As a society, we focus a lot of time and energy on developing hard, technical skills: using business software, computer programming, welding, risk modeling, and the list goes on.
However, the keys to a successful career aren’t developing technical skills. A successful career is built on interpersonal abilities like communication, emotional intelligence, and critical thinking.
If you’re looking to improve your interpersonal skills, consider the following six books that can help you.
1) How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships
In this book, communication expert Leil Lowndes provides 92 techniques for effectively managing interpersonal relationships in a manner that will naturally seem attractive to others. Topics in the book, including making a good first impression, effective small talk, using body language and rapport.
2) People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others and Resolve Conflicts
People Skills is a communication manual aimed at helping people effectively handle their relationships. In the book, author Robert Bolton looks at the 12 most prevalent obstacles to good communication and how to cope with each one. Techniques in the book include active listening, being assertive, and how to use silence as a tool.
3) Dale Carnegie’s Lifetime Plan for Success
Iconic self-help author Dale Carnegie is best known for two books: How to Win Friends and Influence People and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. This book combines them into a single tome that has stood the test of time.
How to Win Friends covers topics like public speaking and making friends. How to Stop Worrying looks at ways to handle setbacks and reduce stress. Even though Carnegie wrote these books more than six decades ago, they are both highly relevant today. A good idea is a good idea forever.
4) The Art of War
Written more than 2,000 years ago by Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu, The Art of War has stood the test of time because its lessons easily translate from the literal battlefield to many other different kinds of “battlefields” – in business or sports, for instance.
Perhaps best of all, the wisdom in The Art of War is short, to-the-point, and easy to understand: “The skillful leader subdues the enemy’s troops without any fighting.”
5) How to Instantly Connect with Anyone
This highly rated book by Leil Lowndes explains how to utilize a concept known as ‘emotional prediction.’ In the book, Lowndes provides communication tactics for ways to make good impressions and earn respect, both in business and in your personal life.
6) PeopleSmart: Developing Your Personal Intelligence
This book focuses on way to make your relationships more rewarding, whether they are with a boss, a spouse, child or friends. Through focusing on interpersonal intelligence, the book lays out a practical plan for this area of self-improvement. The author uses examples, exercises and strategies in a way that is fun, vibrant – all with the goal of helping readers bolster their interpersonal intelligence and improve relationships.