One Solution to Make Work Extra Significant (The Science of Happiness podcast)

One Way to Make Work More Meaningful (The Science of Happiness podcast)

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Episode abstract:

What occurs once we pause and divulge heart’s contents to concepts that we didnt consider ourselves? This episode is about mental humility, the flexibility to give up to the concept that we’d not have all the data or will not be proper. Our visitor is Kelly Corrigan, a best-selling writer and host of PBS speak present Inform Me Extra and podcast Kelly Corrigan Wonders. Her groups look to her for route, however she wished to see what would occur if she paused extra to ask them questions, and located it completely modified her strategy to each her work and household life. We additionally discover science across the refined methods we react in another way to folks we disagree with, and the way mental humility can change that.

Do this apply: Domesticate Mental Humility

If you happen to can, write out your solutions.

  1. Once you encounter data or an opinion that contradicts your opinion or worldview, ask your self questions like these:

    1. Why do you disagree?

    2. Are you making any assumptions? Would possibly these assumptions be unsuitable?

    3. How did you come to your opinion?

  2. Take into consideration the state of affairs from the attitude of an individual who disagrees with you. Attempt to think about how they got here to imagine what they imagine:

  1. What data may they be basing their opinion off of?

  2. What values do you suppose theyre weighing in how they consider this subject?

  3. Are you able to think about how they got here to carry these values?

3. Faucet into your mental humility:

  1. Establish locations the place, earlier than, you didnt acknowledge the restrictions of what you already know

  2. Now that youve labored to see this subject from one other individuals viewpoint, do you see extra worth of their perspective?

  3. What different methods do you have interaction with viewpoints that problem your individual? Do you discover any patterns?

Todays friends:

Kelly Corrigan is the writer of 5 books. Shes additionally the host for PBSs longform interview present, Inform Me Extra and Kelly Corrigan Wonders.

Try Kellys web site:

Observe Kelly on Twitter:

Observe Kelly on Instagram:

Mark Leary is a psychologist and emeritus professor at Duke College.

Study extra about Mark and his work:

Try Marks analysis on Google Scholar:

Assets from The Higher Good Science Heart:

What Does Mental Humility Look Like?

5 Causes Mental Humility is Good for You:

Mental Humility Quiz:

Three Causes for Leaders to Domesticate Mental Humility:

Easy methods to Know if Youre Truly Humble:

Extra Assets on Mental Humility

Vox – Mental humility: The significance of realizing you is likely to be unsuitable:

Monetary Occasions – Why Mental Humility Issues:

Psych Central – How Humility Strengthens Your Relationship:

College of Notre Dame – To Make Higher Choices, Get Extra Comfy Saying I Dont Know

Inform us about your ideas on mental humility. E-mail us at or use the hashtag #happinesspod.

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This episode was supported by a grant from the John Templeton Basis, as a part of our venture on Increasing Consciousness of the Science of Mental Humility. For extra on the venture, go to


Kelly Corrigan: I’ve been feeling considerably unhappy in my work. Like I’m, I’m glad after I pull up and look over the entire thing and suppose this podcast has been actually generative for me. That is great things. However after I’m in it, after I’m at eye stage with the work, I really feel much less glad. I’ve made 5 books, 290 podcast episodes, 43 PBS reveals and I in all probability do suppose I understand how to do it. I’m simply transferring actually quick and I’m making an attempt to get a lot achieved that I go for environment friendly conversations and fast conferences with the fewest folks there as a result of we don’t have time to have interaction two different folks’s concepts for like how the interview may go and perhaps disagree after which perhaps have that awkwardness of disagreeing. I’m by no means working with sufficient time and I’m by no means working with sufficient price range. So I really feel considerably justified in blowing and going. And while you blow and go, you skip over tons of alternative for discovery and development and shock.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas: Welcome to The Science of Happiness, Im Emiliana Simon-Thomas, science director at UC Berkeleys Higher Good Science Heart. Im sitting on this week for Dacher Keltner. In the present day have been exploring what occurs once we pause, and divulge heart’s contents to concepts that we didnt consider ourselves. Have been joined by Kelly Corrigan, a best-selling writer and host of the podcast Kelly Corrigan Wonders and the PBS speak present Inform Me Extra.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas: Our visitor tried a apply that may assist us strategy conversations with extra curiosity and openness, to the likelihood that different folks could also be extra proper than we’re. Later, properly hear about extra methods to place our egos apart, so we are able to join extra deeply with one another.

Mark Leary: All of us have extreme, unfounded confidence within the accuracy of our beliefs and simply recognizing that’s the foundation of mental humility

Emiliana Simon-Thomas: Extra, after this break.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas: Welcome again to The Science of Happiness, Im Emiliana Simon-Thomas, filling on this week for Dacher Keltner. Have been speaking about find out how to be extra open to different peoples concepts or options to issues one thing psychologists name Mental Humility. Its basically the capability to give up to the concept that we’d not have all the data, that we won’t be proper, or know one of the best ways to do no matter have been making an attempt to do. Have been joined by Kelly Corrigan, a best-selling writer and host of the podcast Kelly Corrigan Wonders and the PBS speak present Inform Me Extra. Kellys groups look to her for route, and he or she enjoys taking decisive motion. However she wished to know what would occur if she slowed down and requested extra questions off-camera, too. So she tried a apply to domesticate extra mental humility.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas: Kelly, thanks a lot for giving this apply a attempt to for becoming a member of us on the Science of Happiness.

Kelly Corrigan: Oh, thanks for all the things you guys do. I like your pod.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas: if I have been to ask you to offer your self a rating for a way intellectually humble you might be, with one being completely servile and 10 being fully boastful, what would you give your self?

Kelly Corrigan: Oh, it’s not- it’s not quantity. it’s in all probability actually unhealthy. It’s in all probability like an eight. I imply, for those who ask the individuals who work with me, particularly at PBS, as a result of that’s the place I really feel probably the most constrained on time and price range,I imply, they could say, like, 9.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. Properly it sounds to me like youre speaking concerning the undesirable penalties of time poverty. And many people grapple with it, with the implications of feeling like you need to do too many issues and also you don’t have the area to truly tackle them properly. And one of many issues that actually suffers is our skill to hear, to listen to completely, to empathize with different folks once we’re pressed for time.

Kelly Corrigan: I’m actually comfortable that we’re speaking about this as a result of I do suppose that mental humility is form of a highfalutin concept, and it’s like the very first thing to go mm-hmm. when issues get crunched. However I suppose the purpose I wanna underline is that one of many prices is that individuals don’t really feel heard and so they don’t really feel as engaged within the work, et cetera, et cetera. One other value is that the work may endure. However the third value is that you simply may discover it much less satisfying as a result of the depth of your engagement is expounded to the depth of your satisfaction. And for those who’re. Blowing and going. It doesn’t really feel like a lot on the finish of the day. You understand it when it comes and it goes.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas: So for our present, you tried a apply, we created to assist foster mental humility. And whereas scientific analysis on whether or not it’s even doable remains to be in its early phases, we expect it in all probability is. It’s a behavior you’ll be able to domesticate. You possibly can strengthen. And the apply basically goes like this. You ask your self a set of questions in navigating a scenario the place there is likely to be differing viewpoints. How may the opposite particular person have come to imagine what they imagine? What values may the opposite particular person be holding and why may these matter to them? And do I actually have all the data? So inform us how this apply went for you and the way did you do it?

Kelly Corrigan: I simply began working with an assistant. However in the middle of that, I had leapt to a couple assumptions. And so I believed, Oh, it is best to roll again just a little bit earlier than you begin diving into the work and simply making progress, as a result of I’m form of addicted to creating progress. And I used to be like, You must let her speak just a little bit. If just for her to really feel like this girl is aware of one thing about me, this girl has some sense of me. And so she gave me just a little bit about the place she lives and the way she lives and who she lives with and what’s occurring in these of us lives. And I simply at this time was having one other assembly along with her and I believed this assembly is totally totally different as a result of I’ve this tiny bit of data that I do know you wished me to have. And thank God I’ve it. As a result of actually, primarily based on the form of work we’re doing, I may have Kind touched a young spot accidentally. 10 instances by now. I imply, we’re, we’re engaged on a guide that’s a memoir about household life. So all people you’re speaking to has unknown bruises beneath their garments that you might unintentionally be trampling on in any variety of methods.

And so it’s truly very, um, it was very transferring to me.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas: So it was nearly preventative. You averted the potential for misunderstanding or simply hurt, emotional hurt that may have gotten in the way in which of, of constructing progress.

Kelly Corrigan: Sure. Sure. And in addition, it was each preventative and enriching as a result of, you already know, the extra you’ve been by, the extra you already know. Yeah. And so hastily it was like, oh, she, she may in all probability relate to this facet of the opposite factor.

Kelly Corrigan: And simply noting that pressured me to consider like, and I’m wondering the place my concepts are coming from since you suppose, you give your self such a cross on considering that you’re fairly rational and also you, and there’s completely good causes for all the things that you simply imagine. And relying on who you’re sharing your life with, in case you have any person who’s validating you on the facet, a husband, a child, a greatest buddy, then you’ll be able to actually get fairly cocky about your viewpoint. When you’ve got totally different sorts of relationships the place the partner or the perfect buddy or the grown child may say, that’s loopy, mother or honey, I don’t suppose you’re proper there. That may be this enormous enabler of second guessing your self, which is inefficient and tiresome and embarrassing, and doubtless a part of the way in which that you simply open the door to stuff you haven’t considered but.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas: Did you ever discover a scenario the place there was battle, the place practising mental humility was helpful?

Kelly Corrigan: I used to be out to lunch with my mother and my daughters and it was shortly after Roe v. Wade was overturned and he or she made a remark and that indicated, you already know, that she was pro-life. And I believed, Oh my God, that is what they have been speaking about. Despite the fact that it felt like I used to be pulling one thing out of my workbook and saying, it’s like talking Spanish for the primary time after you’ve been taking Spanish class. Such as you simply really feel just a little awkward. You’re feeling like a phony, however nonetheless it will possibly, you’ll be able to talk. And so I requested her, you already know, How did you first come to this conviction? Like, have you ever at all times felt this a lot conviction about it? And when did you first come to it? And one of many issues she mentioned that I believed was so attention-grabbing that I by no means would’ve identified is that she’s not truly tremendous positive that the federal government ought to make the choice. What she’s saying extra is that she herself as a Catholic wouldn’t have. Yeah. And that’s totally different than saying, I’m glad Roe v. Wade was overturned, which isn’t what she mentioned, however it’s form of what I heard. And I used to be unsuitable.I had over-interpreted her response.

Kelly Corrigan: Like that you simply’re naming this second in time that’s rather less off-putting or nerve-wracking than how may you, or why would you mm-hmm, that’s totally different. That is nearly factual. It’s like when was the primary time you thought, oh, I’m undoubtedly pro-life? Yeah. As a result of then perhaps she may say, when was the primary time that you simply have been like, I’m undoubtedly pro-choice. Yeah. Like, what’s the story? After which I may inform her one thing that might fully change how she thinks about my place. Like, doesn’t imply she’s gonna change her place, however hastily there’s like this rationale inside my perception in alternative that is sensible to her.

Kelly Corrigan: I believe the onerous factor is when it’s not reciprocated. So while you’re very consciously making an attempt to do proper by a dialog or an individual. and so they’re not coming again at you, that may be form of discouraging. She didn’t ask me the questions that I requested her, however, you’ll be able to’t go into this considering I’m gonna be an ideal participant on this train that she has no concept I’m working as a layer on prime of this dialog, after which I’m gonna be mad. If she doesn’t play together with me. Like that’s not, that’s not the purpose.

Kelly Corrigan: If it’s a two-part factor, like search first to grasp, then to be understood mm-hmm and also you solely get the one half, the one half nonetheless counts. Yeah. Just like the one half just isn’t all unhealthy. Like That’s proper., and if that’s the way it ends, you already know, if that is the way in which it goes down with my mother and that, you already know, some days she dies and I do know just a little bit extra about her than she is aware of about me, that’s okay. It wasn’t a waste of vitality simply because it wasn’t form of a superbly executed, two-sided trade.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas: So do you suppose a few of this has had an affect in your management fashion? Or may, must you proceed to apply mental humility?

Kelly Corrigan: Sure. However the way in which is to place extra issues above the road. There’s an entire set of issues which can be like under the road. Like, whether or not you sit there or I sit there, no matter. To me, that’s all under the road. Like, let’s simply get Kraken. But when it’s any person’s job satisfaction or it’s like they’re gonna sleep higher tonight or we’re gonna have an opportunity of crossing over from similar to an informal work interplay to a friendship that’s fulfilling and satisfying for each events the place we’re creating like a soothing area to share collectively.That’s at all times above the road

Kelly Corrigan: if it’s one thing actual, like pro-choice, pro-life, or a disagreement that I might need about with my mom mm-hmm. or my daughter mm-hmm. The factor that’s at stake is one thing that’s core to me. Like, I would like this particular person, I would like this relationship, and I would like it to be the easiest that it may be. Each minute you might put into it, it’s price it. And I’m sure of that.

Kelly Corrigan: So what I’ve to do to determine it’s price it in one thing that feels under the road is to do not forget that these are our lives. That is what I did at this time.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas: Thanks a lot for approaching the present, Kelly. It was actually nice to speak with you.

Kelly Corrigan: Oh, I’m comfortable to be again with you.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas: Developing on The Science of Happiness, why mental humility is so crucial to {our relationships}.

Mark Leary: If you happen to’re low in mental humility, it creates battle and rigidity and unease. So I believe that’s going to undermine the standard of an individual’s life

Emiliana Simon-Thomas: Extra, after this break.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas: That is The Science of Happiness. Welcome again. Im Emiliana Simon-Thomas, filling on this week for Dacher Keltner. Weve been speaking about Mental Humility, which is the attention that you simply won’t have all the data or know-how about one thing, mixed with an curiosity in listening to different folks out. Our producer Haley Grey stories on how mental humility can assist us be extra accepting of various concepts, and alter how we see different folks.

Haley Grey: When you’ve gotten a powerful perception, youre going to suppose its appropriate. And whoever thinks in another way, is unsuitable. That form of considering doesnt actually assist us join with others.

Mark Leary: If you happen to’re the form of particular person, who’s not less than open to understanding why folks disagree with you, you’re going to have higher relationships with folks.

Haley Grey: Mark Leary is a psychologist and emeritus professor at Duke College. And hes a pioneer in researching mental humility. His work has been supported by the Templeton Basis, which can be sponsoring this episode of The Science of Happiness. Leary wished to know, whats occurring in our brains that makes us act in another way in the direction of folks we disagree with? So he did a survey of 100 and eighty-eight American adults. He measured their mental humility by asking them to do issues like price how open they’re to altering their thoughts, how a lot they worth the opinions of others, and he additionally requested how non secular they’re.

Mark Leary: After which we had them learn one in every of three essays about faith.

Haley Grey: Some needed to learn an essay that actually favored faith.

Mark Leary:It provides folks which means in life. It brings folks collectively.

Haley Grey: Others learn an essay that was very crucial of faith.

Mark Leary: It creates divisions amongst folks. They imagine it begins wars. No, faith’s a nasty factor. [insert slight pause] Or they learn a balanced essay that had each the constructive and the detrimental traits of faith described.

Haley Grey: Then everybody rated how correct they thought the essays have been, how a lot they agreed with them. And the way competent and likable they thought the essay-writer was.

Mark Leary: There was completely no relationship between how non secular an individual was and their mental humility rating. So there’s no relationship.

Haley Grey: Additionally they discovered that individuals who have been extra intellectually humble tended to suppose the essays have been extra correct.

Mark Leary: If you happen to’re excessive in mental humility, while you hear issues, you’re extra more likely to droop your individual views just a little bit and go, Okay, all proper, I form of see that is sensible. I could not agree completely, however yeah, I get that.

Haley Grey: When the not-so-humble folks learn an essay they disagreed with, they rated the author as much less competent, much less clever, and fewer likable.

Mark Leary: If you happen to’re low in mental humility, I believe you’re going to undergo life being rather less agreeable generally. It creates battle and rigidity and unease. So I believe that’s going to undermine the standard of an individual’s life. And we even have information on that occurring in romantic {couples} the place people who find themselves low in mental humility, have much less satisfying relationships. Folks larger in mental humility are ready higher to separate the message from the messenger. Sure, I disagree with what you mentioned, however I’m not going to blast you as a lot. I’m not going to criticize you as a lot for believing that individual factor.

Haley Grey: The science remains to be nascent, however Mark Learys analysis leads him to imagine that its completely doable to learn to grow to be extra intellectually humble—if you wish to.

Mark Leary: All of us have extreme, unfounded confidence within the accuracy of our beliefs and simply recognizing that’s the foundation of mental humility. I believe now we have to make this nonconscious strategy of assuming that we’re proper about all the things extra acutely aware, the place we intentionally give it some thought every now and then and remind ourselves repeatedly, Are you positive? Are you able to make sure? What proof do you’ve gotten that makes you so positive? Now we have an automated response and we form of inform ourselves. I do know I’ve an overconfidence drawback, so I’ve to repeatedly inform myself to not be so rattling positive.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas: Our subsequent episodes of The Science of Happiness, why just a little extra kindness can go a good distance. Our subsequent episodes of The Science of Happiness, we discover the numerous advantages of human kindness.

Oliver Scott Curry As soon as upon a time it was troublesome for evolution to clarify why folks have been type. Now the alternative is the case. Now we have an entire vary of theories that designate why persons are type.

ourself, however why are you doing it? You have been placed on this planet to be like a blessing to different folks.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas: Thanks for becoming a member of us on The Science of Happiness, Im Emiliana Simon-Thomas filling in for Dacher Keltner. This episode was supported by a grant from the John Templeton Basis, as a part of our venture on “Increasing Consciousness of the Science of Mental Humility.” For more information, go to

E-mail us at, or use the hashtag #happinesspod.

Our Government Producer of Audio is Shuka Kalantari. Our producer is Haley Grey. Sound designer Jennie Cataldo of Accompany Studios. Our affiliate producers are Bria Suggs and Ruth Dusseault. Our editor in chief is Jason Marsh. The Science of Happiness is a co-production of UC Berkeleys Higher Good Science Heart and PRX.