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

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A number one anxiety in business is dealing with problem people.Unfortunately, try as you might, you can't fix others—but youcan manage your reactions to their behavior. When you tameyour most impulsive, primitive reactions to the crazy situationsyou face every day, you'll help others do the same.

Tame the Primitive Brain offers a new and simple systemto understanding and controlling the behavior of others. Noted bodylanguage, behavior, and communication expert Mark Bowden ...

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A number one anxiety in business is dealing with problem people.Unfortunately, try as you might, you can't fix others—but youcan manage your reactions to their behavior. When you tameyour most impulsive, primitive reactions to the crazy situationsyou face every day, you'll help others do the same.

Tame the Primitive Brain offers a new and simple systemto understanding and controlling the behavior of others. Noted bodylanguage, behavior, and communication expert Mark Bowden explainsthe fastest and most effective ways to understand why someone actstoward you the way they do; why you react to their behavior in theway you do; and most important, what exactly to do toachieve the right outcomes. With these proven tools and tricks,you'll gain enhanced confidence to deal with tricky behaviors andeffectively manage relationships at any level in anorganization.

Over the course of 28 days, you can learn how to become moreinfluential and persuasive in every situation, giving you acompetitive advantage in navigating a myriad of difficultbehaviors. Bolstered by the latest evolutionary behavioral theoryand neuroscientific evidence, Tame the Primitive Braindetails a step-by-step system for understanding the behavior ofothers and the best tools to manage them, including:

  • How your primitive brain quickly categorizes new people and howthis affects your interactions with them
  • How to go beyond more comfortable one-on-one relationships toestablish connections with a group of team members
  • How to identify tribal behaviors and change a problematictribal reputation
  • How asserting organizational values can direct team members'behavior better than simply laying out a set of rules

Your instincts will never change, but you can learn to manageyour impulses better, and in effect, manage the knee-jerk reactionsof others. Tame the Primitive Brain dives deep into ourreptilian brain and shows you how.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118436981
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/4/2013
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 290
  • Sales rank: 1,427,254
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Bowden

MARK BOWDEN is a noted body language expert and creatorof TRUTHPLANE™, a unique training model for anyone whosesuccess depends upon communication that builds strong and trustingrelationships. His techniques are used by top executives andorganizational and political leaders around the globe, includingCEOs of Fortune 500 companies and leaders of G8 powers. Asought-after keynote speaker and trainer, he delivers speeches andseminars worldwide on persuasive and influential verbal andnonverbal communication to stand out, win trust, and profit.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface xi

Introduction 1


Day One Shared Instincts 11

Day Two Snap Judgments 22

Day Three Default to the Negative 32

Day Four Best-Fit Thinking 40

Day Five Friend, Enemy, Sexual Partner, or Indifferent 49

Day Six Moods and Emotions 59

Day Seven The Spice of Life 73


Day Eight Relationships Are Dyadic 87

Day Nine Opposites Attract 95

Day Ten BFFs 105

Day Eleven Enemies 114

Day Twelve Indifference 125

Day Thirteen Moods Are Contagious 132

Day Fourteen The Four Stages of Relationship 141


Day Fifteen We Are Tribal 153

Day Sixteen Tribal Nurture 161

Day Seventeen Hierarchy 168

Day Eighteen Tension 176

Day Nineteen Values 187

Day Twenty Diversity 196

Day Twenty-One Changing Tribes Is Expensive 206


Day Twenty-Two Suspend Judgment 217

Day Twenty-Three Be Curious 225

Day Twenty-Four Open Your Heart 235

Day Twenty-Five Give 243

Day Twenty-Six Manage Your Disappointment 250

Day Twenty-Seven Values Trump Rules 257

Day Twenty-Eight Expand Your Tribe 267

Conclusion 275

Further Reading and Resources 278

About the Author 282

Index 283

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 19, 2013

    Each year I always end up finding one or two key books that have

    Each year I always end up finding one or two key books that have the most impact on the way that I think, act or say. It’s great to find not just a book that fits that criteria so early in the year, but I know it is one I am going to be picking up and again and again, referring to on a regular basis. 

    Biology was never one of my strong subjects, my teacher even had me labelled as an idiot – perhaps that was his primitive brain talking! So when I started to read this book my fear was this was going to be too science based, I started to come out in cold sweats again, just like cramming for an exam. 
    Almost immediately Mark Bowden puts the reader at ease. You do not just realise that deep down we all react in the same predictable ways when it comes to our reptilian brains, but also that there is nothing wrong, it’s just good to be aware of the impact. 

    The book breaks down in to punchy, workable chapters, looking to tame one reaction or impulse. There is always an example or story to kick off, followed by clear explanations and suggested actions, circling back to the story and highlighting how things changed or might have been different. 

    Mark uses an excellent balance of neuro-science, humour and practical solutions that will appeal to a wide range of readers. This ensures that the message gets heard, appreciated and acted upon. 

    Perhaps not immediately evident that this is a book about your personal brand. But once you have clearly identified what your personal brand is and who needs to know about it, then you have to get on with living and communicating that brand. 
    As Mark writes in his Introduction “Anyone who works with other people  - which is pretty much everyone – has to deal with all kinds of challenges involving human nature. Chances are that at work one of your biggest challenges is handling the most basic behaviors of people – such as impulsive decision making, tunnel vision, and resistance to change. And that’s just you!” 
    Being more conscious and proactive with your personal brand means stepping outside of your comfort zone on occasion, something the primitive brain is trying to avoid at all costs. That is why this book is going to prove so useful to you. As you try new things and do not get the results or reaction you expected you can dip in to the book to understand why, and then take a suggested approach or action. 

    The overall concept I found able to quickly to grasp, no biology cold sweats, and the actions fairly easy to initially implement. Because the default for the reptilian brain is to go back to several hundred million years ago I can see the challenge for most of us will be to stick to new approaches. 
    With many books these days there are additional resources to access and what might be useful in this case would be a quick glance reference guide, perhaps even in pocket style format. 

    The relationships you have at work are critical to getting your own work done, projects completed and ultimately your longer term success, so this book will prove to be a useful, constant reference guide. For leaders in particular I can see this being invaluable. 
    The bonus is that while the book is focused on work situations this is obviously equally applicable in all other relationships too. 

    The reptile brain is the most basic part of our brain. Because this subject on the surface appears so simple there is a danger that people do not see this as remarkable. That would be a shame. We do not have to complicate or over think things to have them make us more effective or successful. 
    I would recommend a read through of the book in logical order first time and then after that you can refer back as needed to handle specific situations. 

    I like Marks relaxed style, (the English humour helps!) he is constantly using personal and real life work and client examples to get his points across. With the short, yet informative and practical chapter make up it easily gets that one key point for the day across. This makes for easy reference and pick up again stickiness. Each 7 chapters focus on one area and are collected in to weeks, week 1 focuses on You, week 2 Relationships, week 3 Tribe and week 4 the New You.  Unless you are Mark, I am not sure it will ever be ingrained so it’s certainly one you will want to keep on the bookshelf next to your desk! 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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