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Susan David Profile

Susan David, Ph.D. is the visionary who developed the concept of Emotional Agility. An award-winning Harvard Medical School psychologist, Susan has been named one of the world’s most influential management thinkers. She offers unique expertise on cultivating more agile, healthy, resilient and authentically happy people, families, workplaces, and communities.

Thinkers50 recognized her with the Breakthrough Idea Award for “insights that have the potential to forever change the way we do business,” and Harvard Business Review named Emotional Agility a Management Idea of the Year.

Her book, Emotional Agility was a #1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller, translated into 26 languages, and profiled throughout national and international media including in the New York Times, TIME, and on the TODAY show.

With powerful and engaging stories, humor, and insight, Susan creates a deep and authentic connection, so each person in the audience feels understood, inspired, and able to drive real, pragmatic change. Susan has been named an Inc.com top speaker and received a standing ovation at TED for a talk that went viral, with more than 60 million unique views on social media and 6 million at TED.com, making it one of the ten most popular TED talks that year.

Susan David Speaking Videos

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Susan David's Speech Descriptions

EMOTIONAL AGILITY
Because our thoughts, emotions and behavior drive everything; every aspect of how we love, live, parent and lead.

Susan’s talks are uniquely customized to the audience and to address these themes: Agility * Change * Communication * Culture * Diversity and Inclusion * Education * Engagement * Future of Work * Innovation * Inspiring Lives * Talent and Leadership * Teamwork * Performance * Personal Growth * Well-being and Resilience * Women in Leadership

BUSINESS
Outstanding organizations are built on a culture of flexibility, teaming, innovation, inclusion, and customer-centricity. Yet, complexity conspires against culture, creating rigidity, stifling creativity, and weakening relationships.
- Susan explores the critical, internal psychological habits of emotional agility that enable people to engage, drive culture, team, be resilient, and thrive.
- Susan teaches attendees how being hooked by thoughts, emotions, and stories hinders thriving.
- Susan explains why emotional agility is a key skill-set that enables people to remain curious, courageous and values-committed even in times of challenge, and to bring their best selves to work.
- Susan shows a set of essential practical steps to cultivate emotional agility.
- Susan inspires audiences to think, feel, and act differently with deeply impactful and positive outcomes for themselves, their colleagues, and their organizations.

MAINSTREAM
While we strive to strengthen our personal relationships, conquer our bad habits, get ahead in our careers, and parent more effectively, we often get caught in negative emotional and behavioral patterns that prevent us from moving forward
- By building awareness of our own and others’ emotional nature and learning to face feelings and unhook from thoughts that hinder us, we are able to change our actions to match our values.
- Susan explores critical emotional agility habits that enable people to be resilient, adaptive, and to thrive.
- Susan teaches how being hooked by thoughts, emotions, and stories hinders our success.
- Susan shows how emotional agility enables people to remain compassionate, curious and courageous in times of challenge, and bring their best selves to life and work.
- Susan inspires audiences to think, feel, and act differently with deeply impactful and positive outcomes for themselves, their families, colleagues, and communities.

What People are Saying about Seeing Susan Speak

Rating Entries

We had such an amazing experience! Thank you. I had a good feeling about her involvement from the beginning, and the outcome was better than I could have hoped for. She really reached our participants ‘in their hearts’.
– Mike Vierow, McKinsey & Company

The wisdom of Susan David’s innovative insights is only made more impressive by its practicality. Her deep understanding of psychology is matched with clear, real-world steps to more effective leadership.
– Helen Clark, 27th Prime Minister of New Zealand, UNDP Administrator (2009-2017)

An outstanding success..!
– Jeremy Darroch, CEO of SKY

Susan reminded us of how critical it is to recognize our feelings and to be emotionally agile. Susan connected with the audience in a powerful way with her ideas and personal stories. It meaningful to us to know that so many others around the world will have an opportunity to be informed and to be inspired.
– Pat Mitchell, TEDWomen

Susan was fantastic. She showed great empathy for the audience and guided our leaders on how to become more agile in face of our daily challenges. Her talk was the perfect blend of inspiring and practical, and the audience loved it!
– Guilherme Soárez, CEO of HSM

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Books by Susan David:

Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life

The counterintuitive approach to achieving your true potential, heralded by the Harvard Business Review as a groundbreaking idea of the year.

The path to personal and professional fulfillment is rarely straight. Ask anyone who has achieved his or her biggest goals or whose relationships thrive and you’ll hear stories of many unexpected detours along the way. What separates those who master these challenges and those who get derailed? The answer is agility—emotional agility.

Emotional agility is a revolutionary, science-based approach that allows us to navigate life’s twists and turns with self-acceptance, clear-sightedness, and an open mind. Renowned psychologist Susan David developed this concept after studying emotions, happiness, and achievement for more than twenty years. She found that no matter how intelligent or creative people are, or what type of personality they have, it is how they navigate their inner world—their thoughts, feelings, and self-talk—that ultimately determines how successful they will become.

The way we respond to these internal experiences drives our actions, careers, relationships, happiness, health—everything that matters in our lives. As humans, we are all prone to common hooks—things like self-doubt, shame, sadness, fear, or anger—that can too easily steer us in the wrong direction. Emotionally agile people are not immune to stresses and setbacks. The key difference is that they know how to adapt, aligning their actions with their values and making small but powerful changes that lead to a lifetime of growth. Emotional agility is not about ignoring difficult emotions and thoughts; it’s about holding them loosely, facing them courageously and compassionately, and then moving past them to bring the best of yourself forward.

Drawing on her deep research, decades of international consulting, and her own experience overcoming adversity after losing her father at a young age, David shows how anyone can thrive in an uncertain world by becoming more emotionally agile. To guide us, she shares four key concepts that allow us to acknowledge uncomfortable experiences while simultaneously detaching from them, thereby allowing us to embrace our core values and adjust our actions so they can move us where we truly want to go.

Written with authority, wit, and empathy, Emotional Agility serves as a road map for real behavioral change—a new way of acting that will help you reach your full potential, whoever you are and whatever you face.

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