Four Seconds: All the Time You Need to Replace Counter-Productive Habits with Ones That Really Work

Four Seconds: All the Time You Need to Replace Counter-Productive Habits with Ones That Really Work

by Peter Bregman
Four Seconds: All the Time You Need to Replace Counter-Productive Habits with Ones That Really Work

Four Seconds: All the Time You Need to Replace Counter-Productive Habits with Ones That Really Work

by Peter Bregman


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Peter Bregman, author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller 18 Minutes, offers strategies to replace energy-wasting, counter-productive habits that commonly derail us with truly effective ones.

The things we want most—peace of mind, fulfilling relationships, to do well at work—are surprisingly straightforward to realize. But too often our best efforts to attain them are built on destructive habits that sabotage us. In Four Seconds, Peter Bregman shows us how to replace negative patterns with energy boosting and productive behaviors. To thrive in our fast-paced world all it takes is to pause for as few as four seconds—the length of a deep breath—allowing us to make intentional and tactical choices that lead to better outcomes. Four Seconds reveals:

  • Why listening—not arguing—is the best strategy for changing someone’s mind
  • Why setting goals can actually harm performance
  • How to use strategic disengagement to recover focus and willpower
  • How taking responsibility for someone else’s failure can actually help your team

Practical and insightful, Four Seconds provides simple solutions to create the results you want without the stress.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062372420
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/27/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 681,333
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.61(d)

About the Author

Peter Bregman is the CEO of Bregman Partners, a firm that advises, coaches, and trains leaders at all levels to take powerful and ambitious actions to achieve the things that are most important to them and their organizations. He is the author of 18 Minutes (a Wall Street Journal bestseller) and Point B: A Short Guide to Leading a Big Change, and the contributor to five other books. He is a regular contributor to, NPR, Psychology Today, Forbes, Fast Company, and other media outlets, and he is a weekly commentator on FOX Business News. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part 1 Change Your Mental Defaults 9

1 Four Seconds: Pause. Breathe. Course Correct 13

2 Why the Pinto Blew Up: Rethink Goal Setting 17

3 Byron's Real Problem: Commit to Following Through 22

4 My First TEDx Talk: Ditch the Urge to Be Perfect 25

5 It Finally Felt Like Mine: Trust Yourself First 29

6 Nothing Helped My Tennis Elbow: Stand Back and Do Nothing 33

7 Everything Is Amazing and No One Is Happy: Accept Reality Change Expectations 37

8 The Value of Drinking Tea: Make Time for Rituals 41

9 Before Slipping the Kayak into the Water: Prepare Every Day 44

10 A Lesson from My Wireless Router: Reset Yourself 47

11 This Is What It Feels Like to …: Stop Performing. Start Experiencing 50

12 "I Have No Time to Think": Invest in Unfocused Focus 54

13 Why I Returned My iPad: Embrace Boredom 58

14 Dorit's First-Grade Classroom: Ignore the Inner Critic 62

15 Carlos's Double Whammy: Reclaim Your Sweet Spot 67

16 House Rock Rapid: Imagine the Worst 71

17 Turn the Boat Toward the Wind: Be Prepared with a Process, Not a Solution 75

Part 2 Strengthen Your Relationships 79

18 A Lesson from My Mother-in-Law: Prioritize Relationships 85

19 The Hardest Part Is After the Speech: Show People Who You Truly Are 89

20 He Broke Up with Her in a Text: Don't Let the Package Distract You from the Message 93

21 I Want to Be Like You When I'm Seventy-Seven: Choose to Be Inspired by People 97

22 A Lesson from My Mother: Refuse to Write Someone Off 101

23 The Inescapable Parking Ticket: Walk Away from an Argument 106

24 Don't Blame the Dog: Take the Blame Instead 110

25 Hardware Stores Don't Sell Milk: Learn Other People's Rules of Engagement 114

26 Sophia's First Powder Day: Meet People Where They Are 119

27 It Was a Long Shot: Become a Great Receiver 123

28 A False Start Gets You Disqualified: Empathize First. Help Them Feel Better Later 127

29 It's Not About the Shampoo: Listen for the Unspoken 131

30 My Best Birthday Ever: Give the Gift of Appreciation 135

31 Getting a Free Upgrade to First Class: Appeal to People's Generosity 140

32 Why Tim Didn't Get the Promotion: Don't Skip Your Thank-Yous 144

33 No: Establish Boundaries with Others 148

34 Towing Our Neighbor's Son's Car: Ask Questions. Don't Attack Back 152

Part 3 Optimize Your Work Habits 157

35 Hair Salon Leadership: Keep Your Cool 162

36 George Washington vs. Super Bowl I: See Individuals Individually 166

37 Complaining with Complainers: Neutralize Negativity 170

38 The Training Wheels Had to Come Off: Let People Tail-or Almost Fail 175

39 Are You Ready to Be a Leader?: Support Others' Success 178

40 Who Deserves Credit for a Great Movie?: Share the Glory 181

41 The Chef Who Didn't Get It: Take Responsibility for Your Colleagues' Work 185

42 I've Got Too Much to Do …: Offer to Do Other People's Work 189

43 The Day the Distribution Centers Were Full: Focus on Outcome, Not Process 194

44 Don't Bet on Winning the Lottery: Zero In on What Matters to the Organization 199

45 Ron Drones On and On: Be Helpful Instead of Nice 204

46 "Actually, There Is Something …": Accept the Gift of Criticism 208

47 Crying About a Gift: Create a Safe Space for Yourself and Others 213

48 I Don't Miss a Thing: Stop Checking E-mail 217

49 The No-PowerPoint Rule: Embrace the Informal Meeting 221

50 The Pea Haters Who Ate Peas Like Pea Lovers: Tell Stories to Get Others to Change 225

51 How Jori Lost Eighty Pounds: Forget Willpower. Restructure Your Environment 229

Conclusion 235

Acknowledgments 241

Notes 245

Index 249

About the Author 255

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