When you come down to it, communication is at the heart of everything you do. When you communicate clearly and effectively, your business and personal relationships benefit. The trouble is that there are so many things that get in the way when we communicate. Body language, tone of voice and eye contact (or lack thereof) can impact face-to-face communication, and so many mixed signals can come into play when we use electronic media to “talk” with each other.

Five Favorite Books On Communication

If you are looking for fresh ideas or for some sage advice on communication, we have put together a list of five of our favorite books on the subject. As you start the New Year, there is no better time to evaluate your own communications skills and to vow to improve them.

Books On Communication – Getting to Yes: Negotiating an Agreement without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury

Based on the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project and originally published in 1981, Getting to Yes offers step-by-step strategies for negotiation and conflict resolution. You can use the methods in every sort of situation, whether they are family, community or work-related. By focusing on the problem and not on the person, you can learn to handle conflict without getting angry or feeling you have to get even.

Books On Communication – Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone by Mark Goulston

Talk less; listen more. It sounds so easy, and yet it is so difficult. In this 2009 book, Goulston, a psychiatrist, business consultant and life coach, uses scientific research and personal experience to reveal how to the fine art of listening can change lives. The author gives actionable steps to getting virtually anyone to “buy in” to what you want them to do. He explains that the secret lies not in what you tell them but in what you hear them say.

Books On Communication – The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allan Pease, Barbara Pease

The way we stand, the way we sit, the way we tilt our heads…So much of what we communicate is without words. And yet many of us are unaware of what we are saying non-verbally. This book draws upon three decades of research to explain the significance of body language. In addition to understanding more about what you reveal to others with your own body language, you will better understand what others are telling you – whether they mean to or not.

Books On Communication – Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently by John C. Maxwell

We are bombarded with tens of thousands of messages each day – from conversations, to billboards to texts and emails, to movies and TV shows. Yet so many messages are just thrown out there and not really received. In this book. leadership expert Maxwell gives us the tools to really connect with each other. “When you connect with others,” he writes. “You position yourself to make the most of your skills and talents.”

Maxwell contends everyone has the ability to connect. “Connecting isn’t just for leaders, he says in his book. “It’s for anyone who desires to be more effective at what he or she does or enjoy better relationships.”

Books On Communication – How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

I first read this book as a teenager, and it made a huge impact on me. First published in 1936, this classic self-help book gives you practical advice on how to communicate better, and, by doing so, get more out life than you ever thought possible. Here is some of Carnegie’s timeless advice:

  • “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
  • “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.”
  • “Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.”
  • “Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, ‘I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you.”

Five Of The Best Books On Communication