? In Ray Dalio’s world, this is the norm. In this talk, he puts forward the idea of an ‘ideas meritocracy’, a system where the best ideas win. In his business, anyone can give him feedback on his performance, no matter how junior. In fact, everyone gives each other feedback. This means that everyone is able to improve and evolve.

Today Dalio’s business is successful. But, as he explains, his arrogance in the past led him to lose thousands of dollars and ruined his business. However, this failure was what motivated his current success.

Watch this talk if you want to create a winning culture in your business.

How to succeed? Get more sleep


Do you find yourself getting by on 6, 5 or even fewer hours of sleep? Is this having an impact on your performance?

Arianna Huffington’s talk asserts that success comes through having a healthy level of sleep every night – and provides tips on how to achieve it.

Good luck with whatever you have planned for the new year. Let us know if you have any TED talks you use for motivation!

Sue Lingard author image

Sue Lingard

Sue studied Personnel Management at the London School of Economics before taking on management roles in the travel, recruitment and finally HR software industry. She's particularly interested in how technologies enable HR teams - and the people they support - to work better together.