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20 Powerful Books to Win You Friends and Influence More People

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20 Powerful Books to Win You Friends and Influence More People

Everyone knows communication is key, but every so often, we fail to communicate well on a daily basis. It could be catastrophic if we can’t communicate with others. So how can you and I improve our communication skills to have a significant leg up in all aspects of our lives?

Here is a list of 20 books to turn you into an expert in communication, with books ranging from best-sellers to less popular, hidden gems.

1. The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane

    People typically believe charisma is a trait you are born with. However, it is a skill you can learn. Cabane provides fantastic examples and practical advice anyone can use.

    Who should read this book?

    • Readers looking to improve their charisma.

    What will you learn?

    • The main components of charisma and techniques to improve them.

    “Whenever we use our brain, we fire certain neuronal connections, and the more these connections get used, the stronger they become.” – Olivia Fox Cabane

    2. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

      In this powerful book, Simon Sinek helps readers identify an individual or organizations purpose… there Why.

      Who should read this book?

      • Readers seeking advice on how to become a great leader.

      What will you learn?

      • How to clearly identify the purpose of your organization.

      “Organizations know what they do, how they do it, but very few know why they do what they do.” – Simon Sinek

      3. Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo

        Gallo uncovered 9 common elements to all TED talks and provides readers advice on how to adopt them. This book provides practical tips to improve your public-speaking skills.

        Who should read this book?

        • Readers who want to become a better public speaker.

        What will you learn?

        • How to improve the format of your speech or presentation, while telling a story that reaches the hearts and minds of your audience.

        “The first step to inspire others is to make sure you’re inspired yourself.” – Carmine Gallo

        4. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson

          An amazing, yet short book. The story revolves around four characters: two mice and two little people living in a maze seeking the one thing that makes them happy… cheese! This book is a metaphor for the things we want most in life and the need for change.

          Who should read this book?

          • Readers seeking knowledge on how to deal with change in life or work.

          What will you learn?

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          • That change is the only thing which is constant and why we should look to the future instead of the past.

          “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” – Spencer Johnson

          5. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

            Let’s start our list of well-known books with one of the all-time greats – How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. This book is one of the most powerful books you can find in attempting to improve your communication skills. Warren Buffett discovered this book as a child and applied the techniques found in this book throughout his life.

            Who should read this book?

            • Readers interested in finding positive ways to influence other people.

            What will you learn?

            • Ways to win people to your mode of thinking.

            “The only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.” – Dale Carnegie

            6. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

              The message in this book extends beyond business. Lencioni outlines the root causes (and of course dysfunction) of a team. He provides readers tips on how to effectively identify and beat dysfunction.

              Who should read this book?

              • Leaders seeking ways to identify and manage dysfunction in an organization.

              What will you learn?

              • How to mold a functional team.

              “Trust is knowing that when a team member does push you, they’re doing it because they care about the team.” – Patrick Lencioni

              7. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher, William L. Ury, and Bruce Patton

                Getting to Yes is a powerful book on improving your negotiation skills. Ury advocates that we negotiate our entire life and we must learn to embrace and improve this skill. This book will show you how.

                Who should read this book?

                • Readers seeking ways to improve their negotiation skills.

                What will you learn?

                • Tips and techniques to become a highly effective negotiator.

                “Any method of negotiation may be fairly judged by three criteria: It should produce a wise agreement if agreement is possible. It should be efficient. And it should improve or at least not damage the relationship between the parties.” – Roger Fisher

                8. Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done by David Allen

                  Productivity expert David Allen is best known for his book Getting Things Done, yet it is Ready for Anything that takes his advice on productivity to the next level. Learn how to make things happen and improve your life with less effort, less stress, and with more energy!

                  Who should read this book?

                  • Readers seeking tips on productivity.

                  What will you learn?

                  • How to reach new levels of productivity with practical tips and techniques.

                  “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.” – David Allen

                  9. The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino

                    In this guide to success and salesmanship, Mandino tells a story of a poor camel boy who comes across ancient scrolls. Each scroll provides the reader a message. Actor Matthew McConaughey remarked that this book changed his life.

                    Who should read this book?

                    • Readers seeking breakthrough ways for success in their lives.

                    What will you learn?

                    • How to form good habits and take action in your life.

                    “Never feel shame for trying and failing for he who has never failed is he who has never tried.” – Og Mandino

                    10. How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships by Leil Lowndes

                      Leil Lowndes provides an incredibly practical book on how to communicate, improve posture, and become a winner… the book even provides advice on how to make someone fall in love with you!

                      Who should read this book?

                      • Readers seeking practical tips on how to improve in their day to day interactions with other people.

                      What will you learn?

                      • 92 tricks to improve your communication skills!

                      There are two kinds of people in this life: Those who walk into a room and say, “Well, here I am!” And those who walk in and say, “Ahh, there you are.” – Leil Lowndes

                      11. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

                        Let’s start of the list of well-known, yet different books that will improve your communication skills. Labeled by Bertrand Russell as the handbook for gangsters, The Prince focuses on effectiveness, not morality. Some key takeaways from this book are: 1) Pay close attention to the qualities of those who work for you; 2) Your appearance matters; 3) Keep your enemies close; 4) Avoid people who flatter you; and 5) Prepare for bad things to happen.

                        Who should read this book?

                        • Readers looking for ways to influence other people.

                        What will you learn?

                        • Historical lessons and tips for influencing people, regardless of morality.

                        “If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.” – Niccolo Machiavelli

                        12. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

                          If you are a fan of the movie Office Space and are looking for a book to spark the “I just don’t give a f*ck” moment… look no further! Manson reminds us that we have a limited number of f*cks to give and we can’t go around giving them away to people that don’t matter.

                          Who should read this book?

                          • Readers seeking ways to stop caring so much what other people think of them.

                          What will you learn?

                          • That there are only a small group of people that truly deserve your time and effort.

                          “Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.” – Mark Manson

                          13. Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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                            Confidence and composure are two extremely important skills in effective communication. Taleb provides readers a guide on how to become antifragile. This book will help readers find out where they are most exposed and identify where we can lose the most.

                            Who should read this book?

                            • Readers seeking knowledge on how to grow from disorder.

                            What will you learn?

                            • How we thrive from shock, volatility, and uncertainty.

                            “Trial and error is freedom.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

                            14. Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organization by John Wooden

                              When it comes to winning in college basketball, there was no one better than legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. At UCLA, his teams won 10 national titles in 12 years! To be an effective communicator for an organization, you must also be an effective leader. Coach Wooden shows us how.

                              Who should read this book?

                              • Readers interested in developing a strong leadership philosophy.

                              What will you learn?

                              • How to lead and develop young men.

                              “The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.” – Coach John Wooden

                              15. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

                                Inspired by The Prince, Robert Greene provides leaders historical lessons and practical ways to improve their communication skills through controlling anger and improving patience. His most important lesson is mastering your emotions.

                                Who should read this book?

                                • Readers seeking ways to influence other people, similar to The Prince.

                                What will you learn?

                                • 48 Laws to increase your power and influence over others.

                                “But the human tongue is a beast that few can master. It strains constantly to break out of its cage, and if it is not tamed, it will run wild and cause you grief. Power cannot accrue to those who squander their treasure of words.” – Robert Greene

                                16. Wink and Grow Rich by Roger Hamilton

                                  Finally, let’s take a look at those books you might not be familiar with. These are hidden gems. Wink and Grow Rich is one of my favorite books. It is a book with a hidden lesson behind the lesson! This is one of those books you will want to read over and over again. Each time you read, you will uncover something new.

                                  Who should read this book?

                                  • Readers seeking books with hidden meanings.

                                  What will you learn?

                                  • A true outside-the-box read on how to gain wealth and riches in multiple areas of your life.

                                  “To know and not to do is not yet to know.” – Roger Hamilton

                                  17. Quantum Memory Power: Learn to Improve Your Memory with the World Memory Champion by Dominic O’Brien

                                    Effective communicators must be good at remembering names and faces. The most effective way to improve your memory is to use techniques discussed in this book. Learn how to build memory palaces and improve your memory.

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                                    Who should read this book?

                                    • Readers seeking ways to improve their memory.

                                    What will you learn?

                                    • Shortcuts and techniques to improve your memory.

                                    “This is a great tool for students as the book gets right to the heart of learning how to learn and engaging your whole brain.” – Dominic O’Brien

                                    18. Go for No! Yes Is the Destination, No Is How You Get There by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz

                                      Using fiction to impart knowledge upon their readers, Fenton and Waltz provide powerful lessons for readers by simply hearing the word No!

                                      Who should read this book?

                                      • People seeking a short inspirational read on how to realize your potential.

                                      What will you learn?

                                      • Why hearing no is a good thing!

                                      “Learning to hear no over and over again and to never quit… now that builds character and self-esteem. That’s empowering!” – Richard Fenton

                                      19. I Am John Galt: Today’s Heroic Innovators Building the World and the Villainous Parasites Destroying It by Donald Luskin and Andrew Greta

                                        This book was inspired by two of my favorite novels: Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. John Galt is the fictional character from Atlas Shrugged and embodies the characteristics some of our top CEOs and leaders strive to attain. This book compares the character’s (and characteristics) from Rand’s books with real people.

                                        Who should read this book?

                                        • Readers seeking a non-fiction comparison of Ayn Rand’s novels Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead and the real world.

                                        What will you learn?

                                        • Who is the real world version of John Galt.

                                        “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand

                                        20. Bill Snyder: They Said It Couldn’t Be Done by Mark Janssen

                                          The final book I will discuss is the first book I ever read to my beautiful daughter. In fact, I read (and finished) this book to her while holding her in the hospital the day of her birth.

                                          Legendary Kansas State University Wildcat coach Bill Snyder is a phenomenal leader and coach. In the spirit of John Wooden, Bill Snyder continues to coach and is the oldest active college football coach. This book chronicles his first stint in coaching (he actually retired once, then came back from retirement to coach the same team!). To be able to come back from retirement and coach young college kids at his age takes phenomenal leadership skills and even better communication skills. Take heed of Coach Snyder’s advice and learn how to be a lifelong communicator. I encourage you to take a look at Coach Snyder’s 16 Goals for Success. [1]

                                          Who should read this book?

                                          • Readers seeking the story of the greatest coach in college football!

                                          What will you learn?

                                          • The leadership philosophy from one of the all-time great coaches.

                                          “If you do pay attention to detail and the little things are important to you, you make them important to people.” – Coach Bill Snyder

                                          Featured photo credit: Flaticon via flaticon.com

                                          Reference

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                                          1 Are You Addicted to Productivity? 2 Is Avoiding Difficult Tasks And Doing Easy Tasks First Less Productive? 3 How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data) 4 10 Best Productivity Planners To Get More Done in 2021 5 13 Steps to Build a Positive Habit Stacking Routine

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                                          Last Updated on October 7, 2021

                                          Are You Addicted to Productivity?

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                                          Are You Addicted to Productivity?

                                          “It’s great to be productive. It really is. But sometimes, we chase productivity so much that it makes us, well, unproductive. It’s easy to read a lot about how to be more productive, but don’t forget that you have to make that time up.”

                                          Matt Cutts wrote that back in 2013,[1]

                                          “Today, search for ‘productivity’ and Google will come back with about 663,000,000 results. If you decide to go down this rabbit hole, you’ll be bombarded by a seemingly endless amount of content. I’m talking about books, blogs, videos, apps, podcasts, scientific studies, and subreddits all dedicated to productivity.”

                                          Like so many other people, I’ve also fallen into this trap. For years I’ve been on the lookout for trends and hacks that will help me work faster and more efficiently — and also trends that help me help others to be faster. I’ve experimented with various strategies and tools . And, while some of these strategies and solutions have been extremely useful — without parsing out what you need quickly — it’s counterproductive.

                                          Sometimes you end up spending more time focusing on how to be productive instead of actually being productive.

                                          “The most productive people I know don’t read these books, they don’t watch these videos, they don’t try a new app every month,” James Bedell wrote in a Medium post.[2] “They are far too busy getting things done to read about Getting Things Done.”

                                          This is my mantra:

                                          I proudly say, “I am addicted to productivity — I want to be addicted to productivity — productivity is my life and my mission — and I also want to find the best way to lead others through productivity to their best selves.

                                          But most of the time productivity means putting your head down and working until the job’s done.” –John Rampton

                                          Addiction to Productivity is Real

                                          Dr. Sandra Chapman, director of the University of Texas at Dallas Center for BrainHealth points out that the brain can get addicted to productivity just as it can to more common sources of addiction, such as drugs, gambling, eating, and shopping.

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                                          “A person might crave the recognition their work gives them or the salary increases they get,” Chapman told the BBC.[3] “The problem is that just like all addictions, over time, a person needs more and more to be satisfied, and then it starts to work against you. Withdrawal symptoms include increased anxiety, depression, and fear.”

                                          Despite the harmful consequences, addiction is considered by some experts as a brain disease that affects the brain’s reward system and ends in compulsive behavior. Regardless, society tends to reward productivity — or at least to treat it positively. As a result, this makes the problem even worse.

                                          “It’s seen like a good thing: the more you work, the better,” adds Chapman. “Many people don’t realize the harm it causes until a divorce occurs and a family is broken apart, or the toll it takes on mental health.”

                                          Because of the occasional negative issues with productivity, it’s no surprise that it is considered a “mixed-blessing addiction.”

                                          “A workaholic might be earning a lot of money, just as an exercise addict is very fit,” explains Dr. Mark Griffiths, distinguished professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent University. “But the thing about any addiction is that in the long run, the detrimental effects outweigh any short-term benefits.”

                                          “There may be an initial period where the individual who is developing a work addiction is more productive than someone who isn’t addicted to work, but it will get to a point when they are no longer productive, and their health and relationships are affected,” Griffiths writes in Psychology Today.[4] “It could be after one year or more, but if the individual doesn’t do anything about it, they could end up having serious health consequences.”

                                          “For instance, I speculated that the consequences of work addiction may be reclassified as something else: If someone ends up dying of a work-related heart attack, it isn’t necessarily seen as having anything to do with an addiction per se – it might be attributed to something like burnout,” he adds.

                                          There Are Three “Distinct Extreme Productivity Types

                                          Cyril Peupion, a Sydney-based productivity expert, has observed extreme productivity among clients at both large and medium-sized companies. “Most people who come to me are high performers and very successful. But often, the word they use to describe their work style is ‘unsustainable,’ and they need help getting it back on track.”

                                          By changing their work habits, Peupion assists teams and individuals improve their performance and ensure that their efforts are aligned with the overarching strategy of the business, rather than focusing on work as a means to an end. He has distinguished three types of extreme productivity in his classification: efficiency obsessive, selfishly productive, and quantity-obsessed.

                                          Efficiency obsessive. “Their desks are super tidy and their pens are probably color-coded. They are the master of ‘inbox zero.’ But they have lost sight of the big picture, and don’t know the difference between efficiency and effectiveness.”

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                                          Selfishly productive. “They are so focused on their own world that if they are asked to do something outside of it, they aren’t interested. They do have the big picture in mind, but the picture is too much about them.”

                                          Quantity-obsessed. “They think; ‘The more emails I respond to, the more meetings I attend, the more tasks I do, the higher my performance.’ As a result, they face a real risk of burnout.”

                                          Peupion believes that “quantity obsessed” individuals are the most common type “because there is a pervasive belief that ‘more’ means ‘better’ at work.”

                                          The Warning Signs of Productivity Addiction

                                          Here are a few questions you should ask yourself if you think you may be succumbing to productivity addiction. After all, most of us aren’t aware of this until it’s too late.

                                          • Can you tell when you’re “wasting” time? If so, have you ever felt guilty about it?
                                          • Does technology play a big part in optimizing your time management?
                                          • Do you talk about how busy you are most of the time? In your opinion, is hustling better than doing less?
                                          • What is your relationship with your email inbox? Are you constantly checking it or experience phantom notifications?
                                          • When you only check one item off your list, do you feel guilty?
                                          • Does stress from work interfere with your sleep?
                                          • Have you been putting things off, like a vacation or side project, because you’re “too swamped?

                                          The first step toward turning around your productivity obsession is to recognize it. If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then it’s time to make a plan to overcome your addiction to productivity.

                                          Overcoming Your Productivity Addiction

                                          Thankfully, there are ways to curb your productivity addiction. And, here are 9 such ways to achieve that goal.

                                          1. Set Limits

                                          Just because you’re hooked on productivity doesn’t mean you have to completely abstain from it. Instead, you need to establish boundaries.

                                          For example, there are a lot of amazing productivity podcasts out there. But, that doesn’t mean you have to listen to them all in the course of a day. Instead, you could listen to one or two podcasts, like The Productivity Podcast or Before Breakfast, during your commute. And, that would be your only time of the day to get your productivity fix.

                                          2. Create a Not-to-Do List

                                          Essentially, the idea of a not-to-do list is to eliminate the need to practice self-discipline. Getting rid of low-value tasks and bad habits will allow you to focus on what you really want to do as opposed to weighing the pros and cons or declining time requests. More importantly, this prevents you from feeling guilty about not crossing everything off an unrealistic to-do list.

                                          3. Be Vulnerable

                                          By this, I mean admitting where you could improve. For example, if you’re new to remote work and are struggling with thi s, you would only focus on topics in this area. Suggestions would be how to create a workspace at home, not getting distracted when the kids aren’t in school, or improving remote communication and collaboration with others.

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                                          4. Understand Why You Procrastinate

                                          Often, we procrastinate to minimize negative emotions like boredom or stress. Other times it could be because it’s a learned trait, underestimating how long it takes you to complete something or having a bias towards a task.

                                          Regardless of the exact reason, we end up doing busy work, scrolling social media, or just watching one more episode of our favorite TV series. And, even though we know that it’s not for the best, we do things that make us feel better than the work we should do to restore our mood.[5]

                                          There are a lot of ways to overcome procrastination. But, the first step is to be aware of it so that you can take action. For example, if you’re dreading a difficult task, don’t just watch Netflix. Instead, procrastinate more efficiently,y like returning a phone call or working on a client pitch.

                                          5. Don’t Be a Copycat

                                          Let’s keep this short and sweet. When you find a productivity app or technique that works for you, stick with it.

                                          That’s not to say that you can’t make adjustments along the way or try new tools or hacks. However, the main takeaway should be that just because someone swears by the Pomodoro Technique doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for you.

                                          6. Say Yes to Less

                                          Across the board, your philosophy should be less is more.

                                          That means only download the apps you actually use and want to keep (after you try them out) and uninstall the ones you don’t use. For example, are you currently reading a book on productivity? Don’t buy your next book until you’ve finished the one you’re currently reading (or permit yourself to toss a book that isn’t doing you any good). — and if you really want to finish a book more quickly, listen to the book on your way to work and back.

                                          Already have plans this weekend? Don’t commit to a birthday party. And, if you’re day is booked, decline that last-minute meeting request.

                                          7. Stop Focusing on What’s Next

                                          “In the age when purchasing a thing from overseas is just one click and talking to another person is one swipe right, acquiring new objects or experiences can be addictive like anything else,” writes Patrick Banks for Lifehack .

                                          “That doesn’t need to be you,” he adds. “You can stop your addition to ‘the next thing’ starting today.” After all, “there will always be this next thing if you don’t make a conscious decision to get your life back together and be the one in charge.”

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                                          • Think about your current lifestyle and the person you’re at this stage to help you identify what you aren’t satisfied with.
                                          • By setting clear goals for yourself in the future, you will be able to overcome your addiction.
                                          • Establish realistic goals.
                                          • To combat addiction, you must be aware of what is going on around you, as well as inside your head, at any given time.
                                          • Don’t spend time with people who have unhealthy behaviors.
                                          • Hold yourself accountable.
                                          • Keep a journal and write out what you want to overcome.
                                          • Appreciate no longer being addicted to what’s next.

                                          8. Simplify

                                          Each day, pick one priority task. That’s it. As long as you concentrate on one task at a time, you will be less likely to get distracted or overwhelmed by an endless list of tasks. A simple mantra to live by is: work smarter, not harder.

                                          The same is also accurate with productivity hacks and tools. Bullet journaling is a great example. Unfortunately, for many, a bullet journal is way more time-consuming and overwhelming than a traditional planner.

                                          9. Learn How to Relax

                                          “Sure, we need to produce sometimes, especially if we have to pay the bills, but, banning obsession with productivity is unhealthy,” writes Leo Babauta. “When you can’t get yourself to be productive, relax.” Don’t worry about being hyper-efficient. And, don’t beat yourself up about having fun.

                                          “But what if you can’t motivate yourself … ever?” he asks. “Sure, that can be a problem. But if you relax and enjoy yourself, you’ll be happier.”

                                          “And if you work when you get excited, on things you’re excited about, and create amazing things, that’s motivation,” Leo states. “Not forcing yourself to work when you don’t want to, on things you don’t want to work on — motivation is doing things you love when you get excited.”

                                          But, how exactly can you relax? Here are some tips from Leo;

                                          • Spend 5 minutes walking outside and breathe in the fresh air.
                                          • Give yourself more time to accomplish things. Less rushing means less stress.
                                          • If you can, get outside after work to enjoy nature.
                                          • Play like a child. Even better? Play with your kids. And, have fun at work — maybe give gamification a try .
                                          • Take the day off, rest, and do something non-work-related.
                                          • Allow yourself an hour of time off. Try not to be productive during that time. Just relax.
                                          • You should work with someone who is exciting. Make your project exciting.
                                          • Don’t work in the evenings. Seriously.
                                          • Visit a massage therapist.
                                          • Just breathe.

                                          “Step by step, learn to relax,” he suggests. “Learn that productivity isn’t everything.” For that statement, sorry Leo, I say productivity isn’t everything — it’s the only thing.” However, if you can’t cut loose, relax, do fun things, and do the living part of your life — you’ll crack in a big way — you really will.

                                          It’s great to create and push forward — just remember it doesn’t mean that every minute must be spent working or obsessing over productivity issues. Instead, invest your time in meaningful, high-impact work, get into it, focus, put in big time and then relax.

                                          Are You Addicted to Productivity? was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

                                          Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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