Your Brain at Work

Your Brain at Work is a pop psych book.

Unfortunately, the category “pop psych” book has been misused and abused in the past, so that classification does not do the book justice.

Your Brain at Work is how a pop psych book should be: well-grounded in research, very well written and offering useful behavioral tips which follow directly from understanding how the brain works. As the cover of the book states: know your brain, transform your performance.

David Rock is really good at making neuroscience’s findings relevant to everyday’s life: each chapter opens with a snapshot of work life (e.g. a person having to make a decision, or dealing with pressure) and how it usually goes (wrong); then the author follows up by explaining why, according to current understanding of the brain, the person in the story behaves as he or she does; the chapter ends with a take 2, i.e. how the story could end differently if the person had understood how his or her brain worked (happy ending). Moreover, at the end of the chapter one can find two paragraphs: one with the title “Surprises about the brain” which summarizes the main points of the chapter and the other one, “things to try”, with some tips to make use of this understanding of how the brain works.

The book is centered around three main insights:
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At the Doctor’s office…

Conversation overheard yesterday at the doctor’s office:

Lady: I am here to see doctor XY

Nurse: (processing the lady’s paperwork) here you are. There are 3 people waiting.

Lady: OMG! That many?

Nurse: that means he is a very good doctor! <smiling>

Lady: is he in yet?

Nurse: not yet, he will be here in a matter of minutes; you are 45 minutes early.

Lady: I have to wait that long?

Nurse: there is a very nice cafe’ downstairs, this is a perfect opportunity to enjoy it! <smiling>

That nurse was sure a master at cognitive reframing!!

Solution-Focus: the Essential Library

Here are 3 books that I think all SF practitioners should read.

Study them, and you will be well-grounded in the practice and theory of SF.

INTERVIEWING FOR SOLUTIONS by Peter De Jong & Insoo Kim Berg

The Bible. All you need to know about how to lead a Solution-Focused conversation.

COACHING PLAIN & SIMPLE by Peter Szabo, Daniel Meier, Kirsten Dierolf

The Essence. Solution-Focused Brief Coaching in all its stunning elegant simplicity.

Solution Focus: the SIMPLE way to Positive Change by Paul Z. Jackson & Mark McKergow

The consulting companion: the SF approach let loose in the business world.