Academic journal article Career Planning and Adult Development Journal

Tame the Primitive Brain: 28 Ways in 28 Days to Manage the Most Impulsive Behaviors at Work

Academic journal article Career Planning and Adult Development Journal

Tame the Primitive Brain: 28 Ways in 28 Days to Manage the Most Impulsive Behaviors at Work

Article excerpt

Tame the Primitive Brain: 28 Ways in 28 Days to Manage the Most Impulsive Behaviors at Work By Mark Bowden. 2013. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, USA. 290 pages.

This book, Tame the Primitive Brain, is full of information that, as you read it, will feel like common sense. Then, as you try to implement the actions at the end of each chapter, you will immediately recognize that this book can improve your relationships and responses to others - if you work hard!

With the aim of helping anyone who wants to control their impulsive behaviors, Tame the Primitive Brain is divided into four, seven-day stages, with a daily chapter focused on one impulsive behavior that comes from the primitive brain. The primitive brain is sometimes called the reptilian brain and it controls the instinctive responses and reflexes that were essential to basic survival thousands of years ago. For many of us, it still seems to be in control of our responses. And these primitive responses can definitely impact our career and relationship success.

Each chapter is a day, presenting the goal with a quote and a story to set the tone. The stories are engaging and lead to an explanation of the scientific background about the reflexive response featured that day. Bowden explains both the usefulness and the pitfalls of allowing the primitive brain to control our actions and thought processes. He also gives detailed, technical and psychological information to help us understand our responses, and provides an action plan for changing our reactions.

The first stage is focused on the individual and provides seven chapters, one for each day of the week, to help readers explore their current view of the world. Stage 2 helps the reader examine relationships and has daily chapters with information on how we identify friends and enemies. My favorite chapter was the one on moods: It is common sense that moods are contagious, but how often do we simply react to the bad mood of a coworker or friend with our own bad mood?

In the third stage, Tame the Primitive Brain helps us discover how we work together in groups, teams and tribes, defined by Bowden as groups with a common purpose or experience. Again, there are seven chapters which focus on values, diversity, and hierarchy within tribes. …

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