Wednesday, February 16, 2011

David Rock @ GoogleTechTalks on Your Brain at Work

I don't know how I came across this, but it proved very interesting, and it should prove very useful. In short, Mr. Rock talks about how our brain works and how we can use our knowledge about how it works to improve our lives. He talks about 4 primary topics:

1. The rational is overvalued. It's only a small part of our brain, it processes serially and rather slowly, and it uses a lot of energy. On the other hand, it's most important function may be to say "no" to motor or emotional impulses.

2. Emotions are misunderstood. We color everything in our world with either a positive or a negative valence. We can change our attitude toward the outside world to some extent.

3. The social world is our main concern. We are social animals through and through. We depend on each other for survival, not just our individual wits. We have the following concerns as social animals: SCARF
Status
Certainty
Autonomy
Relatedness
Fairness

4. Attention. As we learn to pay attention, as we learn mindfulness, we learn to change our brain. We can develop brain skills that enhance our lives.

This was quite an interesting talk. I've seen a couple of GoogleTechTalks, which are very much like TED Talks, in that they have excellent presenters. These talks are a bit longer and have less production glitz than many TED Talks, but the quality of the presentation and topics (well, the two that I've seen) have impressed me.

Rock also cited these two articles that further examine his thinking:
"Managing with the Brain in Mind" and "The Neuroscience of Mindfulness"

Good stuff!

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