TED Talks have a unique way of bringing diverse perspectives to personal, professional and global issues.

I am a TED Talk Addict. In my free time, I watch (and rewatch) TED Talks and always find some nuggets of wisdom that can be shared, or better yet, debated at our next team meeting or family dinner.

As 2018 draws to a close, here are the lessons I’ve learnt from the top 5 TED Talks of 2018. They’ve opened my mind to novel ways of resolving conflicts, building relationships at work and in life – and being a better person.

1. What is your “Trust Wobble” and how can you overcome it?

Trust is the foundation of building strong relationships with our colleagues, customers and family members. How can you build or rebuild greater trust tomorrow than you do today? Harvard Business School professor, Frances Fei, walks through the three parts of the Trust Triangle (empathy, authenticity and logic) and the “wobbles” that lead to breaks in trust. She also offers ready-made actions you can apply to your daily life to stabilize these wobbles.

What is one thing we’ve changed about our weekly team meetings at Perked! to build greater trust? No cell phones allowed.

2. Solving conflicts productively: Invite people into a “shared reality” + Pre-commit to the possibility of being wrong.

I always thought that successful debaters are individuals who are skilled at persuading us that their stance is right – no matter how polarizing or extreme. I’m wrong.

Champion debater and business strategist, Julia Dhar, shares how the opposite is actually true. “People who disagree the most productively start by finding common ground, no matter how narrow it is. They identify the thing that we can all agree on and go from there.” Psychologists call this “shared reality” and it gives a platform for both sides to start talking about the conflict and to start listening to each other.

Simultaneously, it’s just as important for the other side of the debate to open our minds to the possibility that we are wrong. This is a skill that can be learned and scientists call it “intellectual humility”. You can practice this skill by approaching disagreements or conflicts with the pre-commitment to the possibility of being wrong. How? Ask yourself “What would it take to change your mind and why?

Result? At Perked!, we now build a 10 minute “structured debate” into our weekly team meeting. We take a topic that matters to our team, start with a shared reality (shared goal/vision) and pre-commit to the possibility of being wrong by asking each other “What would it take to change your mind and why?”. It’s not easy, but we’re learning to be better managers, leaders and people.

3. Time to add one more “Language” to your resume

Language: Images – Proficient.

Christoph Niemann animator and artist behind many iconic covers of The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and WIRED shares his creative process on how he turns an artistic statement into a dialogue. By bringing a deep sense of empathy (an understanding of the visual and cultural vocabulary of his audience) into his art, he turns simple imagery into meaningful and emotionally-provoking stories.

4. How to train employees to have difficult conversations: Think G.R.A.C.E.D.

Collecting certain types of customer data, like gender or ethnicity, can be difficult for your customer-facing employees. Tamekia MizLadi Smith engages you in a wonderful conversation you how to do it right with G.R.A.C.E.D.

5. Amplifying the power of diversity within yourself

When you’re looking to connect with another person, do you find yourself focusing on your commonalities or your differences?

For Rebeca Hwang, a woman with multiple nationalities (Korean, Argentinian, American), educational and experiential backgrounds – fitting into “one box” was difficult, if not impossible. So she stopped looking for that 100 percent commonality with the people around her and started to realize that it was her differences that created the strongest link with the people around her.

Naturally, as the CEO of Perked!, this got me thinking about company culture and the importance of diversity and inclusion. I’ve often observed that commonalities stimulate comfort and differences trigger discomfort. This makes growing a culture of “add” vs. “fit” particularly difficult. Maybe, one of the first things we need to do is to help each understand the diversity within ourselves, accept it, and then amplify it. I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this (please share them with me at jane at perked.co).