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Your Brain at Work [Kindle Edition]

David Rock
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £16.99
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Book Description

In Your Brain at Work, David Rock takes readers inside the heads—literally—of a modern two-career couple as they mentally process their workday to reveal how we can better organize, prioritize, remember, and process our daily lives. Rock, the author of Quiet Leadership and Personal Best, shows how it’s possible for this couple, 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.

Product Description


“Simply put, this intriguing book offers fascinating research about the brain’s functions, limitations and capacities, and it teaches us how we can “direct” our own brain chemistry in order to achieve fulfillment and success. Well worth reading and ingesting these skills.” (Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

“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 work—by 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)


"Rock makes the science of your mind accessible and relevant."--Fortune Small Business

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 678 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061771295
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books (6 Oct. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002Q1YE3K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #68,920 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book 16 Feb. 2010
One of the best books I've ever read. David Rock collects together a bunch of neuroscience, explains it extremely clearly, and shows how it affects the way your brain works at home, in the workplace, and in social interactions.

Each chapter is pretty short (ca. 14 pages, big writing). It introduces the topic by showing Emily and Paul in some situation (getting lost on the way to lunch with a client, meeting work colleagues in a new job, shouting at the kids, getting distracted, duking it out with co-workers) which inevitably goes badly. Then he introduces the brain systems involved in that interaction, explains how they work, and helps us to realise that those bits of the brain were only doing their thing - so it wasn't surprising Emily/Paul got flustered, lost, exasperated, etc. Then, now that we understand this, he suggests some very small changes Emily and Paul could make, and reruns the scenario - which inevitably turns out much better. Each chapter ends with a summary and four or five suggestions we can try out ourselves in similar situations.

The neuroscience explanations are straightforward and simple - you don't need a science degree to understand them. When you've read it, you'll probably think "why didn't we get this in school?!" (Much of it has only been discovered in the past 10 years or so.) We find out about dopamine, the amygdala (he calls it "amygdale"), the limbic system, the frontal lobes, alpha and gamma waves, mirror neurons, and more, and how they produce/influence our behaviour. To back it up, there are also about 20 pages of literature references and notes at the end.

Oh, and he has a nice, light sense of humour. A good person to sit next to on a transatlantic flight - puh, he'd even recognise when to stop talking!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
David writes a readable book and some of the insights in here are extremely powerful. David is not himself a neuroscientist and so his book is written from the perspective of a business coach who is intrigued to see how understanding the functioning of the brain can help people best manage themselves. I would personally rate it 5 stars execpt for two small caveats. One is you get a sense that in order to make his points clear he sometimes makes them overly simple - thus losing, on occasion, some important nuance. Secondly he does occasionally mix in some of his own theories (not proven using neuroscientific techniques such as fMRI) but does not clarify which findings are scientifically proven and which may simply be theories.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Think easier, buy this book 18 Jun. 2010
I bought this book after watching the Youtube video of the same name, and I have to say its just been brilliant to read, have noticed myself thinking differently about a number of things and have found that I'm more relaxed and more able to deal with busy-brain stress.

Highly reccomended!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly readable and useful, recommended 12 Jun. 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In years to come we may look back on this book and see it as an early important entrant in what will have become a significant field. From that perspective the book's shortcomings may be clearer, but today it is well worth reading to get a good overall understanding of how insights from brain research can help us improve our own effectiveness in our daily lives.

It is very clearly written, and David has followed his own advice in how to get messages across in an effective way.

There are many great insights in this book which are immediately applicable. Among them, the importance of labelling, and reappraising our thoughts, and the overall importance of being able to observe our own mental processes. Other useful ideas include the fact that our default position is to regard others as foes, and the overriding importance of the threat response. The fact that multitasking drastically reduces our effectiveness is also well explained, as is the importance of fairness.

Overall I found this book easy to read, well researched, interesting and useful, and definitely recommend it. My only reservation is that sometimes it is not clear what research David is referring to, and I would like some of the research to have been explained a bit more fully, so we could judge for ourselves the implications drawn from it. There are plenty of references at the back, but it is not always clear which claims are based on which research work. I'm sure in the future other works by this author and others will make this clearer and also build on the ongoing body of research in this area.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tough to Get Your Brain Round 'Your Brain' 27 Jan. 2012
I had a difficult time getting into and through this book. Unfortunately, I really can't tell you why. I think the main problem is that the writing style simply doesn't appeal to me. I don't mind stories; however, I like to have an overview of the information I'm supposed to learn from an example, before the example. So when Scene 1 starts off "It's 7:30, Monday morning. Emily gets up from..." I'm already feeling a bit left out and unsure of why I'm supposed to care. I would rather have the discussion about the brain first and then move into the stories. I fully acknowledge that this is simply a personal preference, but it made it difficult for me to press through the reading.

Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long tries very hard to take current neuroscience research on the human brain, explain it at a very basic level, and make it actionable by the general population. It appears to do a decent job of that. It is, however, very difficult to take research that is often focused on answering a single question, proving or disproving a hypothesis and generalizing that to a wider question or a larger population. Since I have not had the time to dig up and read all of the research used, this is my biggest concern about the book. Does the research really apply as broadly as the author implies?

David Rock spends much of the book boiling down to the idea of being mindful and present. There were a couple of places the book reminded me of GTD, mostly in the aspect of making sure you don't try to keep too much in your mind. The book stresses having only a limited number of things "on stage", whereas GTD stresses a "mind like water" where you keep absolutely nothing extra in your mind.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting book and like the fact that it has references to the...
Very interesting book and like the fact that it has references to the research in it. Need to finish reading it before I can say if I love it.
Published 6 days ago by Mantra
1.0 out of 5 stars I bought this book a few years ago and still ...
I bought this book a few years ago and still feel cheated! Here's the summary from memory; you use your frontal lobes a lot. Read more
Published 1 month ago by H.W Reviewer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very interesting reading
Published 1 month ago by Miss A L Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Helps you understand the brain
There is nothing better then an expert discussing the facts and findings on the brain. This book was very beneficial for my professional and personal life
Published 4 months ago by Mani Masuria - NLP Master Practitioner & Purpose Coach
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book explaining the workings of the brain
David Rock explains clearly, using the 'real-life' examples of a contemporary working couple and their children, how our brain responds to situations at work and in the home. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mrs B
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
facinating read!
Published 6 months ago by Mrs Susan Good
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Clear and concise
Published 6 months ago by Mike Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars My confidence compounded I couldn't help but share this work with one...
THIS BOOK ROCKS.I have been compelled to write a review for this book.For years I have been on a quest to optimize my effectiveness especially to have a deeper understanding of the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by HENRY CLEGG
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read
I very much enjoyed this book. It had a easily accessible style that made the neuroscience interesting and well explained. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Alex Quigley
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting scientifically and to improve productivity
Really interesting book. I enjoyed learning some neuroscience, and it was well explained (not partonising, but no prior knowledge assumed). Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
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