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Recommended Reading

If you’re like us, it’s fun to buy books and read them. More often than not, though, we buy books and think we’ll get around to reading them. So just like everything else, make a specific plan for reading. We’ve also learned to let go of “Must Read the Whole Book!” Books are resources — skim where appropriate, read carefully the parts you think apply most to you. Finally, reading is great, but let that new knowledge make a difference in your life. Make a plan for how to apply what you have learned, practice new behaviors until they become more habitual for you. For help with a specific action plan to move you forward rapidly, call us about coaching.


Leadership and Self Deception A strange sounding title for a magnificent concept. In story format, this book lays the compelling case for treating others with sincerity and caring. It discusses how we impact how others behave toward us, in large part because of how we think about, feel about, and treat them. Though it addresses leadership in the title, it has direct application to all relationships. I consider this book to encompass a fundamental concept none of us should be living without.


Difficult Conversations We’ve all had uncomfortable, hard conversations at work, at home, even as a consumer. While many of us like to avoid these conversations, others of us approach them like a bull in a china shop. In a clear way, these authors give us the tools to improve our conversations, and thereby our relationships at work and home.


Learned Optimism Optimistic people are happier and live longer. My guess is they are also more fun to be around! Pessimists may indeed view the world more accurately, but if that leads to a lessened sense of well-being, who wants it? Attitude is everything — this book shows you how you can learn to be more optimistic, to not let as many things get to you, thereby enhancing your life. An important concept in business as well — we limit ourselves much more than circumstances do.


Love 'Em or Lose 'Em In clear, easy to read, actionable format, Kaye and Jordan-Evans lay out what supervisors and leaders need to know. They highlight the significant cost of turnover and how to keep your good people. Their findings are based in research, not just what they think is going on out there. Each short section has tips for what to do. My favorite chapter is Jerk: Don’t Be One and even includes a jerk assessment.


Love It, Don't Leave It For employees who feel disempowered at work and just want to move on, this book offers ways to truly evaluate the workplace to see if it can be salvaged. Changing jobs is inherently stressful and most of us are looking for some longevity doing something we love. Check this out and see what you can do.


First, Break All the Rules This book takes a vast body of research from the Gallup Organization and turns it into information you can use. Focusing on what great managers do, Buckingham and Coffman present what you, too, can do to be a great manager. Sometimes, that means breaking the rules, for instance spending your most time with your star performers, not with the mediocre or even troubled people in your employ.



Don't Sweat the Small Stuff The basis of this book is the stuff we worry, fret, and stress about are usually not as big a deal as we make it out to be. So we spend a lot of time and energy we could be funneling into other activities or our relationships. Carlson has turned this into a series, so look also for specific books for work, money, family, love, parenting, and teens. I like the books because it reminds me to put everything in perspective and the chapters are very short and easy to digest. I recommend a chapter at a time, practice the idea presented, then move on — don’t treat this as a fast read. There is also a workbook I highly recommend because most of us don’t have time for learning without application.


Emotional Intelligence Think IQ is what matters? How smart you are is often not as important as how good you are at handling situations well by being able to read your own and others’ emotions more accurately. Critical is self awareness, self discipline, social skills, and empathy for others. We’ve all met really smart people who knew their stuff but couldn’t function in a group setting worth beans. We’ve also met self-proclaimed, “I’m not the brightest bulb in the box” folks who knew how to read situations well, ask the right questions, and were secure in themselves and not threatened by disagreement. Emotional intelligence can be learned and enhanced and is often a core issue in executive coaching.


The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People Getting to be an oldie, but still a goodie, Covey helps us focus on what will make us effective. Everything from first things first, a way to prioritize and then actually act on your number one priority, to rejuvenating yourself so you have the energy to tackle life. He also has seven habits for teens and families. Get the workbook — knowledge applied is powerful!

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