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Tania Luna        

Leadership Trainer, Researcher, Author & Co-founder of LifeLabs Learning

Specializing in organizational psychology, emotion regulation, and surprise psychology, Tania Luna has called herself by the unusual title of “surprisologist.” The co-founder and CEO of LifeLabs Learning, Luna thinks deeply about how to delight and how to help individuals and teams thrive in uncertain circumstances and develop the bonds needed to get through them.

When Luna was invited to take part in TED’s Worldwide Talent Search in 2012, she expected to give a talk about surprise and the importance of not being attached to outcomes, however, she was inspired to tell a more personal story -- one many of her closest friends didn’t know -- about her Ukrainian family getting asylum in the United States when she was 6-yeard-old and arriving in New York with virtually nothing. She sees her work as having a connection to her upbringing, in which a piece of Bazooka bubble gum, a thrown-out toy or a misdelivered pizza was magical because it gave her an appreciation for the joy of little surprises.

Tania's work has been featured in dozens of media outlets, including Psychology Today, HBR, TIME, NPR, Wharton Business Radio, HuffPost, O Magazine, Mashable, and The Wall Street Journal. Her TED talk has over 1.8 million views.

Speech Topics

Sparking Lasting Engagement

These days, whether it’s in the classroom or the boardroom, attention is our most precious resource. It’s no longer enough to be the loudest and most repetitive; to gain attention in today’s world, we have to spark and nourish engagement. In this session, audiences will learn how to bring their listeners to the edges of their seats through surprise-rich resources such as skillful vulnerability, story-telling, and gamification. Good for: educator development, sales, marketing, and outreach

Harnessing the Science of Delight

What if we didn’t just sell products and services? What if we also took advantage of all our interactions and used them to create delight? Research shows that surprise and delight create loyalty but, even more importantly, they fill our work with meaning. In this session, audiences will learn how to track, set, and exceed expectations and walk away brimming with ideas to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Good for: customer service development, sales, and organizational development

Creating a Culture of Playing All the Way

Why is it that we sometimes hold back? Why do we stay in our comfort zones even though we wish we could push ourselves beyond our boundaries? It isn’t just a matter of personal growth; when voices in our organizations go unheard and limits go untested, we all lose out. In this session, your audience members will discover how to break through their own barriers, embrace mistakes, and create a culture of learning, positive risk-taking, and playfulness. Good for: leadership, organizational and personal development

Thriving in the Unknown

Our world is changing faster than ever before, but most of us don’t have the skills to take advantage of change and uncertainty. Our bodies respond as though we’re threatened, so we either retreat or become obsessed with taking control. This reaction leads to ineffective leaders and teams at a time when we need them to be at their best. The good news? When we understand the psychology behind our behavior and learn powerful reframing techniques, we begin to view the unknown as a world of opportunity. In this session, participants will learn about authentic and collaborative leadership and practice adapting to change. Good for: leadership and team development, change management, innovation


Tania Luna: Is Optimism Simply A Matter Of Perspective? : NPR
In describing her experiences of immigration, poverty and homelessness, psychologist Tania Luna explains that gratitude for the small things creates a rich and ...

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