I wish I’d read the following books at age 18, or maybe even younger!
Each one has had a profound effect on the way I’ve thought about things — principally communicating, leading and managing people, which is an essential part of work as well as every day life, no matter what you do.
I firmly believe that absolutely anyone will benefit from reading these books. Ultimately, they help you to understand how people think, what governs human thought in general, and how people’s perceptions affect reality. You can read them in any order, but the order I have placed them in is how I would personally prioritise them and is how I read them.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – Buy on Amazon
A real classic, widely recommend, and for good reason. This book is all about developing your relationships with people. While the title might make you think it’s about manipulation, the opposite is true — the book focuses heavily on becoming genuinely interested in other people and using the skills it teaches to do the right think. An incredibly important book which made me think a lot about how I present myself to others and how to get the best out of all interpersonal relationships. Very short and readable in only a couple of hours but will bring benefits for a lifetime.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Dr Robert Cialdini – Buy on Amazon
A detailed study of how people influence each other, and what makes certain people influential. Funny, full of evidence, and brimming with fascinating stories. I have no doubt that I’ll read this book several times over in my life. It will help you understand how to influence others as well as how to identify or resist when others are influencing you. Essential reading.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman – Buy on Amazon
I must confess that I haven’t actually finished this book yet — but what I can say already is that it packages a huge amount of information from modern psychological and social research into how people think and react to all manner of things. It will help you understand how you think help you get the best out of yourself and others in all sorts of situations.
I have included Amazon links for convenience. I read one of these in paperback, one on Kindle and one on audiobook!
While I wish I’d read these books earlier in my life, I’m very grateful that I have now — many people will pass them by and miss out on the hugely useful information they contain. I hope you find them useful.