Advertising
Advertising

77 Books That Changed My Life and 3 Recommendations to Help You Read More

77 Books That Changed My Life and 3 Recommendations to Help You Read More

If you want your life to be different… READ!

Words are thoughts that when shared are accepted as good ideas or bad ideas. Every single word you hear or read consciously or subconsciously shapes your beliefs and therefore they shape your life. Below you will find seventy-seven books from my personal recommended reading list. These books have changed my life. I am grateful to each author whose words shaped my soul. If you want your life to be different… read!

Allyson Lewis’ Top 10 Must Read Books
Lone Survivor book-jacket-lone-survivor-hi-res

    1. Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Acct of Operation Redwing & the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Lutrell
    2. Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankle
    3. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
    4. The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge
    5. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
    6. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
    7. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
    8. The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John Mann
    9. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
    10. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

    Biography

    Who do you admire? Imagine what you can learn from reading the biographies of some of the best and worst men and women in history.

    Advertising

      1. Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson
      2. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
      3. Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters by Major (Ret.) Dick Winters & Cole C. Kingseed
      4. Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by Stephen Ambrose
      5. D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Battle for the Normandy Beaches by Stephen Ambrose
      6. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
      7. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
      8. John Adams by David McCullough
      9. Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris
      10. Abraham Lincoln (Pocket Biographies) by H. G. Pitt
      11. Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden
      12. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson
      13. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
      14. The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

      Attention / Neuroplasticity

      Neuroplasticity: the brain is plastic or changeable. Do not miss this section! Yes, some of these books read like text books.   The brain science of neuroplasticity has fascinated me since the moment I first read about how you can re-wire your brain to increase your attention span and sharpen your concentration and ability to focus.

      Personal Development

      You can be different tomorrow than you are today. Reading books is one of the best ways to learn from the wisdom of others.

      Advertising

        Psychology

        Happiness, sadness, creativity, logical thinking, planning, dealing with anxiety, stress, depression, courage, motivation, new challenges. This set of books will inspire and educate you.

        file000894312228

          Business

          The business world changes at the speed of light… but, some of these books are decades old.

          Advertising

          Business tumblr_mztssdgEgU1sfie3io1_1280

            Fiction

            What novels will you read to sweep you away?

            Fiction

              Faith

              We all believe something. These are books that have inspired hundreds of thousands. Slow down and enjoy a book to reconnect with your soul.

              FLOWER tumblr_myb1y3Ilmy1sfie3io1_1280

                Three Recommendations to Help You Read More

                As a time management strategist I offer three recommendations to help you find the time to read more books.

                Advertising

                3175555424_aca0f0017e_b-2

                  1. Read 10 Pages a Day

                  Books are not usually intended to be read in a single setting. Create a daily reading strategy, set a time where you will read ten pages of a book every day. If you want to learn more about leadership, read ten pages of a biography a great leader. I you want to be inspired, read ten pages of an inspirational book.

                  2. Listen to Books

                  Some people have difficulty sitting and reading.  Therefore, my second recommendation is for you to download books to your smart phone or to your computer and list to books as you exercise or clean house or while you are waiting in a doctor’s office.  Many libraries now allow you to download books electronically for a couple of weeks at no charge.  And, there are several other great ways to download books like Audible.com.

                  3. Read Books Aloud

                  This is one of my favorite recommendations to help you read more books.  This idea came from a friend of mine, Lindsay Penn, who said when she and her husband go on a trip she will pick a book and read it aloud. I have strong memories of my elementary teachers reading books aloud to our class and when reading time was over we would collectively beg for her not to stop reading.

                   Do you have a library card?  Make time to go to your local library today – what book will you read first?

                  Featured photo credit: Allyson Lewis via flickr.com

                  More by this author

                  Allyson Lewis

                  Allyson is a nationally acclaimed author, motivator, speaker, time management, productivity strategist, and executive coach.

                  77 Books That Changed My Life and 3 Recommendations to Help You Read More Uncommon Quotes That Can Change Your Life Every iPhone User Needs To Know These Smart Ways To Use Siri How Strategic Thinking Can Boost Your Performance at Work Wow! 27 Ways to Boost your Productivity in 7 Minutes a Day

                  Trending in Communication

                  1 15 Inspiring Ideas to Boost Your Motivation for Success 2 How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success 3 How to Turn Your Fear of Missing Out into a Joy of Missing Out 4 What Is Resilience and Why Is It Important? 5 Positive Motivation vs Negative Motivation: Which One Is Better?

                  Read Next

                  Advertising
                  Advertising
                  Advertising

                  Last Updated on April 11, 2019

                  How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                  How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                  Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

                  I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

                  I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

                  Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                  How Communication Skills Help Your Success

                  Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

                  Create a Positive Experience

                  Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

                  When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

                  What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

                  Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

                  As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

                  Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

                  Advertising

                  Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

                  Help Leadership Skills

                  It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

                  Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

                  As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

                  Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

                  If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

                  Build Better Teams

                  Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

                  In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

                  If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

                  When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

                  Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

                  Advertising

                  How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                  There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

                  Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

                  1. Listen

                  Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

                  Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

                  People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

                  Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

                  Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

                  2. Know Your Audience

                  Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

                  Here is a good way to think about it:

                  Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

                  You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

                  Advertising

                  3. Minimize

                  I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

                  He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

                  Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

                  State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

                  The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

                  4. Over Communicate

                  So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

                  What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

                  Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

                  Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

                  Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

                  There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

                  Advertising

                  5. Body Language

                  The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

                  When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

                  In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

                  When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

                  Conclusion

                  Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

                  Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

                  There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                  Now go communicate your way to success.

                  More Resources About Effective Communication

                  Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

                  Read Next