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
This book is a balanced blend of scientific data and storytelling. The author explains how your brain works (e.g., it's easier to drive and talk at the same time, but not read email and listen to a conversation). You learn what to do -- minimize multitasking as much as possible and don't do it at all when the two tasks rely on the same region of the brain. The author then takes you through the problems faced by two fictitious characters, Emily and Paul. The same scenes are replayed following his advice. Although the scenarios are fictitious, they represent common situations at work and how they can be handled poorly (as we react without thinking) or effectively (stay calm and re-direct it to a positive outcome). The pattern in the book of data, scene, and replay of scene reminds you to slow down and think, especially as you see how Emily and Paul in their rush to get things done, they end up doing rework to fix their problems. I think this is a book you can read again to identity bad habits you continue to do and work on those.
I love listening to books when cycling, paddleboarding, etc but I press pause when I need to concentrate. Its safer & I don't lose the plot!
I'm not really the kind of person who reads self-improvement books, particularly those about work, but this one attracted my attention for some reason. I found it to be full of interesting insights about how we function, how we can control our thought processes more productively, how we can get on better with other people and get the best out of our relationships.
The book uses a series of 'before and after' stories about everyday work and social situations. In the 'before' stories, the characters get themselves into a pickle by making all the wrong choices and messing things up. They make dumb decisions and miss out on business deals, upsetting their colleagues and family in the process.
In between the 'before' and 'after' stories, our narrator tells us how we could improve this performance, by understanding how our brain works. For example, he focuses on the extent to which people are motivated by fairness, their status, and their need for certainty. If you pay attention to these things when you interact with people, you will get better results.
In the 'after' stories, the main characters incorporate these concepts into their interactions with others, and everything goes swimmingly. Their goals are achieved and everyone is happy.
Although this method of conveying these ideas verges on the comical by being a bit too good to be true, with too many happy endings, it is a very clear way to get the ideas across.
I am looking forward to trying them out, although I will probably make a complete hash of it and upset everyone! Overall, I recommend the book.
I found the book helpful and covered some powerful concepts however I struggled with the complete lack of enthusiasm in narration and inconsistent tonal inflections. You will know what I mean if you listen to it.
Though the science was good, the stories to highlight the point tended to follow the somewhat annoying format
1. Person has the worst day possible imaginable
2. You learn how the brain works
3. Person uses knowledge and has the greatest possible day known to man and everything just works out.
I understand why the author has done this but it can get repetitive.
Awesome book ! Understanding how our brain works, makes it easy afterwards to identify what is going on in specific situations and adapt accordingly. We can feel it's based on a lot of hard science, but well adapted so that we are not overwhelmed by it.
Thumbs up :)
Now I understand why I feel tired somes times and unproductive , it is not my motivation level but the capacity of brain.Practical and to the point.
There is some practical advise here. I enjoyed it very much. The only audiobook I have listened to twice. It is very well formatted, blending ideas with stories to guide the listener to greater understanding. I found the information is very relevant and the listening quite enjoyable.
Book is very well organized, pithy for the most part and the author uses mnemonics to help you retain key concepts. Some books related books are mostly an endless rehash of clinical studies findings and other people's ideas, but this book delivers value added for the author's ideas. Basically you follow a couple through several work/ family life base case situations, then the author introduces his concepts and retells the story where the characters are handling their situations better.
Different aspects of the subject matter are covered from how your brain works, limitations of your brain and re-exploring principles that we do know but that we sometimes forget to implement daily, like how our perception of ourselves and our status relative to others influences our interactions. One model that is introduced in the second half of the book is the SCARF model, Status - Certainty - Autonomy - Relatedness - Fairness. Why these concepts are important ties in with brain biology.
My husband thinks that this book is especially useful within an office context. I saw more applications and view title as being "how your brain functions" and I find that the practical advice will apply both in and out of the office, including even interaction with your family members.
The narration was fine. Don't know why the other guy complained about it. The content should be interesting for people who have little idea how the brain works. I've been reading books and listening to lectures for a few years now, so very little was new to me. The book teaches to recognize and control the limbic system and gives real-life examples to illustrate how it works.
Yes - I found a lot of good information in this book. I especially liked the parts on decoys and anchoring with pricing.
The study that found adding something to cause moral thought could effect the immediately behavior so much.
Boring, monotone, slow; this was the only thing I didn't like about the book - the narration
This book is more of a cognitive endeavor than an emotional one IMO. I found the majority of it very informative and very good.
I took many notes and learned quite a bit from this book. I enjoyed the stories and was very interested with the studies listed. A better narrator would have made it better.
It changed the way I think! This book is like a toolbox for you brain. It provides easy to understand analogies of what your brain is doing in various scenarios at work. From multitasking and distractions to controlling stress and how becomes easier with an understanding what is going on in your brain . And it is all back up by neuroscience, so get ready for a refresher on all the parts of your brain.
"Time Management with Mindfulness"
I rated highly as I step beyond previous time management training \ books.
Its focus on the effort required for certain activities and guidance on how to work with the way our brains work both hit home and gave practical guidance.
I useful read that brings together then ability to get more done with the need to be aware of how our mind works.
far too many self help books are one trick ponies which make a mountain out of a mole hill, are poorly supported by evidence or seem to have been rather selective and subjective in their reading. this book is far from like this. the refreshing message is; use the evidence about brains to be best able to use your own. with such a mission rock doesnt have to coerce evidence to fit any theory and you're left with the impression that you are actually hearing the best summary of brain research he could muster. the use of vignettes to demonstrate the practical application of cutrent understanding also means this is easy to digest. its no mean feat. thus book deserves the positive reviews it has been getting.
One of the best
The realisation that multi tasking is just not possible and why.
Bringing to life the concepts of Nlp in the two characters we follow and how their days would be different by understanding how your brain works
Makes you stop and think whenever you lose control or focus
Should be taught in schools
"Had to put it down"
This is an audiobook that resonated with me so often I had to keep pausing it... and just think. I have to say that it's one of the most useful books I've listened to - I think it's changed my life, my family's and hopefully those of my colleagues'!
I would imagine that everyone would take some gems away from this.
"Really Clever Story!"
I really enjoyed the way David put together two different approaches, it made it much easier for me to relate to and maximise relevance when viewing the two characters from a with and without an understanding of how their brains work model.
The information is put together in a very clear, uncluttered manner. Sufficiently packed with important information yet not overly technical.
David had me seeing myself in so much of the characters at the beginning, and also gave me the solution to my seemingly impossible situation at the end.
"Fantasic and Very Usefull practical information"
Of course.. it is straight forward. very usefull in life and in work
Well explained easy to understand technical somehow but to the point
One of them yes
Thanks Audible for this service
"Loved it - but only on second attempt"
Not sure why but I started to listened to this book before and it really didn’t connect with me. Was irritated with the style and the characters. Clearly it must have been my mindset at the time because recently I had a long journey and thought I may as well give it another go and switch to something else if I still don’t like it. Wow! - what a difference on the second attempt. Unlike other listeners, I found the scenarios really helpful and the information I took away is making a real difference. This is the first book that has actually helped me understand the days that just go wrong and how to change it and of course why some days just flow.
I plan to replay it whilst not in the car and take more notes so I can refer to them and help keep me on track.
Highly recommend this, but be aware that you may need to hang in there and get into the subject and characters before fully understanding the message.
"Did not like"
I did not like this audio book and only managed to about two thirds of the way through before giving up. I'm not quite sure what it was that put me off although the constant repetition of the examples given from a positive and negative aspect got boring quickly. I also didn't like the narrators voice which didn't help with keeping the subject interesting.
"Very interesting and relevant!"
It was good to know it was not just me who, when I get to work find it very hard to concentrate on one thing as my brain decides to jump around all over the place especially when under pressure.
This book brought out several things I know I do - That feeling of dread when 100 emails download in the morning, the lack of focus and the feeling of being constantly interrupted by my own thoughts, putting things off etc
By using the analogy of the stage to represent how your brain works and how much energy somethings require it was really easy to understand the key points from this book. At first I was worried as the narrator started talking about Frontal Cortex, frontal lobes etc and thought this would be a dull listen but by using the characters in the book, couple of busy married people with pressured jobs and typical family life, it made the theories and approaches from the book very relevant, easy to understand and grasp.
Really good audio book if you are trying to focus more and understand how your brain works (at work and at home) and how you need to manage your brain and stop it losing focus and energy then I would recommend this book.
"Helped me better focus at work"
I work with multinational teams spread out across the globe and the topics discussed in this book addressed major areas of concern that I had in such working environments. The author starts with an example that highlights a less than ideal way of dealing with a scenario, discusses what went wrong, why, and how to avoid it, then goes through a modified version of the scenario that fixes what went wrong.
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