Episode 48

How to Dissent and Defy Effectively

With Todd Kashdan
Episode 48

How to Dissent and Defy Effectively

With Todd Kashdan

Acclaimed Author. Leading Researcher. Expert on Psychological Strengths and Mental Agility.

Awarded the 2013 Distinguished Early Career Researcher Award by the American Psychological Association, Todd Kashdan is a Professor of Psychology and founder of the Well-Being Lab at George Mason University. Todd’s “Curious?” blog for Psychology Today is enjoyed by more than 4 million readers and his research has been featured in leading media outlets including the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, TIME, Forbes, The Atlantic and The Washington Post.

Todd has also authored several popular books that seek to maximize our potential including Curious?, The Upside of Your Dark Side, and Designing Positive Psychology. In his latest book, The Art of Insubordination, Todd synthesizes decades of psychological research to show how we can improve the health of organizations and our society. He teaches us how to be courageous enough to question the status quo and instills in us the intelligence to know when and how.

In this episode of Intersections, Prof. Hitendra Wadhwa has a conversation with Todd Kashdan on the topic “How to Dissent and Defy Effectively”.

Rebels are an integral part of our society, for they are committed to challenging conventional wisdom and improving on it. Rebellion is a tactful art form that needs to be honed, practiced and mastered before we set out to change the world for the better. How can we effectively communicate with peers and audiences that hold divergent viewpoints, values and beliefs? What are some science-proven techniques to gain early positive momentum in our conversations with adversaries? How do we build mighty alliances even when we are in the minority? And what approaches can we adopt to arrive at fairness and truth in all that we do in life, at work and in leadership?


“If nobody deviated in principled ways from society's prescribed script, civilized life would be less interesting and inspiring, in addition to being less just, safe, and prosperous.”
Todd Kashdan

The episode “How to Dissent and Defy Effectively” offers key insights on:

  • The wisdom in holding multiple viewpoints on the same issue
  • Small behavior changes that bring compounding positive returns
  • The formula for principled rebellion, as discovered from 60 years of scientific research
  • How to get early positive momentum in our conversations with adversaries
  • The missed opportunities in our quick rush to judgment
  • How to build mighty alliances even while being in the minority
  • And some very humbling stories from the lives of iconic leaders that prove our inherent, untapped potential for bringing unprecedented positive change, even within our current sphere of influence

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Coming Soon!

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