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The Inner Game of Work: Focus, Learning, Pleasure, and Mobility in the Workplace Paperback – September 11, 2001
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--Peter M. Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization
From the Inside Flap
Timothy Gallwey burst upon the scene twenty years ago with his revolutionary approach to excellence in sports. His bestselling books The Inner Game of Tennis and The Inner Game of Golf, with over one million copies in print, changed the way we think about learning and coaching. But the Inner Game that Gallwey discovered on the tennis court is about more than learning a better backhand; it is about learning how to learn, a critical skill that, in this case, separates the productive, satisfied employee from the rest of the pack. For the past twenty years Gallwey has taken his Inner Game expertise to many of America's top companies, including AT&T, Coca-Cola, Apple, and IBM, to teach their managers and employees how to gain better access to their own internal resources.
What inner obstacles is Gallwey talking about? Fear of failure, resistance to change, procrastination, stagnation, doubt, and boredom, to name a few. Gallwey shows you how to tap into your natural potential for learning, performance, and enjoyment so that any job, no matter how long you've been doing it or how little you think there is to learn about it, can become an opportunity to sharpen skills, increase pleasure, and heighten awareness. And if your work environment has been turned on its ear by Internet technology, reorganization, and rapidly accelerating change, this book offers a way to steer a confident course while navigating your way toward personal and professional goals.
The Inner Game of Work teaches you the difference between a rote performance and a rewarding one. It teaches you how to stop working in the conformity mode and start working in the mobility mode. It shows how having a great coach can make as much difference in the boardroom as on the basketball court-- and Gallwey teaches you how to find that coach and, equally important, how to become one. The Inner Game of Work challenges you to reexamine your fundamental motivations for going to work in the morning and your definitions of work once you're there. It will ask you to reassess the way you make changes and teach you to look at work in a radically new way.
"Ever since The Inner Game of Tennis, I've been fascinated and have personally benefitted by the incredibly empowering insights flowing out of Gallwey's self-one/self-two analysis. This latest book applies this liberating analogy to work inspiring all of us to relax and trust our true self."
--Stephen R. Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- ASIN : 0375758178
- Publisher : Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (September 11, 2001)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780375758171
- ISBN-13 : 978-0375758171
- Item Weight : 6.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.17 x 0.52 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #73,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Instead, I chose to order TIGOW because I thought the groundbreaking concepts in TIGOT would not only be repeated in the former but that the former would reflect the author's evolving understanding of inner games. After all, many years had gone by since the publication of the later.
Having completed TIGOW, I have no reason to believe that I was wrong.
Anyway, TIGOW is excellent. Reading it will almost certainly help your inner game.
I have nothing to add to what other people have said about the book.
Except that the story the author relates concerning the class he took as a Havard undergrad featuring then professor B.F. Skinner demonstrating the power of operant conditioning on a pigeon subject has stayed with me. That story alone might be worth the price of the book for those who understand much of its chilling and not-so-chilling implications.
Get the book.
I am not yet through, but reading with a highlighter so I can review it more quickly in subsequent readings, which I would think will be necessary as we tend to slip back to old habits. And not just us. Many athletes and world class performers lose their edge and succumb to pressures about performance. But if we adopt different mindsets, we can get back into the flow where things happen easily and without thought.
Wonderful overview of the dialogue between the ears.
It also discusses how our environment influences us negatively when we're unaware and not focused.
The concept of mobility and the analogy of being behind the wheel of a car actually directing our careers was excellent!
Definite must read...enjoy
After Gallwey finished his English study at Harvard University in the nineteen seventies, he went to work as a tennis coach. Doing that, he discovered that nearly all his pupils tried very hard to improve one aspect of there play that they did not like, for instance their backhand. They expected Gallwey to give them the remedy for their problem. First, this was exactly what he did: "hold your racket like this, stand there, hit the ball then", etc. He instructed pupils but noticed that they showed resistance to his instructions and that their learning did not go well. Then he noticed, to his surprise, that the performance suddenly was better when pupils stopped trying so hard to correct their mistakes but instead just played tennis for fun. Based on this observation that the 'forced mode' of learning was less effective than the `natural' mode Gallwey built his approach. His book `The Inner Game of Tennis' became a bestseller.
Gallwey proposed that the ineffective, instructive dialogue between coach and pupil also existed within the head of the pupil. While playing, the pupil continuously gave himself instructions and comments: "that was really bad, hold your racket like this, do this, don't do that" etc. Gallwey called the coach inside the pupils head SELF-1. In Gallwey's words: SELF-1 is the collection of internalised voices from the outside world. To whom then did this internal coach speak? According to Gallwey it spoke to the person him or herself. He called this spoken-to self the SELF-2. The best learning took place when SELF-1 was turned off. How is this possible? Gallwey's answer: While SELF-1 is busy giving vague and (too) simple instructions, SELF-2 is doing something infinitely more complex and precise: computing the curve of the ball, instructing muscle groups, taking into account the wind speed, the speed of the ball, etc.
Gallwey concluded that SELF-1 was a from of interference that led to nothing else than an underutilization of the person's potential. In other words: Performance = Potential - Interference. In still other words: don't let SELF-1 distract you from your task and goal!
Gallwey formulated a different, more effective and more elegant way of coaching aimed at achieving three things: 1) Awareness: by letting SELF-2 do its work the pupil can focus on collecting information on the critical variables in the task (where is the ball landing? How fast is it going? How is it influenced by the wind? etc) which leads to a greater awareness of the task; 2) Choice: it is essential that the pupil determines what he or she wants to achieve. Without this choice there is no direction and focused attention is impossible; 3) Trust: trust yourself. This goes for both the coach and the pupil. This refers to the confidence that SELF-2 will be capable of fulfilling the task.
Galwey gradually started to apply his approach to others field that tennis: golf, skiing, music and ...work. He noticed that the effects were the same. For instance: a salesman who stopped instructing and commenting himself became more effective. In seminars Gallwey draws a triangle with on the corners the words: performance, learning en enjoyment. Gallwey claims that each of these are of great importance in work and that they are dependent on each other. When you neglect enjoyment, this will eventually also lead to performance problems. What Gallwey says about the relationship between performance and learning is interesting. Performance leads to an observable change in the external world. Learning, however, establishes a change within the person who learns. It is precisely because of this that learning results are hard to measure. Enjoymentis important according to Gallwey because it refers to the relationship the person has to him or herself. If you appreciate yourself, you won't deny yourself enjoyment for a prolongued period.
Since his discovery Gallwey's most important ambition has been to let himself and others enjoy the freedom to express in their work who they really are and what they really want. He says that human freedom is nowhere more constrained than in the world of work. Nowadays, the most prevailing experience of work even seems to be: someting I'd rather not be doing if I had a choice. Gallwey says that striving for freedom at work is not the same as wanting to avoid responsibility or bosses. It is about choosing a way of working which shows responsibility to oneself. A way which is aligned with your choices and values. Gallwey uses the word 'conformity' to describe the situation when an individual gives priority to extranl demands above his internal fire. Doing this brings the security of doing and being like others but it puts out our internal fire and it diminishes our chance of satisfaction. If life decisions are based on external demands instead of internal demands, someting of the greatest value can be lost. The conflict between external and internal voices seems unfair. There is constant pressure from the outside world to conform. Sanctions, corrections, instructions, rewards, etc. are everywhere. The external world is so large and the internal so small. But the internal has one advantage: it is always there. An important step would be to understand why conformity is so attractive to us and how it affects our way of working. As an alternative to conformity Gallwey names its opposite 'mobility': the freedom to move in any direction without self-restriction.
The central idea in this book is that there is a better way of thinking about working and learning that comes down to giving more priority to our inner capacities and whishes and less to external expectations, norms and instructions. I think this is a valuable book. The author gives good and convincing examples of the inner game, for instance applied to the field of sales. In this time of extreme change good and new ideas about how people can learn and perform are wellcome. Gallwey delivers this.
Top reviews from other countries
It is easily understood and practiced, which is the whole point, really.
It offers opportunity for development for anyone today, not just those engaged in change processes.
It makes so much sense that you will be drawn into using the practices without knowing it.