Meet Emily and Paul: The parents of two young children, Emily is the newly promoted VP of marketing at a large corporation while Paul works from home or from clients' offices as an independent IT consultant. Their lives, like all of ours, are filled with a bewildering blizzard of emails, phone calls, yet more emails, meetings, projects, proposals, and plans. Just staying ahead of the storm has become a seemingly insurmountable task.
In this book, we travel inside Emily and Paul's brains as they attempt to sort the vast quantities of information they're presented with, figure out how to prioritize it, organize it and act on it. Fortunately for Emily and Paul, they're in good hands: David Rock knows how the brain works-and more specifically, how it works in a work setting. Rock shows how it's possible for Emily and Paul, and thus the reader, not only to survive in today's overwhelming work environment but succeed in it-and still feel energized and accomplished at the end of the day.
Your Brain At Work explores issues such as:
- why our brains feel so taxed, and how to maximize our mental resources
- why it's so hard to focus, and how to better manage distractions
- how to maximize your chance of finding insights that can solve seemingly insurmountable problems
- how to keep your cool in any situation, so that you can make the best decisions possible
- how to collaborate more effectively with others
- why providing feedback is so difficult, and how to make it easier
- how to be more effective at changing other people's behavior.
©2009 David Rock (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers
I bought this book hoping that it would help me with my quest to be more productive at work. However this book really did not add anything or help me out in any way. It was like listening to a neuro psychology text book. There were some interesting points but they were lost in useless psychological dribble and the narrator is so painfully slow, I couldnt finish the entire book. Bottom line dont waste your money, there is nothing in here that will help you be more productive. I would suggest buying the "get it done guys" book on organization. It is delivered well and will give you direct tips to use in your day to day work.
Be the master of your fate; the captain of your soul.
After reading some reviews I was not completely sure it was what I was after. I'm very glad I downloaded it. I am only 3/4 way through and felt compelled to write a review. I disagree with the review saying the narration was off-putting. I found it quite good. I tend to focus on what good I can find in everything, not what isn't perfect. I couldn't care less if he sang the book. From my perspective the content is first class and the narration is good. I like the way David Rock also lends credit to his message by quoting from other research/books and giving book titles I can consider reading/listening to. Putting messages and teachings in story format gives a real-life way of understanding it.
There was so much detailed technical information in this audiobook that I listened to it twice, back to back, on a long car trip. This was a very informative and easy to follow explanation about how your brain works in certain situations, how to recognize trouble spots, and ways to improve productivity. If I had to sum it up in one sentence, it would be, "Multi-tasking is inefficient and a bad idea." But it's really much more than that.
Other reviewers have complained about the narrator, but his voice and style didn't bother me at all. I guess it's a matter of taste, but he was better than many other readers.
The set-up is this: we follow a married professional couple through their day. A scene is played out once with the person being reactive to his environment without considering the state of his brain. Then there is some technical explanation about the brain and ways you can manage it. The scene is then played out again with the person now making different decisions because he is noticing his brain state and taking appropriate action.
There is a really good section about "reappraisal" of stressful incidents or situations, so that your brain automatically reduces the feelings of stress later, even when recalling a bad situation. That section could have been more detailed, but it is still valuable.
I originally rated this as a full five, but on further listening, the author's overly simplistic and reductionistic view of behaviorism then concerned me that perhaps he has done that in other areas I have less training in. Based on that concern i had to downgrade the review. nonetheless i do think it is a very good work, using somewhat simplified versions of the present state of neurobiological and neuro-psychological information to generate a more than reasonable user's brain manual. Attention, concentration, addiction etc all come under this exposition and i feel it is sufficiently well done to be quite useful to many at multiple levels of field specific information.
My red flag issues with his handling of "behaviorism": First of all Pavlov (of classical conditioning fame) is Ivan Pavlov, not Igor Pavlov. That being his first sentence I knew he did not have much knowledge about what he was about to present as fact. Far more importantly, the father of Behaviorism, is BF Skinner, and contrary to Mr. Rock's understanding, it is the study of the effects of intelligently applied, research based,consequences on past behavior as it impacts and alters future behavior (to wit... Las Vegas makes billions applying these principles, yet people can learn pro social and moral development, or the lack thereof through the same principles). For Mr. Rock to reduce behaviorism to the simplistic pairing of food powder and a bell, which is in fact what is knows as "classical conditioning" (largely physiological) is just flat out erroneous. To then say it has survived because it is stupidly simply, and people like stupid and simple, is in a word just plain stupid. Behaviorism is "operant conditioning" and the only connection to classical conditioning is simply that Pavlovian (classical) conditioning was a historical precedent (i.e., it came first therefore "classical') that led to later discoveries in the field of learning theory. My concern is that is if he made such egregious, presumptive and assumptive errors about something rather simple, has he done the same in the much more complicated fields of neurobiology and neuropsychology. This suggests faulty editorial review and undermines my faith in the ultimate accuracy of his conclusions. However, in his defense, at my level of general understanding, I did not find any other glaring errors. Perhaps someone in those fields can best address the veracity of his material. I have my doubts, though i still highly recommend the book for its functional utility.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
I found this book overly simplistic and relatively annoying. This tries to be a self help book ??? but some of the suggestions are a bit silly. The examples are contrived and the ???science??? is a bit half baked. Some of the ideas make sense and have some basis in neural science or common sense, but other ideas are just opinions. This is another in a recent steam of books that start out apparently as a popularized science book then switch to a book about mindfulness and meditation midway through. Mindfulness and meditation are interesting techniques that should be (and have been) objectively studied but this book seems to bend the science to promote the meditative techniques.
This book is an interesting and easy read. It has the substance of a non-fiction book, built like a story book. The points given are applicable and easy to remember. I have recommended this book to both co-workers and friends.
The subject of this book is incredibly powerful and the author uses a unique style to explain the physiology of the brain and how it impacts our moment by moment actions as individuals. I've listened twice to grasp all of the practical advice for implementation in my everyday life, from the corporate environment, to my personal and family relationships.
Over the last couple of days I've had to fast for medical reasons, and along the way, I found myself drawing on learning points from the book about brain physiology to understand why I was feeling the way I was (physically, mentally and emotionally) at certain times during the fast. I could "label" my thought patterns making them easier to deal with and to communicate to others. I could recognize when my pre-frontal cortex needed fuel to control the emotional brain functions. It was very enlightening!!
But all the good could be undone by the narrator. This reading is incredibly syncopated and difficult to tolerate. The reader has a naturally slow tempo that for some reason (I can only imagine poor editing) suddenly speeds up, and then just as quickly sloooowwwws down again. I had too listen to the first reading at 1.5x speed to tolerate the narrator.
Overall, however, this book has excellent material. It is so powerful that I will be buying a text version so I can highlight and review brain improvement techniques regularly!!
I found this a very helpful book that connects the science of how the brain works with how to be more effective at work. The before and after "case studies" were also useful to see the theory in practice. Very insightful work and I've used the insights already in my work, especially in dealing with conflict.
You would think that this book with be a dry read...but I was wrong. I couldn't wait to get to the next listen. I encourage you all at any age to give a listen.
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