If you are like me, you have a stack of books that you have been either meaning to read or working your way through over time. It always seems like there are more books coming out and the stack grows with every purchase. Below I list five books that you should pull from their place in the stack and move to the top. If you haven’t been reading much lately, perhaps pick one of these and get back into the habit. All five of these had a significant impact on my way of thinking and my level of compassion. Get ready to absorb some pretty great thoughtfulness.
#5 – Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
Everyone knows that high IQ is no guarantee of success, happiness, or virtue, but until Emotional Intelligence, we could only guess why. Daniel Goleman’s brilliant report from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience offers startling new insight into our “two minds”—the rational and the emotional—and how they together shape our destiny.
Through vivid examples, Goleman delineates the five crucial skills of emotional intelligence, and shows how they determine our success in relationships, work, and even our physical well-being. What emerges is an entirely new way to talk about being smart.
The best news is that “emotional literacy” is not fixed early in life. Every parent, every teacher, every business leader, and everyone interested in a more civil society, has a stake in this compelling vision of human possibility.
Forget everything you thought you knew about how to motivate people—at work, at school, at home. It’s wrong. As Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others) explains in his paradigm-shattering book Drive, the secret to high performance and satisfaction in today’s world is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.
Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of our lives. He demonstrates that while the old-fashioned carrot-and-stick approach worked successfully in the 20th century, it’s precisely the wrong way to motivate people for today’s challenges. In Drive, he reveals the three elements of true motivation:
*Autonomy—the desire to direct our own lives
*Mastery—the urge to get better and better at something that matters
*Purpose—the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves
Along the way, he takes us to companies that are enlisting new approaches to motivation and introduces us to the scientists and entrepreneurs who are pointing a bold way forward.
Drive is bursting with big ideas—the rare book that will change how you think and transform how you live.
Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives?
The primary obstacle is a conflict that’s built into our brains, say Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the critically acclaimed bestseller Made to Stick. Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two different systems—the rational mind and the emotional mind—that compete for control. The rational mind wants a great beach body; the emotional mind wants that Oreo cookie. The rational mind wants to change something at work; the emotional mind loves the comfort of the existing routine. This tension can doom a change effort—but if it is overcome, change can come quickly.
In Switch, the Heaths show how everyday people—employees and managers, parents and nurses—have united both minds and, as a result, achieved dramatic results:
● The lowly medical interns who managed to defeat an entrenched, decades-old medical practice that was endangering patients.
● The home-organizing guru who developed a simple technique for overcoming the dread of housekeeping.
● The manager who transformed a lackadaisical customer-support team into service zealots by removing a standard tool of customer service.
In a compelling, story-driven narrative, the Heaths bring together decades of counterintuitive research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to shed new light on how we can effect transformative change.
Switch shows that successful changes follow a pattern, a pattern you can use to make the changes that matter to you, whether your interest is in changing the world or changing your waistline.
The New York Times and Washington Post bestseller that changed the way millions communicate
“[Crucial Conversations] draws our attention to those defining moments that literally shape our lives, our relationships, and our world. . . . This book deserves to take its place as one of the key thought leadership contributions of our time.”
―from the Foreword by Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
“The quality of your life comes out of the quality of your dialogues and conversations. Here’s how to instantly uplift your crucial conversations.”
―Mark Victor Hansen, cocreator of the #1 New York Times bestselling series Chicken Soup for the Soul®
The first edition of Crucial Conversations exploded onto the scene and revolutionized the way millions of people communicate when stakes are high. This new edition gives you the tools to:
- Prepare for high-stakes situations
- Transform anger and hurt feelings into powerful dialogue
- Make it safe to talk about almost anything
- Be persuasive, not abrasive
An enlightening look at how peaceful communication can create compassionate connections with family, friends, and other acquaintances, this international bestseller uses stories, examples, and sample dialogues to provide solutions to communication problems both at home and in the workplace. Guidance is provided on identifying and articulating feelings and needs, expressing anger fully, and exploring the power of empathy in order to speak honestly without creating hostility, break patterns of thinking that lead to anger and depression and communicate compassionately. Included in the new edition is a chapter on conflict resolution and mediation.
What are your favorite books? What would you have others move to the top of their stack? Tell us in the comments below!