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
As an earlier reviewer wrote, the content might be good, but it's really hard to overlook the speaker. Very hard to listen to. Would not recommend as audiobook.
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 :)
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.
Love listening to everything in science, astronomy, neuroscience, education and creativity.
David Rock has written an excellent book that consists of solid neuroscience examples and cute analogies that is neatly tied to real world examples about how brain responds to different office situations. I have a reasonable neuroscience background and thoroughly enjoyed his description about various brain areas and how they function. With these insights it becomes much more easy to apply various strategies to excel in office environment (and school or other competitive environment). The speaker was quite pleasant to listen after initial adjustment period. A MUST listen title.
I am not a big one for self-help books, but this book is very helpful in the way it not only sheds light on the science behind brain function, but also offers useful tips on how to apply that insight on a daily basis. It keeps the science simple and the examples relevant: we all face the daily challenges that the author's principle characters encounter. He shows us why we succumb to fuzzy thinking and offers a way out of the vicious cycle of self-defeatist behavior. Very worthwhile!
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.
This audio book is the user’s manual for the most important machine that we will ever own - the brain. The concepts are akin to a driving instructor telling you not to drive with the handbrake on – it makes such good sense once you know why. The whole book is filled with those “Ahhh! So that is why I do that!” moments.
The adjustments that the book recommends are not earth shaking or difficult behaviour changes, but are instead simple, logical and effective fine tuning adjustments that help life flow more easily and with less stress, based on concepts that are simple to grasp and obvious in effect. The examples are set in a day to day context that makes applying the concepts to real life simple and effective.
The narration is clear, accessible and engaging. The narrator’s style is a good match for the author’s sense of humour and presents a potentially dry subject in an approachable and easy to understand manner.
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.
This book has both scientific and usable information!
I liked the reader, he does not use a lot of inflection but this helped me understand the new information.
I will listen again!
The details are based on research. The research is then presented to give the listener an understanding why some activities are difficult, and then provides examples how to change the situation to make increase the liklihood of success by simple techniques to work the way your brain works best.
"Simple and Easy to Follow."
Yes. Because it is clear and concise. David Rock strung together in a very convincing and compelling narrative why we do what we do, how we do what we do, and most importantly of all, who to CHANGE what we do.
I would compare it to a book I read by Steve Peters called 'The Chimp Paradox'. That book also speaks about the brain, the why, the how, and the what: it did not give what David has managed to do, which is string together the theory and a practical way of explaining the theory, thus linking the thoery and practice. The Stage, the Actors, the Director...all excellent ideas that make the underpinning theory much easier to understand.
The Intermission: the introduction of The Director. In this particular scene, chapter 8, David shows us the 'how to' bit. I kind of feel that this scene really puts all the other scenes, those that went before and those that followed it, together because it is Self-Awareness that we ultimately must have command of if we are to really make progress through life in a way that is life enhancing and life fulfilling.
The book made me both laugh and cry. I could see so much of myself in Paul and Emily at the beginning of each scene and I could see how much more I could be when I listened to the 'take twos' at the end of each scene.
A great read! I am a Results Coach and have found the work that David has done in putting this book together, the ideas around neuroscience and the simple, straight forward language that he has used to describe the incredible work that is going on in that particular field, has been breath taking. By making neuroscience so very accessible, I feel as if my world has opened up no end, and, armed with this information, I am confident I am able to coach many more people to help them help themselves to get the Results they want in life.
"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.
"This book really plays with your mind"
A good book but only listen/read if you are doing nothing else as you need to give it all of your energy.
"Your Brain At Work"
Really loved this book. It is one of the few self help books with examples that can happen in any professional's life. The book gives effective ways of making your brain operate effectively in stressful time-bound situations and in working with other people. Definitely one of the best self help books I ever listened to!
"Great practical ideas"
I was reluctant to buy this audiobook because of the various comments relating to the narrators advice. I'm glad I decided to ignore the comments and buy it! Ok, I know what people mean about the narrator's voice, he does sound a little like the voiceover guy on 'The Twilight Zone'!, but to be honest I didn't find this off-putting at all - on the contrary his vocal style seemed to fit the subject matter.
As far as the content goes, the book explains how the brain works, how that effects peoples performance at every day work tasks, and tips about how to organise your thinking in a more effective way. The book uses a series of scenes from a play depicting two people at work in order to illustrate the key points.
I found this a really interesting and useful book, and have already started to apply some of the ideas.
"Why don't we know this already?"
Your brain is up there with, er oxygen and it is amazing how little most of us know about its capabilities and limitations and how to make the most of this most vital of assets. The core analogy, namely seeing the brain as a stage, works well. I would have awarded 5 stars but found that at just short of 10hrs the message could have been delivered more succinctly.
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