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Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work
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Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,431 ratings  ·  123 reviews
Improving the performance of your employees involves one of the hardest challenges in the known universe: changing the way they think. In constant demand as a coach, speaker, and consultant to companies around the world, David Rock has proven that the secret to leading people (and living and working with them) is found in the space between their ears. "If people are being ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 16th 2007 by Harper Business (first published 2006)
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Kristin you can go to the library and borrow one, or go to the bookstore and buy one. Just like you do for all books.

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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  1,431 ratings  ·  123 reviews


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Clare Cannon
Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
While the content of this book is very similar to (and just as good as) his later book Your Brain at Work, the organisation, explanation and presentation of it doesn't quite have the same clarity. This book would help workers and leaders who are interested in and fairly dedicated to improving their performance at work. Your Brain at Work, on the other hand, is a life-transforming read for anyone: a high school student just as much as a CEO or president. So by all means read this one if you're ke ...more
Ali Sattari
Dec 20, 2016 rated it liked it
It is well written, full with background science and relevant examples.

The general problem with such books is they are mostly best-case or cliché scenarios, where all relevant people are cooperative, company organizations well defined and established and most people internally motivated to get better. Well, that doesn't happen very often in real life, few people approach others (colleagues or managers) with their problems, few entertain an analytic approach to problem solving and even fewer try
...more
SJ Loria
Aug 27, 2013 rated it liked it
A better title for this book might be – Quiet Leadership: How to have conversations in the workplace regarding performance and goal setting. This is more of a how to have conversations guide than it is a manual on how to walk softly but carry a big stick style leadership. So, know that going into it. This is your basic acronym heavy, do things this way and try to apply this rather than just think hmm, that’s interesting, business book. So know that as well.

Overall, I think the book does a good j
...more
Valia
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: skills, book-club, msl
This book has it all:

• A healthy amount of coaching mumbo-jumbo (interspersed with pieces that actually make sense which makes it even more annoying)
• A lot of wishful thinking
• Pseudo-mathematical formulas, see Page 61
• Figures that do not clarify complex ideas or concepts (there are none) but are simply there because books of this sort cannot be without pictures, see Page xxii and further

So, if you are into that sort of "leadership" books, you won't be disappointed.
Stephanie
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
1- think about thinking
2- listen for potential
3- speak with intent
4- dance toward insight
5- create new thinking
6- follow up
Reid Mccormick
Mar 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
I’ll be honest, I do not like to write bad reviews. I feel like a fraud writing a negative review thinking “Who am I to judge?” But this my turn to have an opinion, so I guess I’ll give it a go.

This book was simply not good. The main theme of the book is this: leaders need to teach others how to think. That’s a great theme and truly a great foundation to great leadership, however his “six steps” are convoluted and overbearing. In the book there is an image that attempts to demonstrate the “six
...more
Jim
Feb 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a coaching book that begins by looking at some science surrounding the human brain and then uses insights from that and gives leaders a 6 step framework in coaching people through their decisions, difficulties and every day situations. Rock proposes that most people do not need to be told what to do but could use help in thinking through the things they face and, in doing so, the coach helps the person come to their own conclusions and insights which enable them to reform their work habi ...more
Bjoern Rochel
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, eng-mgmt, 2016
Lacks the clarity and structure of 'Your brain at work', but contains useful models for working in leadership and coaching roles, if you want to enhance the thinking skills of your directs / peers.
Sergey Shishkin
I very much like the idea of focusing on the other person's thinking instead of offering my own solutions (which I currently can't resist doing). Continuous asking for permission and placement dialogs are very useful too.
Chris
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: business
This book was strongly recommended to me by a colleague whose opinion I thought and think very highly of. He is a techie with broad knowledge and the best generalised problem solving skills I've ever seen. He's also much more than an uber-geek, with wide and varied interests. So I was expecting good things from this book. Maybe too good.

Because on first read it was actually very disappointing.

The book is badly written. It is repetitive and has a fetish for complex models with trendy acronyms tha
...more
Sandy
Jul 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
David Rock cites new discoveries of the brain and the way we think as his foundation for Quiet Leadership. The main thrust of his Six Steps is that leaders should not tell people what to do, in fact they shouldn't even concern themselves with the details of what their people do, but rather, with the way their folks think. The way to improve behavior is by improving the way people think. The Six Steps go through this in detail, and I got the most value out of the first three steps which pertain t ...more
Erika RS
May 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
I am always reluctant to give books 5/5 because I worry that someday I will come across the most excellent book ever and not have a higher score to give it. If that day comes, I'll deal with it. Until then, this book deserves a 5/5 for its wealth of information and potential for a positive impact on my life.

Quiet Leadership is a book about communication. The core idea is that the best leaders are those who help others to think for themselves. This would amount to nothing more than common sense a
...more
Chelsea
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good book for anyone in a role working with people, whether direct reports, peers, friends, business partners or family members. The book is geared towards altering your thinking and engagement techniques to be less about self and more about others. There are great processes laid out in the book for conversations and excellent lists of questions and approaches to use. I've been applying the Dance of Insight technique (permission, placement, questioning and clarifying) to those I work with and it ...more
Roger
Jul 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was made for people like me. There are times when I feel that I know how to get someone to do better, but I wasn't comfortable with barking at them. They didn't need a push, they needed a pointer.

It is filled with enough common sense to be a breezy read, yet has enough pertinent examples and points to lock in ideas. I passed over the whizbang of neuroscience, as it seemed geared for illuminating commoner folk. The mechanics of changing people's thoughts was more relevant to my interest
...more
Chris Stratton
May 02, 2013 rated it liked it
I think some of the dialog was wishful thinking. If I were to use dialog like that with my employees they would either laugh directly into my face or talk about how full of bull I was behind my back. I believe a lot of these kind of books find a ecosystem among like kinds of books and coaches.
That being said ... I think there is a lot of value in asking questions that stimulate another persons thinking. Letting someone find the answer on their own versus throwing out a bunch of my ideas of what
...more
Kristen
May 21, 2015 rated it liked it
I like a lot of the ideas in here, but a lot of them seem like they'd be hard to put into practice in a way that didn't feel ridiculous. And they definitely apply to managing knowledge workers, and being a high level manager, rather than to the concept of managing up. So maybe not the best read for me right now at the place I am in my career, but one to keep on the back burner and come back to later, possibly.
Kara
May 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book would be better as a workbook. The concepts are kind of convoluted, although the author would like you to see them as a clear path to transformation. There are also "assignments" at the end of each chapter that would take time to do, so you can't really read through it very quickly.
Rebecca
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this book as part of a book club for work, and that must have been one of the best ways to process this material. Like most leadership/self help books, this one is easy to speed through, set aside and walk away from, unless you actively do something with the content.

So, what can you do with this? Rock spends a decent amount of time talking about the workings of the brain, justifying his (not yet presented) theories with decades of research, his own dazzling experience, yada yada. This sec
...more
Angus Mcfarlane
One of the recommendations from a work leadership course, I wanted to take this slowly to absorb and 'practise' the content as I went. Probably I went too slow and lost continuity with it, and it didn't become compelling as a read as a result, but I do feel this has excellent content and captures well how I would like to lead and be led. To make this work I will need to revise it, but the points that have stuck with me are: 1. Staying solution focused; 2. Coaching isn't for every situation; 3. A ...more
Chuck
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
I started reading this book in October 2015. I lost it, found it, and have been plodding through it ever since. Plodding, not because it is a bad book (I really liked it) but because it is about thinking, and that is a very hard thing to do!

David Rock has written a book about the latest research on the brain and how it works. He has taken that research and applied it to coaching in the business field. Essentially he has created a format for talking with employees, direct reports, and any one you
...more
Tiffany Neal
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I found this book incredibly fascinating.

Don’t let the title of the book shy you away from reading it. A great deal of brain science is involved in this work, discussing the neural pathways in our brains related to habits and the most powerful ways to create new pathways/habits, especially in regards to our ability to think.

Rock discusses the importance of solution focused conversations rather than getting lost in the problem or details of a situation.

As someone who will always be an instructio
...more
Jody
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was one of the recommended readings from "Your Brain At Work" for further information on how to apply the concepts. While written by the same author, it is interesting to me that he wrote this one first. This one is WAY more practical in the context of giving the reader the information necessary to execute on some of the concepts and more to the point effectively get your people to think for themselves and grow to be the most effective employees/people they can be. Some of the processes, th ...more
Victoria Ivanova
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it
"Quiet leaders don’t just quietly putter around in the background trying not to upset anyone. They are comfortable making people uncomfortable – in fact, they’re keen to do so. They know that pushing others can be challenging; however – they have learned to support people throughout this journey.
(...)
Many of our habits are driven by decisions we made in the past that are now literally a part of us. Changing a habit, now that’s hard, but leaving it where it is and creating a whole new habit – tha
...more
Jes
Feb 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Get you a glass of water because this is a somewhat dry read. But it's very good at examining and disseminating the practices of the Six Steps in several ways and opportunities. The information was good, backed up with real studies and reflects our current knowledge of how the brain works. I did almost stop reading it when Rock mentioned the way some people take medicines for anxiety and/or depression instead of doing the work that actually helps the brain out, but that comment was quickly follo ...more
Xenarthra
While I read this, I frequently thought of my team at work, my manager, past managers, and companies and employees in general. I could relate to many of the issues discussed and in my professional life I personally witness numerous instances of miscommunication, lack of appreciation, and apathy. Will I remember any of the techniques and apply them to my daily life? Probably not. The author frequently refers to his workshops and I think that would be the best format for understanding and absorbin ...more
Ryan Barretto
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If there were more stars to give, I'd give them all to the author of this book.

It is a simply brilliant, outstanding book which details the necessary skills for the leadership of the current times. To help your employees develop their thinking, the author shows the neuroscience of how our brain reacts to the perception of feedback and what we can do to actually put it into practice. With examples which document possible dialogue in situations of good performance, below par performance and poor p
...more
Joni Kettunen
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book as a part of a coach course. This book is full of information and ideas.

The book explains with detailed examples how to use six steps. Most pf the chapters end up with practice questions or self reflection moments before diving deeper into the subject.

There is enough repetition to help you to remember the main points, but same idea is usually explained with other words. This way reader can absorb ideas better.

This is excellent book.
However, because it contains so much informatio
...more
Hannamari
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
It’s easier for the human brain to build new connections than to change old ones. This is the basis that this leadership / coaching guide is built on. There are some interesting implications, like letting go of ”constructive” criticism that only strenghtens old bad connections, and rather focus on facilitating new positive insights.

I appreciate the way this book used memore rules and simple models to explain (and help recall) its techniques, and how all learnings piled into one big framework (w
...more
Donata Nissim
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a learning book about six steps to transform performance at work by the so called "quiet leadership". Quiet leadership is more about listening to your staff and make them find solutions by helping them to structure their thinking. The book highlighted that instead of telling people what to do, quiet leadership is about making people think themselves and at the same time encourage them to make their own decisions. The reason I am giving this book three stars is that somehow it failed to ...more
Kristin
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Required reading for work, I'd never pick this up otherwise.
While the Quiet Leadership concept is a good and likely valuable one, the steps to leading in this way are presented in acronyms, and several of the steps along the way have their own sub-acronym. Going through any process trying to remember the seven steps, and then the six sub-steps on step 3, etc. is unrealistic.
It would have been better if it was narrowed down and simplified. While the steps are, of course, taken on a case-by-case
...more
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