6 books – 6 insights
6 books to help you become an even better communicator in 2019.
In the spirit of end of year traditions – I thought I would share 6 book recommendations.
If you chose to work with me in 2019 – elements of these insights will almost certainly come up! Whether it is working on a fear of public speaking, boosting your clarity and confidence, increasing your awareness of your impact, exploring leadership tactics, equipping yourself with networking skills…. these insights will be part of that work.
Click the book image for amazon link.
Why read it?
It is a big book – and slow readers (like me) might think: ‘I will never find the time to finish this!’ However – it is one of those ‘must read’ books that you kind of have to find the time for.
It is easy to lose perspective in a world that keeps telling us to be like this, do this magical thing, be real, be positive, be vulnerable and resilient…be…do…achieve…give…get…
How does this book help? By taking us back 13.5 billion years, the author suggests that reading this book will:-
‘encourage all of us, whatever our beliefs, to question the basic narratives of our word, to connect past developments with present concerns, and not to be afraid of controversial issues.’
For instance, when you consider that wheat controlled us rather than us controlling it… you start to think about ideas far beyond ‘Richard Branson’s top tips for success’!
Maybe we are not as clever as we think?
“There is some evidence that the size of the average Sapiens brain has actually decreased since the age of foraging.”
2. The Myth of the Nice Girl
Why read it?
As humans we judge people – no getting away from it. It is part of our ancient survival wiring.
We know we are being judged and we want to have some control over those judgments (although other people’s judgments are not in our control!). We try to manage the impression we make and in this process we often fall into the trap of being what we think people want us to be – and lose ourselves.
Fran Hauser suggests that women in business fall into the trap of being too nice. This might be by not stating their opinions strongly for fear of being judged as ‘bossy, arrogant, cold…’
N.B: Actually – I think this is also a male issue! The language will be different – and maybe the responses and actions will vary … but it still a ‘thing’ – because It is a human thing.
This book shines a light on this potential communication and self-development barrier and offers tactics to help balance out the ‘nice’ and the ‘strong’.
When you aren’t being true to yourself, it’s impossible to feel confident in your own skin.
3. The Laws of Human Nature – Robert Greene
Why read it?
Short answer: Because we are human!
You might work hard and be skilled – but to reach your full potential you must understand why people do what they do. Becoming an expert on human nature opens so many communication doors.
Robert Greene tells some fascinating and engaging human stories to illustrate aspects of why people do what they do. He interprets each story to give us real insight and tactics. The more we are able to be objective about our behaviour and that of others, the more fulfilling our self-improvement journey will be – and the stronger our resistance to inauthentic ‘conformity’.
“To this day, we humans remain highly susceptible to the moods and emotions of those around us, compelling all kinds of behavior on our part—unconsciously imitating others, wanting what they have, getting swept up in viral feelings of anger or outrage.
4. The Courage to be Disliked – Ishuro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga
Why read it?
Firstly – I recommend you get the audio book! The book is written as a dialogue between ‘master’ and student… the Audible version is beautifully read by Adrian Mulraney.
The core concept explored is ‘Adlerian psychology’ – named after Alfred Adler (1870-1937) – Austrian doctor, philosopher and psychiatrist.
All humans will have feelings of inferiority, but it is how you respond to those feelings that matters.
Adler believed that ‘when we feel encouraged, we feel capable and appreciated and will generally act in a connected and cooperative way. When we are discouraged, we may act in unhealthy ways by competing, withdrawing, or giving up. It is in finding ways of expressing and accepting encouragement, respect, and social interest that help us feel fulfilled and optimistic.’
It is quite ‘deep’ – but I found it triggered thoughts that could be translated into action – action that would have a positive effect. Listening to the book was a very ‘calming’ process actually!
“What other people think of me, or what sort of judgement they pass on me, is the task of other people, and is not something I can do anything about”
5. Wired for Authenticity – Henna Inam
Why read it?
I have a thing about ‘authenticity’ – so I was bound to be attracted to this title!
Authenticity is one of those words that can be chucked out without a lot of meaning attached to it – so I believe it is well worth exploring. This book does just that.
The insights and tactics are particularly relevant to leadership. I run a workshop called ‘authentic leadership‘ – so no wonder I got a great deal from this book…
As in my workshop – Henna gives tools to increase self-awareness, open-mindedness, curiosity, connection and empowerment.
We can be the most powerful, effective, and courageous leaders when we belong completely to ourselves.
6. Insight – Tasha Eurich
Why Read it?
To increase your self-awareness. To understand more about the blocks and twists and turns inside your own mind and also become more aware of the impact you have on others.
The book is practical – real tactics not just ‘talk’. Tasha uses real examples of real people in real situations in order to illustrate the points. Well written and – guess what… full of insight!
I follow this author on twitter too – I recommend her feed 🙂
The bottom line is that to become truly self-aware, you have to understand yourself and how others see you ..
How are these insights linked to us working together…
Clients who work with me report light-bulb moments! This is as a result of having the space, time, feedback and direction of a good listener – who is constantly curious. It makes no difference whether you have come to me for public speaking confidence, networking skills, leadership tactics, camera confidence, a sense of ownership over ‘what you do’ and communicating your value…
Positive outcomes for all of these challenges will come from increased self-awareness, awareness of your impact on others and ownership of your authentic ‘voice’ and ‘value’.