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Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long Hardcover – October 6, 2009
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“This is the best, the most helpful, and the brainiest book I’ve read on how the brain affects how, why and what we do and act.” (Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business and University Professor, University of Southern California and author of On Becoming a Leader)
“This book will improve how you workby showing you how your brain works!” (Marshall Goldsmith, author of What Got You Here Won't Get You There)
“Rock makes the science of your mind accessible and relevant.” (Daniel Akst, Fortune Small Business)
“Rock deserves an ovation for his writing and direction.” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
“Rock makes the science of your mind accessible and relevant.” (Fortune Small Business)
“…highly informative look at the way our minds work at work.” (St. Paul Pioneer Press)
About the Author
David Rock is a consultant and leadership coach who advises corporations around the world. The author of Coaching with the Brain in Mind, Quiet Leadership, and Personal Best, he is the CEO of Results Coaching Systems, a leading global consulting and coaching organization. He is on the advisory board of the international business school CIMBA and the cofounder of the NeuroLeadership Institute and Summit. He lives in Sydney, Australia, and New York City.
More About the Author
In 2004 I found that brain research provided a missing piece in our understanding of how to be more effective leaders, managers or coaches. I have now written three books based on what I have been learning, including Quiet Leadership, the text book Coaching with the Brain in Mind, and Your Brain at Work.
I coined the term 'NeuroLeadership' in 2007, and am now closely involved with running a global Institute that is involved in research and education around how to improve organizations through the use of neuroscience. Learn more on that at www.neuroleadership.org I also run a consulting and training organization at NeuroLeadership.com
I maintain an active personal blog at www.davidrock.net, as well as posting regularly on psychology today, on a blog called 'Your Brain at Work'.
I live between Sydney Australia and New York City, and have a wonderful wife and two beautiful young daughters.
Top Customer Reviews
In "Your Brain at Work" David speaks clearly and meaningfully -- with humor and relevance to everyday life -- about why it is our brains work better under some circumstances than others. He's frank about the limitations of our cognitive abilities -- even the brightest among us -- explaining the "why" and "how" of the limits, and, most importantly, "how to make it better" without frazzling yourself with multitasking, split attention, and other inefficient ways of trying to do your work.
He manages to do this with warmth and humor, all the while bringing the reader inside the findings of some of the top researchers in neuroscience.
I'm a neuropsychologist by training, and now do psychotherapy with high-functioning, successful people who complain about feeling depleted, overwhelmed, out of balance, and burned out. I'm grateful to have this book to supplement our work on the brain-based issues that create the perpetual sense of swimming upstream.
The book is laid out in a format of a theatrical play, where it introduces two ordinary people and follows their respective days. Both of the characters are facing a variety of challenges, very similar to the ones that millions of professionals deal with on a daily basis. After presenting a particular scenario and having one of the characters go through it, the author then performs a thorough analysis of what each of the characters did wrong and how they could have approached a particular challenge or activity in a much more efficient way. The best part is, obviously, that the analysis and the corrections in the behavior are all based on the most recent research in cognitive neuroscience.
The narrative is broken into different "acts" according to the progression of the work day of the characters and the type of mental processes that are being discussed. I think this is a particularly good structure because it a)personifies the cognitive challenges by bringing up prototypical characters that most of us can relate to b)organizes the context in a way that is logically progressive and easy to follow and c)makes the book easy for later reference.
As far as the content, to use the book's own language, a big dopamine rush is how I would describe it. It is really full of a good and useful insight, at the same time boasting a high level of writing that uses plenty of metaphors and is very easy to read (took me 5 days of reading before bed to finish).Read more ›
This is one of the most practical `neuro' books on the market at the moment. It is aimed at the `lay-person' rather than the `neuro -enthusiast'. The focus of the book is based on Rock's belief that ....'by understanding your brain, you increase your capacity to change your brain.' As a `neuro-enthusiast and translator' I agree with him completely, and so do neuro-specialists such as Dan Seigel. However, it might be more accurate in the case of this book to say `by understanding your mind, you increase your capacity to change your brain'. This book is about more than the physiology and processing power of the brain. Many of these practical tips have been tried and tested for years but we now have evidence to show why they work. Rock clearly outlines these for us.
David Rock uses three parallel techniques to involve us. These run throughout the book:
* A story - The story of Emily and Paul allow us to identify with their thinking at work.
* A metaphor - The use of a stage and actors enable us to easily understand the roles of various parts of our thinking
* A reference to research and the physical brain - Research data that underpins the book. Mercifully he avoids using large numbers of neuro- jargon. He focuses on the role of the pre-frontal Cortex (the director) and the way in which we use our `director' in dealing with chemical responses. He introduces us to three positive chemicals; dopamine (feel good), nor-adrenaline (excitement) and oxytocin (collaboration).
The combination of all three of these works because it draws people with different thinking preferences into the content.Read more ›
a. summarize the book's content,
b. provide an overview of the amazon reviews of this book, and
c. evaluate the book's merits.
The overarching message is that we benefit ourselves when we engage in metacognition (Rock's term). We improve ourselves by becoming more aware of how our power of awareness functions. Rock often expresses this idea metaphorically by telling us that it is to our advantage to develop a strong "director."
When we enhance our self-awareness, we appreciate that human beings are motivated by five types of phenomena: Social status, Certainty, Autonomy (independence), Relatedness (social connections), and Fairness. Enhancement of these five dimensions is experienced as rewarding. Diminution along any of these dimensions is just as aversive as physical pain.
When we are suffering because one or more of these dimensions has been threatened, we can use three procedures to restore our mental well-being.
The first is labeling. By describing an emotion we can reduce it. If someone insulted me, I can tell myself that I am angry. That will make me feel better.
The second procedure is reappraisal. By changing our perspective or our interpretation of a situation, we can lessen the negative emotion. If someone insulted me, I can take his perspective and realize that he is so upset that he is not responsible for his actions. Or, perhaps I could reinterpret the situation and realize that what I took to be an insult might not have been one after all.
The last procedure is lowering expectations.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have probably over $500 in audible books on neuroscience. Trying to make sense of the invisible angst that envelopes me just 30-short minutes after an optimistic morning... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Lisa Venturini
Another "life coach" has gathered and organized into chapters the collective common sense of earlier book-peddling psychologists and happiness hucksters who hawked these... Read morePublished 8 days ago by W Perry Hall
Rock has managed to give practical meaning to several studies on the brain. Managers, coordinators, project managers and people working with others and under pressure may find... Read morePublished 13 days ago by CarlMR
Accidentally came across this book..Jump started my 2016. Would recommend even kids to read this book. Would like to review and re-read this in couple of months '''Published 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
This book is surely one of the best I read in 2015, and I recommend it with tremendous enthusiasm. David Rock... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Jessica Kizorek
Based in neuroscience and not in rah rah positivity. Very easy read and very actionable. Would highly recommend this to your library.Published 1 month ago by Ninad Shinde
I'm always interested in books on how the brain works. This one is one of the better ones I've read. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Southernyankee99