Below is a list of books that we believe are helpful in improving communication skills.
- Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler. The core premise of this book is that the most influential people in an organisation are good at having crucial conversations. Crucial conversations are defined as those that involve opposing opinions when stake and emotions are high. This book teaches readers to becoming aware when such circumstances arise and outlines a structured approach to dealing with these situations well.
- Everyone Connects, Few Communicate by John Maxwell. The premise of this book is that the most effective leaders communicate better than others, by "connecting" in every day situations. He says connecting is the ability to identify with people and relate to them. Five key practices are offered to develop this skill, including: finding common ground; keeping things simple; making communication enjoyable; inspiring the listener and having integrity.
- Coping with difficult people by Robert Bramson. There are several books on how to deal with difficult people in the workplace. This is one of the earliest and has a good mixture of practical tools and theory to explain people's behaviour. The book classifies difficult people into types including hostile aggressives; complainers, unresponsive, overly agreeable, negativists, know-it-alls, and indecisives. By learning to recognise these types you can adapt your communication with them to address the behaviour more effectively, and make the workplace more harmonious.
- Think, Write, Grow: How to become a thought leader by Grant Butler. Thought leadership is key element of effective communication. Anyone can be a leader, regardless of position, simply by influencing others through the power of your ideas. I have argued in my blog that anyone who aspires to be a good communicator should spend time thinking about what they can offer to make a difference in the world and then advocate (i.e. communicate) that. Butler offers a simple but effective guidance on how to do this. More +