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Career Coaching by Former Fortune 500 Recruiters

Book Review: Your Brain At Work by David Rock

Your Brain At Work by David Rock is a great read, though be forewarned it toggles between being a breezy story and a data-intensive read on brain science.  Rock follows two fictional characters on a typical day at work and gives concrete examples of how the brain works (or doesn’t work!) through the typical challenges and stresses.  Email overwhelm, sticky client situations, multi-tasking, even getting lost to an offsite meeting are some of the scenarios.  The examples are relatable, and the advice is on point.

I especially loved Rock’s analogy of the brain as a stage with thoughts as the actors and your self-awareness/ self-mastery as the Director in charge.  It was very helpful to have such a tangible way to think of the jumble of thoughts and memories and emotions that move in and out of your head.  Another helpful paradigm is his classification of goals as toward goals or away goals (e.g., be fit is a toward goal but lose weight is an away goal).  Rock advises us to pick toward goals, thus training our brain on positives, solutions and actionable items.  It’s stuff I’ve heard elsewhere but Rock provides a good context within which to act on these ideas.

I highly recommend this book.  It was recommended to me by friend, fellow coach, and former improv classmate Paul McGinniss (http://response-ableconsulting.com/).  Thanks, Paul!  Hope to do improv with you again soon.


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