14 Best Books on Communication Skills
“Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you are willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.” -Brian Tracy
If you are having trouble communicating with your family and friends, you are not alone. Communications, whether it is written or oral, is one of the most complicated and feared skills.
The following 14 best books on communication skills are impactful whether you are a born communicator, or whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. They will help whether you are struggling to find and assert your voice in personal or professional relationships or whether you are struggling to maintain appropriate boundaries at work and home. I have broken the list up into books that are especially centred around communicating at work, and books that apply to your communications and social skills at work and at home.
14 Best Books on Communication Skills are –
1. CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS: TOOLS FOR TAKING WHEN STAKES ARE HIGH –By Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, Switzer
“As much as others may need to change, or we may want them to change, the only person we can continually inspire, prod, and shape—with any degree of success—is the person in the mirror.”
Crucial Conversations gives you the tools you need to step up to life’s most difficult and important conversations, say what’s on your mind, and achieve the positive resolutions you want. You’ll learn how to:
- Prepare for high-impact situations with a six-minute mastery technique
- Make it safe to talk about almost anything
- Be persuasive, not abrasive
- Keep listening when others blow up or clam up
- Turn crucial conversations into the action and results you want
Whether they take place at work or at home, with your neighbours or your spouse, crucial conversations can have a profound impact on your career, your happiness, and your future. With the skills you learn in this book, you’ll never have to worry about the outcome of a crucial conversation again.
2. EVERYONE COMMUNICATES FEW CONNECT –By John C. Maxwell
“In the end, people are persuaded not by what we say, but by what they understand.”
John C. Maxwell says if you want to be an effective leader, you must learn how to connect with people. While it may seem like some folks are just born with a commanding presence that draws people in, the fact is anyone can learn to communicate in ways that consistently build powerful connections. Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, helps you succeed by revealing Maxwell’s Five Principles and Five Practices to develop this crucial skill of connecting, including: finding common ground, keeping your communication simple, capturing people’s interest, inspiring people, and staying authentic in all your relationships. Your ability to achieve results in any organization–be it a company, church, nonprofit, or even in your family–is directly tied to the leadership skills in your toolbox. Connecting is an easy-to-learn skill you can apply today in your personal, professional, and family relationships to start living your best life.
3. NEVER EAT ALONE –By Keith Ferrazzi
“Success in any field, but especially in business is about working with people, not against them.”
In Never Eat Alone, Ferrazzi lays out the specific steps—and inner mindset—he uses to reach out to connect with the thousands of colleagues, friends, and associates on his contacts list, people he has helped and who have helped him. And in the time since Never Eat Alone was published in 2005, the rise of social media and new, collaborative management styles have only made Ferrazzi’s advice more essential for anyone hoping to get ahead in business.
Ferrazzi’s form of connecting to the world around him is based on generosity, helping friends connect with other friends. Ferrazzi distinguishes genuine relationship-building from the crude, desperate glad-handing usually associated with “networking.” He then distills his system of reaching out to people into practical, proven principles.
4. HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE –By Dale Carnegie
“Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. “To know all is to forgive all.”
Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time, How to Win Friends & Influence People will teach you: -Six ways to make people like you -Twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking -Nine ways to change people without arousing resentment And much more! Achieve your maximum potential—a must-read.
5. GIVE AND TAKE –By Adam Grant
“Any relationship (friend, romantic or business) that’s one-sided isn’t one; it’s a one-way street headed in one direction… nowhere. Cultivation requires input from willing participants.”
For generations, we have focused on the individual drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent, and luck. But in today’s dramatically reconfigured world, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. In Give and Take, Adam Grant examines the surprising forces that shape why some people rise to the top of the success ladder while others sink to the bottom. Praised by social scientists, business theorists, and corporate leaders, Give and Take opens up an approach to work, interactions, and productivity that is nothing short of revolutionary.
6. POWER LISTENING –By Bernard T. Ferrari
“Listening is the front end of decision making.”
Listening is harder than it looks – but it’s the difference between business success and failure. Nothing causes bad decisions in organizations as often as poor listening. But Bernard Ferrari, adviser to some of the nation’s most influential executives, believes that such missteps can be avoided and that the skills and habits of good listening can be developed and mastered. He offers a step-by-step process that will help you become an active listener, able to shape and focus any conversation.
7. THE POWER OF COMMUNICATION –By Helio Fred Garcia
“If you can’t communicate effectively, you will not lead.”
Communication is the absolutely indispensable leadership discipline. But, too often, leaders and professional communicators get mired in tactics, and fail to influence public attitudes in the ways that would help them the most. The Power of Communication shows how to apply the Corps’ proven leadership and strategy doctrine to all forms of public communication — and achieve truly extraordinary results. You’ll learn how to integrate and succeed with all three levels of communication: strategic, operational, and tactical. Garcia shows how to take the initiative and control the agenda, respond to events with speed and focus, use the power of maneuver, prepare and plan, and put it all together, becoming a “habitually strategic” communicator.
8. THE REALITY BASED RULES OF THE WORKPLACE –By CY Wakeman
“Once we stop focusing on what is happening “to” us and focus instead on what we can do within our current circumstances to succeed, we will get the results we are looking for.”
In The Reality-Based Rules of the Workplace, Cy Wakeman shows how to calculate how your true value to your organization by understanding your current and future potential against your “emotional expense”―the toll your actions and attitudes take on the people around you. With Cy’s clear, straight-to-the-point advice, you can confront and reduce your emotional costliness, become an invaluable member of your team, and even learn to love your job again.
9. GREAT ON THE JOB –By Jodi Glickman
“Great communication skills build careers, leaders, engaged professionals, and a better workplace.”
A much-needed “people skills” primer and master class in all facets of workplace communication.
Do you know how to ask for help at work without sounding dumb? Do you know how to get valuable and useful feedback from your colleagues? Have you mastered your professional elevator pitch so that every time you meet someone, they remember and are impressed by you? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you need Great on the Job.
In today’s economy, it’s not typically the smartest, hardest working or most technically savvy who succeed. Instead, the ability to communicate well is often the most important precursor to success in the workplace. So whether you’re a star performer or a struggling novice, Great on the Job will give you the building blocks you need for every conversation you’ll have at work.
10. TALKING FROM 9 TO 5 –By Deborah Tannen
“The biggest mistake is believing there is one right way to listen, to talk, to have a conversation — or a relationship.”
Your project went off without a hitch–but somebody else got the credit…You averted a crisis brilliantly–but no one noticed…You came to the meeting with a sensational idea–but it was ignored until someone else said the same thing. HOW CAN YOU GET CREDIT & GET AHEAD?
Deborah turns her keen ear and observant eye toward the workplace–where the ways in which men and women communicate can determine who gets heard, who gets ahead, and what gets done.
An instant classic, Talking From 9 to 5 brilliantly explains women’s and men’s conversational rituals–and the language barriers we unintentionally erect in the business world. It is a unique and invaluable guide to recognizing the verbal power games and miscommunications that cause good work to be underappreciated or go unnoticed–an essential tool for promoting more positive and productive professional relationships among men and women.
11. QUIET –By Susan Cain
“We have two ears and one mouth and we should use them proportionally.”
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams.
In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.
12. NONVIOLENT COMMUNICATION –By Marshall Rosenberg
“Instead of playing the game “Making Life Wonderful”, we often play the game called “Who’s Right”. Do you know that game? It’s a game where everybody loses.”
Nonviolent Communication is the integration of four things:
• Consciousness: a set of principles that support living a life of compassion, collaboration, courage, and authenticity
• Language: understanding how words contribute to connection or distance
• Communication: knowing how to ask for what we want, how to hear others even in disagreement, and how to move toward solutions that work for all
• Means of influence: sharing “power with others” rather than using “power over others”
Nonviolent Communication serves our desire to do three things:
• Increase our ability to live with choice, meaning, and connection
• Connect empathically with self and others to have more satisfying relationships
• Sharing of resources so everyone is able to benefit
13. HOW TO TALK TO ANYONE –by Leil Lowndes
“Great posture, a heads-up look, a confident smile, and a direct gaze.” The ideal image for somebody who’s a Somebody.”
Perfect your people skills with his fun, witty and informative guide, containing 92 little tricks to create big success in personal and business relationships. In How to Talk to Anyone, bestselling relationships author and internationally renowned life coach Leil Lowndes reveals the secrets and psychology behind successful communication. These extremely usable and intelligent techniques include how to:
- Work a party like a politician works a room
- Be an insider in any crowd
- Use key words and phrases to guide the conversation
- Use body language to connect
This is the key to having successful conversations with anyone, any time.
14. SUPER CONNECTOR –By Scott Gerber and Ryan Paugh
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.“
STOP NETWORKING. Seriously, stop doing it. Now. It is time to ditch the old networking-for networking’s-sake mentality in favor of a more powerful and effective approach to creating and enhancing connections. In Superconnector, Scott Gerber and Ryan Paugh reveal a new category of professionals born out of the social media era: highly valuable community-builders who make things happen through their keen understanding and utilization of social capital. Superconnectors understand the power of relationship-building, problem-solve by connecting the dots at high levels, and purposefully cause different worlds and communities to interact with the intention of creating mutual value.
Thanks for reading, this was my list on 14 Best Books on Communication Skills.
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14 Best Books on Communication Skills