Ted talks are on such an array of subjects. There are several that I have assigned to clients in my private practice and there are a few I’ve used in training with the team of care coordinators I supervise. In our time-crunched world, sometimes a 10 minute or more video seems impossibly long.  I would encourage you to take some time and watch some talks that interest you.  Below are some of my favorite talks that I think are beneficial for social workers and those who are interested in social work.   Whatever topic you may be interested in – I bet you find it in TED talks.


Social Worker as Super Hero!  Great short video on what exactly a social worker is.  As a social worker, I know that many people have bizarre ideas of social work.  Even a lot of professionals have no idea what education and skills a social worker requires.


The danger of a single story. Interesting watch for a social worker.  To remember that our preconceived notions can mean we decide that someone has a one-dimensional story and miss their actual, complex, full story.  It is a good reminder to all of us.  During an assessment one day, at a nursing home, I was meeting with an older gentleman who was rather unkempt.  I was assessing him to see if he could move out on his own into the community.  Instead of being fully into the moment, listening to his story,  I already had an idea of his whole story.  I was asking the questions in a rote manner, there were no surprising answers and then I get to a question about education and the man answered he received his master’s degree in political science and hoped to someday earn a Ph.D.   I was surprised and not a little irritated with myself.   I had a single story of the people I assess in the nursing home which included that they had little or no education.  What a great reminder to me to learn someone’s story from them – not my own script.


(Full link Flight of the Hummingbird)


One of the niches of my private practice is helping people find their purpose and find their passion.  People worry so much about what their passion and it is true people often feel frustrated that there is something wrong with them because they can’t figure out their passion.  People often forget to just live a life of curiosity – having a passion for life.   Live a full life, the path is part of the passion.


The two above by Brene Brown are often shared.  Shame and Vulnerability are so powerful and these are great.   I have my clients watch these videos all the time.


Oh, I love this video.  Social workers are needed and assist people.  It is just important to make sure we listen to what our clients say.  Ask them what is important to them.  Ask them if they even want help.  Resist placing your own values and beliefs on your clients.  Get rid of your ideas and let your clients lead the way.  Shut up and listen.


Even for a lot of social workers, mental illness can be scary.  I love this video because, using humor, she makes the point that it is important to talk about mental illness.  Bringing it out in the open is the only way to decrease the shame and stigma around mental illness.


As a supervisor/manager of social workers this is one talk I really like.  It has a business bent but perfect to remind us why we do the job of social worker.   Great for motivating your staff and motivating you to be a great leader who inspires action.

These are just a few of my favorites.  There are so many more Ted Talks that can enhance your view of the world. What are your favorites?