The way we interact and communicate with people is important.
It’s important in our personal lives, our love lives and of course our careers.
The conversations we have with people have a huge impact on our lives. Some conversations are easy and free-flowing, whilst others can be more difficult.
Some conversations are downright challenging.
Communication isn’t all just about words either. It’s our body language and our presence. It’s all part of the package.
Here are 12 great books on having better conversations.
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To buy a book, you can click on the text link in each section as well as on the book image.
1. Crucial Conversations
Crucial Conversations is written by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler.
This book was originally written in 2002 but has been given an update.
This book can help you through those high stakes conversations.
There’s a whole chapter on ‘Yeah, but’ which really appeals to me because who hasn’t heard that in a conversation before!
2. Crucial Accountability
Crucial Accountability was written by Kerry Patterson and Joseph Grenney (who as you can see are two of the writers of Crucial Conversations).
When it was first published this book was titled, Crucial Confrontations but the name was later changed.
This book looks at resolving conflicts around broken commitments and violated expectations (something I’m sure we can all relate to).
3. Difficult Conversations
Lordy, who hasn’t had one of these at some point! There are definitely times I could have used this book over the years.
Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most is written by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen.
This book starts off by looking at three conversations – The ‘what happened’ conversation (I’ve definitely had a few of these!), the feelings conversation and the identity conversation. It then moves onto the Create a Learning Conversation section.
4. Fierce Conversations
Fierce Conversations is written by Susan Scott.
This book is based around 7 principles. These principles can help you get real about your conversations, work with your instincts, tackle your challenges and use silence to your advantage (just to name a few).
Susan also has a book on Fierce Leadership if you need help in that area. Fierce Leadership challenges some of the worst best practices in business.
5. Nonviolent Communication
The book Nonviolent Communication ramps things up a notch.
The writer Marshall Rosenberg Ph.D. has initiated peace programs in war-torn regions.
This book digs into the NVC process, how we can connect through compassion, when using force is involved and much more.
6. The Fine Art of Small Talk
The Fine Art of Small Talk is written by Debra Fine.
As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I’m not a big fan of small talk. I think that’s the introverted side of me. I prefer deeper discussions on issues.
Yet the truth of the matter is sometimes small talk is absolutely necessary.
Sometimes it’s needed when you first meet someone (networking anyone?) or it might be how you start a conversation with someone who has been in your life for a long time. Small talk is how they communicate, so it’s how you communicate, at least in the beginning until you can deepen the conversation.
Sometimes you need to start small and this book can help you master that.
7. How to Talk To Anyone
How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships is written by Leil Lowndes.
This is one of those pocket rocket books full of useful tips that you can put into practice straight away.
But it also covers a lot more than just talking. It covers different scenarios, like how to make people feel special, make a good first impression and come across as credible (plus heaps more).
8. Reclaiming Conversation
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age is written by Sherry Turkle.
You don’t need me to tell you that conversations with people who aren’t attached to their mobiles are getting to be a rare thing.
I remember reading part of an interview with Jennifer Aniston saying that a ‘Friends’ reunion wouldn’t work now because they’d all be on their mobiles checking social media instead of talking to each other.
Unfortunately, that’s probably true.
This book looks at technology, communication, connection, and solitude. It looks into reclaiming conversation.
Of course, conversations aren’t just about the words we use. They are about body language and facial expressions. They’re about making sure people remember us for all the right reasons.
If you want to learn even more from Vanessa, she has a range of online classes to pick from over at CreativeLive. She has a course on The Power of Body Language, The Power of Negotiation, The Power of Happiness and Master Your People Skills. Check her courses and her bio out for yourself.
10. The Charisma Myth
The Charisma Myth is written by Olivia Fox Cabane.
Do you have charisma?
Most of us know someone who oozes personal magnetism. We might even wish to be more like them.
This book explores what charisma is in the first place, the myths surrounding it and of course how to have more of it. I was going to write acquire it, but you probably have a lot more of it than you realize already, you just need help from an expert to bring it out.
11. Not Nice
Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty…And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, And Unapologetically Being Yourself is written by Dr. Aziz Gazipura PsyD.
I thought it was important to include this book as many of us can have trouble expressing ourselves because we are too busy trying to keep people happy.
We’re too busy trying to be nice.
The truth is being nice can often lead to feeling resentful.
This book can help you express what you need to and act how you need to. You’ll learn about being nice, guilt, anger, your shadow side, speaking up and being selfish. There’s also a section on boundaries (which I’m a huge fan of) in this book.
12. Radical Candor
Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity is a book for bosses and managers.
Written by Kim Scott this book can help you build better work relationships, build cohesive teams and be a leader with integrity and compassion while still achieving the results your company requires.
If you are exhausted by your management role, this is the book for you.
How would better conversations bring more peace, joy, and connection into your life?
Grab your book, put on the kettle for a cuppa and get busy learning how you can have better conversations.
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