Top positive review
35 people found this helpful
on 16 February 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!