Best Books on Communication

You’d probably agree with me when I say that humans are social creatures. We crave being around other humans and have evolved into the beings we are today because of our power to communicate.

Now, what is communication? Put simply, communication comes in three forms: using words, attitude, and body language.

The first form covers verbal communication, writing, and telling stories. These are methods some of our loved ones used to tell us stories when we were growing up. Storytelling is beautiful, and it’s one of the driving forces in life for many people. Stories take us through a whirlwind of emotions and, in most cases, give us hope moving forward.

When it comes to social skills, there is perhaps nothing more important than knowing how to communicate with others effectively.

Communicating is something we continuously do, whether or not we know it. By just standing there and not doing anything, we’re already sending a message to the person looking at us. I express myself to other people differently, and so do you.

As humans, communication is ingrained into our very core. It’s something that some of us have already taken to its highest point and exhausted all potentials. While some people may think they’ve reached this level in the spoken and written language, I think there’s always going to be room for growth and improvement. It is for this reason that I’ve compiled a list of essential reads on communication.

Human beings love new things. We love to create and experiment, which is why we’re always going to find new ways to communicate.

How wonderful would it be to constantly be aware of these new methods and apply them in your daily life? If you ask me, one of the ways you can win at life is to keep your communication skills up to date. And for that, you should definitely check out my roundup of the best books on communication.

Best Books on Communication

The Culture Map

The Culture Map

The one book that impressed me the most lately is The Culture Map. [...] For an organization like OutSystems where we have Dutch, we have people from Dubai, we have Portuguese, we have British, we have Americans [...] The book is fantastic and from all the examples I've seen, it creates a framework for two people that are from different cultures to actually understand why the other react the way they are [...] and so it helps into a lot of the communication process.
Paulo Rosado
CEO/OutSystems
Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers

Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers

Skimmed in the past, rereading. It has great examples of frameworks that help move you from fuzzy ideas to tangible output.
Ola Olusoga
Co-founder/Populum
Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives

Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives

Very well structured material on coaching. I'm a better listener now.
Bogdan Lucaciu
CTO/Adore Me
Far from the Madding Crowd

Far from the Madding Crowd

My undergraduate studies focused was on English literature and Communication. I developed an affinity for 18th Century literature, can’t really say why…This book struck me because of the strong female lead. In an era where there were few options for women, the lead character puts her independence above all else, uncompromisingly. I reread it when I need reminding that feminism means being able to make choices, especially unconventional ones.
Denise Morris Kipnis
Founder & Principal/ChangeFlow Consulting
Talking from 9 to 5: Women and Men at Work

Talking from 9 to 5: Women and Men at Work

I used to listen to the audio book “Talking from 5 to 9: Women and Men at Work” while driving to work in the morning. The book is about the differences between how women and men communicate at work, such as the words they use, tone of voice, structure of phrase and the impact it has in the way we are perceived differently in a work environment. Some of these differences are quite obvious, others are more subtle. I’ve applied learnings from this book in all my meetings, by adapting my vocabulary, using a more decisive tone, and making sure every woman’s voice and opinion were equally heard as any man’s.
Magda Marcu
Co-Founder/Sailo
The Ultimate Sales Letter: Attract New Customers. Boost your Sales.

The Ultimate Sales Letter: Attract New Customers. Boost your Sales.

I'd just go with something that's a bit of a more light read, like Dan Kennedy's Ultimate Sales Letter, or Joe Sugarman's The Adweek Copywriting Handbook. Either one of these will give you a solid building block that you can then expand upon with the more advanced courses, like Breakthrough Advertising, or Clayton Makepeace's Ultimate Desktop Copycoach.
Cristian-Dragos Baciu
Direct Response Copywriter
Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World

Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World

Here's a list of the top books that taught and inspired me this year. I go back to Sam Walton's book frequently and was struck, this year, by some common principles between Sam and General McChrystal. It seems they learned some similar things about what works when it comes to leading teams. For example, fostering a shared consciousness and empowering execution delivers results. Greg Foran shared The Good Jobs Strategy with me and I see a connection to Tim Brown's Change by Design. We are making progress in designing a "system" for our associates that results in opportunities for them and an even better work environment.
Doug McMillon
CEO/Walmart
Influencing Virtual Teams: 17 Tactics That Get Things Done with Your Remote Employees

Influencing Virtual Teams: 17 Tactics That Get Things Done with Your Remote Employees

The book includes many immediately actionable ideas for managing a distributed team. Clarity and efficiency of communication is paramount in a virtual environment and Hassan has honed in on the key tactics that will make a big difference in your work day.
Tom Moor
Co-Founder/Sqwiggle & Buffer
Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life

Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life

This book was recommended by Daymond John on page 234 of "Tools of Titans".

Daymond John
Founder/FUBU
Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step

Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step

While I was thinking of the best books to add to this short list, I realized that not even half of them are directly related to digital marketing. This is because I believe that the best marketers are people who understand human nature deeply and aim to bring out the best in it. Call me naive, but that’s how I see it. If I were to want to pursue a career in marketing, I’d read [...] Lateral Thinking.
Andra Zaharia
Freelance Content Marketer/The Content Habit
If Only I'd Listen To Myself: Resolving The Conflicts That Sabotage Our Lives

If Only I’d Listen To Myself: Resolving The Conflicts That Sabotage Our Lives

I’ve gone through quite a few experiences brought on or shaped by what I’ve learned from books. [...] Another example is If Only I’d Listen To Myself: Resolving The Conflicts That Sabotage Our Lives. I read it in a moment in my life when my closest personal relationships were going through a crisis and I was trying to figure out what I really wanted from myself and others. This book forced me to step outside my own mind and see myself as a stranger, so I could better separate between what was real and my interpretations of it. It helped me cultivate my empathy towards others, but myself as well. Mind you, it’s not an easy read and it takes a lot of emotional labor to get the most out of it.
Andra Zaharia
Freelance Content Marketer/The Content Habit
On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

I read a bunch of books on writing before I wrote my first book and the two that stuck with me were Stephen King’s book and “On Writing Well” by Zinsser (which is a bit on the technical side).
Mark Manson
Founder/MarkManson.net
The Brain Audit: Why Customers Buy (And Why They Don't)

The Brain Audit: Why Customers Buy (And Why They Don’t)

Then, when it comes to telling stories and putting things together in a structure, “The Brain Audit” is a good book; “Then Coffee and Kale Compete” – that’s about jobs to be done; “The Ask Method” – that’s also another very important one, pretty good when it comes to putting your thoughts together and putting marketing templates together, like landing pages, anything like this.
Louis Grenier
Podcaster in Chief/Everyone Hates Marketers
The Storyteller's Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, Why Some Ideas Catch On and Others Don't

The Storyteller’s Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, Why Some Ideas Catch On and Others Don’t

Since Kapwing is still a very young company, The Storyteller’s Secret helps me think about how I can communicate the origin story of Kapwing to our users and other people. I’m enjoying both!
Julia Enthoven
Co-Founder/Kapwing
B.S., Incorporated

B.S., Incorporated

I enjoyed the hell out of this book. It harpoons the bloated, mindlessly self-destructive tendencies of American corporations. But it’s also a human story. Which is why--despite the absurdity and arrogance and plain ol’ stupidity on display at BSI--I’d kind of like to work there. Are they hiring?
Bill Anderson
President/One Voice Creative Media

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