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This Working Life

Author: ABC Radio

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Lisa Leong helps you navigate your way through the tough times, looking for the sunshine and the humanity in the world of work. From the quirky to the somewhat controversial, experts in the world of work and business share their ideas, experiments and fast fails, that you can apply to your own career. We’re cheaper than therapy and more fun than LinkedIn, think of us as your digital water cooler.
263 Episodes
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As the saying goes “money can’t buy happiness”, but does getting paid more make us happier and more motivated at work? And if not, what does? And why is it still such a taboo topic? We also hear negotiation strategies to use with your boss and what you need to do to stay employable after 40. GUESTS: Professor Adrian Furnham, author of The New Psychology of Money (and about 100 other books) Adjunct professor at BI Norwegian Business School and professor at University College London. Emily Barnes, mediator Kate McCallum, financial advisor and co-author of The Joy of Money. Producer: Maria Tickle
In the last 20 years, the way we’re employed has evolved almost as quickly as our mobile phones. For a lot of us that means our work has become a lot less secure than it once was. We explore why that is, the impact on us and what we can do about it.
Many of us dream about making big changes in the world, but so few do. So what does it take to be a changemaker? Geoff Hucker’s 34-year career as a pilot took him around the globe multiple times. But he didn’t always feel the calling to make change. It was a trip to Ethiopia that led Geoff to start not one but two organisations aimed at making the world a better place: Beyond the Orphanage and Work For Impact. And the end of 2020 is in sight and frankly it’s been a hell of a year. It’s been particularly tough on our mental health so we get some tips on how to manage mental health with people management specialist Karen Gately including avoiding burnout and what to do if one of your colleagues is struggling. Producer: Maria Tickle
Never underestimate the power of habits, especially the teeny, tiny ones we repeat every day, the ones author James Clear calls “atomic habits”. We discuss Clear’s ideas of how we can harness habits to perform better at work especially in these stressful pandemic times with fangirl and neuroscientist Dr Sarah McKay. Then organisational psychologist and leadership coach Dr Travis Kemp explains why You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney is his go-to work book. Recommended read: Atomic Habits, How to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear. Producer: Maria Tickle
“A group of behavioural scientists walk into a bar…”   Sounds like the start of a joke right - it’s not. Those ten people were gathering to perform sketch comedy and two of them ended up researching the hypothesis that humour is serious business and that it is vastly underleveraged in most workplaces today.    Dr Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas now teach the course Humor: Serious Business at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and have co-authored the book Humor, Seriously: why humor is a secret weapon in business and life. They explain what levity does to our brains and how anyone can harness it and use it skilfully at work. Can you spot the finger in the photo? Now that's funny. What is your humour type? Here is the quiz. Producer: Maria Tickle
Trust is hard to gain but easy to lose. And it's crucial at work particularly in times of crisis like the current pandemic. So how do you build trust with your colleagues and throughout the wider organisation? Can you re-build it after you lose it? And what does the neuro-chemical oxytocin have to do with trust? GUESTS: Dr Paul Zak, Professor of economic sciences, psychology and management, Claremont Graduate University and author of Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High Performance Companies  Dr Nicole Gillespie, Professor of management and KPMG chair in organisational trust, University of Queensland. Producers: Edwina Stott and Maria Tickle
What works and what doesn't in a virtual job interview? How should you prepare? And managers, how do you evaluate someone when they aren't in the same room? People management specialist Karen Gately has all the answers. Producer: Maria Tickle
Is it too much to ask to be happy at work? Do you subscribe to the view that work mainly involves pain and suffering, that is why we get paid to do it.  In this episode we explore the meaning of happiness, and why striving for society’s measures of career success: status, power, money - may not in fact lead you to happiness. Our guest: Penny Locaso, author of Hacking Happiness: How to Intentionally Adapt and Shape the Future You Want and Dr Tim Sharp, clinical psychologist and founder of The Happiness Institute. Tim’s new podcast Habits for Happiness at Work: 10 Steps for Living Your Happiest Work Life is available on Audible. Producer: Maria Tickle
Like it or not, your employer has the right to track and measure just about everything you do in your work day. But should they, is it helpful or does it simply kill motivation? In the second episode of our series on Big Brother at work, we examine how surveillance is changing the way we work and we ask what ever happened to trust? Assistant Professor of marketing from UC San Diego, Dr Liz Lyons says that tracking employees at work can have varying end results - not all of them good. She shares some of the best examples of boosting productivity in the workplace through tracking and emphasises the importance measuring the right things. On the other side of the fence is Professor Paul Zak, a 'neuroeconomist' who says that the secret to helping workers reach their potential, doesn't lie in tracking worker through tech, but can be found in our ability to build trust. If you're certain tracking employees is the way to go though, Dr Joeri Mol, who's an expert in organizational studies from Melbourne University has a warning about the change that can occur in organisations when people simply know they're being watched. This technology which allows bosses to track what workers are up to whenever and wherever they are has developed rapidly over the last few years and the market has only increased thanks to the pandemic causing a rise in those of us who work from home. So what does this mean for the future? Jathan Sadowski from the Emerging Technologies Research Lab has a warning and a few suggestions for how we could even the scales and get this tech working for the employees. Producer: Edwina Stott Supervising producer: Maria Tickle
Our team has self-experimented with the productivity tips we've covered in 2020 and we reveal the hits and misses. Warning: there IS a mention of "sex" so if taking about procreation bothers you, may we gently suggest an episode of Conversations. Producer: Maria Tickle PERFORMING IN A PANDEMIC EPISODES
How does your boss keep tabs on your work? Before the pandemic, they probably popped their head over the partition or reviewed your KPIs over a coffee. But now, with more of us working from home, many companies are increasingly using time tracking software or surveillance technologies that allow employers to check what you’re up to whenever and wherever you are, even if you don't work at a desk. So how are you being tracked, how is it changing your work and is there anything you can do about it? GUESTS Jathan Sadowski, Research Fellow at the Emerging Technologies Lab at Monash University Assistant Professor Liz Lyons, from UC San Diego School of Global Policy Tyler Sellhorn, Head of Customer Experience for Hubstaff Lauren Kate Kelly, Senior Policy Researcher at the United Workers Union Patrick Turner, Senior Associate at Maurice Blackburn lawyers. CASE STUDIES Ben Worthington, IELTs Podcast Producer: Edwina Stott Supervising Producer: Maria Tickle
Uber's story is a cautionary tale in what NOT to do when creating corporate culture in a startup, according Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber. It's the book Lisa's fellow work book nerd Catherine Robson chose as best bedtime page turner. Written by award-winning New York Times technology reporter Mike Isaac, the book chronicles the rise and the catastrophic fall of the corporate giant based on hundreds of interviews with current and former Uber employees. Producer Maria Tickle
Finding yourself the right mentor is more critical than ever before to get through these tough and uncertain times at work. But how do you find the right mentoring relationship? And do men and women need different things out of it? In this episode:  * Bobbi Mahlab from Mentor Walks explains and how walking and talking helps develop a safe and trusting environment for sharing for women. * Miles Protter of pro bono mentoring program Men’s Business tells why having a mentor is so critical for men. * Writer and broadcaster Benjamin Law and entrepreneurs Naomi Simson (Red Balloon and TV series The Shark Tank), Kietah Martens-Shaw and Julie Demsey tell how mentoring has helped them in their careers. (This episode was first broadcast on Radio National on 15 July, 2020.) Producer: Maria Tickle
Are you a giver or a taker at work?
How well do you listen to people at work? No, stop and think - how well do you really listen, not just wait for your turn to talk or be distracted by the chatter in your head: "Wish he would hurry the hell up!" or "Here she goes pushing that agenda again, now I will be late for the gym." Executive coach Oscar Trimboli and author calls it deep listening and he says it involves not just listening to the content but also the meaning, context and most importantly, the unsaid. And it can change your life and your career. And if you are struggling a little in finding your mojo after being suddenly thrust into WFH, organisational psychologist, podcaster and founder of Inventium, Amantha Imber, shares her science-based tips on how to better structure your day to get stuff done. Oscar's book: Deep Listening - Impact Beyond Words. Deep listening quiz Producer: Maria Tickle (This program was first broadcast on Radio National on April 13, 2020.)
To get through this second COVID lockdown, Lisa has gone deep with her night-time reading. In this episode she discusses Henry David Thoreau's Walden: or, Life in the Woods with Steph Clarke facilitator and host of Steph's Business Bookshelf. Lisa explains how this book has helped her re-frame her approach to work and get a grip on her finances in these challenging times. Last week on The Bonus: Man's Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl (And if you enjoy the show help us out by sharing and rating us with those little stars. Five thanks!)
When your boss mentions "brainstorming" what do you picture - rapid, creative, ideas generation or death by Post-it Note? Pick up your permanent markers and unroll that butcher’s paper because we’re diving into the art and science of brainstorming - what works, what doesn’t and why some people are doing it all wrong. GUESTS Professor Gerard Puccio, organisational psychologist from Buffalo State Art Markman, Professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas, Austin. CASE STUDIES Sarah Crowley, transport and precinct planning specialist James Atkins, director and strategic planning facilitator
We nerd out on non-fiction books that can make us better at work with Steph Clarke, facilitator and host of the podcast Steph’s Business Bookshelf. Steph's pick is Man’s Search for Meaning: The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust by Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl.
How deliberate are you about the way you make decisions at work? Bad decisions can result in wasted time, money and jobs. For example, when a company restructure goes badly, or when there is investment in a “sexy app” that ultimately no one uses. Dan Markovitz says that the number 1 reason that bad decisions are made are because people leap to a solution - what he labels the “conclusion trap”.  Dan explains how we can all make better decisions by slowing down and paying more attention to the problem itself before we leap to the conclusion. He shares his four-step method to avoid the conclusion trap. And author Carolyn Tate has used daily journaling for the past ten years, she explains how this free association style of writing has supercharged her output as a writer.
Virtual meetings are tough enough, but imagine starting a new job where you can’t meet your new team members face-to-face. We hear some disaster stories but also how to best help workers start a new job or finish up including: * the benefits of “coffee roulette” in "onboarding" new staff; * how many "touchpoints" (human engagements) you need for someone to feel truly connected at work and * how to properly acknowledge retirement virtually. Guests: Ethan Bernstein, associate professor of leadership and organisational behaviour at Harvard Business School. Gabrielle Harris, CEO at management consultancy Interchange Case studies: Larissa Dubecki, ABC communications team Sandy Webster, former logistics manager  Sara Summerbell employment lawyer who fled Houston
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Comments (7)

Amy

I love this episode ❤ I've listened to it 3 times so far and really need to relisten more frequently.

Dec 21st
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Amy

So interesting !

Dec 3rd
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Amy

So helpful!

Dec 3rd
Reply

Amy

So very insightful! Thank you!

Dec 3rd
Reply

Amy

So insightful!! this makes so much sense! Thank you!!

Dec 3rd
Reply

Lis Stanger

Another great episode, any chance of doing some episodes focused on small business eg getting started, stopping it taking over your life, knowing when it's time to walk away?

Jul 28th
Reply

Rhyannon Gonzalo

Does this prematurely cut off at the end?

Jun 23rd
Reply
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