Great teachers, good books!

A regular feature of Networking Know-How has been our “what’s on your nightstand” reading suggestions—many of which have come in from list subscribers. Here is a broad selection from the long list.

The First 90 Days (Michael Watkins) and Influence without Authority (Alan R. Cohen) are two “classic” business books that provide leadership strategies, stories and tips, including how to cultivate and manage a network (inside and outside the organization), that will increase your chances for success by becoming a person known for achieving your own goals while helping others achieve theirs.

Maynard Webb’s Rebooting Work: Transform How You Work in the Age of Entrepreneurship takes on the changes in our new, IT-fueled workplace, where he sees more flexible and empowering opportunities for work than ever before.  Webb sees a world where freelancing and consulting offer opportunities, but also raise challenges in staying connected.

Linda Hill’s Being the Boss asks you to think about how you are doing managing the fundamentals of being a leader in today’s changing organizations and explains the conflicts managers face as they deal with the competing expectations of bosses, workers, peers, and others.

Susan RoAne’s books are known for helping people build confidence and for providing the tips and the tools to walk into any number of social and professional gathering with a room full of strangers and mingle.   How to Work A Room was first published in 1988, revised In 2007 and has sold over a million copies worldwide.

Increase your Influence at Work by Perry McIntosh and Richard Luecke is a quick-read 100-page paperback that shows the deep interconnections between building a strong and positive network and increasing your influence at work. Through influence, you can accomplish organizational, career and professional goals even when you don’t have actual formal authority over others.

We talk a lot in this space about the importance of giving back. Adam Grant’s new book, Give and Take, A Revolutionary Approach to Success, explores three kinds of people: givers (who like to be on the giving side of an equation), takers (who look to get more than they give), and matchers (who try to maintain a balance).

Susan Benjamin’s Perfect Phrases for Professional Networking: Hundreds of Ready-to-Use Phrases for Meeting and Keeping Helpful Contacts–Everywhere You Go is a very handy guide that can help you when you wonder what’s the “right thing to say.”  

Dorothy Leeds’s The 7 Powers of Questions: Secrets to Successful Communication in Life and Work is one of my favorite ”how to” books. Leeds explains why asking questions improves communication and helps you learn how to be genuine in formulating questions that lead to building and strengthening relationships.

For me, the “cause” of serendipity is attitude: the way you look at things; your approach to the world around you and the people in your world makes all the difference in what happens! If serendipity is of interest to you, Earning Serendipity by Glen Llopis may open you to a new way of thinking.

Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands is a best-selling, to-the-point guide that introduces you to the proper business behavior of more than 60 countries.

Gail McMeekin is an author, blogger, and workshop leader on the power of creating abundance at work and in life. In The 12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women, she shares tips that are timeless and “genderless” in discovering and integrating gratitude and fulfillment into our daily lives.

Terrie Williams, the author of The Personal Touch, a good “how to be a success in business” book, lives the values of giving in multiple ways. In addition to running a very successful PR firm in NYC, she speaks and writes about how to help teens “Stay Strong,” as well as regularly reaching out and volunteering with those who are far less fortunate.

Tim Butler in Getting Unstuck helps identify and address a common “psychological impasse.” It is a time of uncertainty and feeling uncomfortable.

Debra Fine’s The Fine Art of Small Talk helps you build rapport in large settings. More everyday small talk tools can be found in Alan Garner’s revised Conversationally Speaking or Dan Gabor’s How to Start a Conversation and Make Friends, which made me revisit the social skills classic, first published in 1936 with over 15 million copies sold world-wide, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie!

101 Great Ways To Improve Your Life is a collection of 101 self-improvement articles from recognized subject matter experts on topics ranging from doubt to self mastery, procrastination to speed reading, values to volunteering.  

For those starting out in their careers and those who wish to advance more quickly, check out The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead by Charles Murray (a well respected writer and author of The Bell Curve and the NYTimes Bestseller Coming Apart).

Knowing how to navigate and negotiate getting things done in the world of work includes being able to have a productive (and positive) conversation with others. This month’s book, Michael Wheeler’s The Art of Negotiation, How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World, focuses on what to do when the conversation goes off-script.

Life is a serious business, but who says you can’t find joy along the way? We should take our personal lives just as seriously as we take our careers. Allison Rimm’s The Joy of Strategy: A Business Plan for Life, guides you in creating a strategic plan that will help you pursue your life goals and dreams. 

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury is a classic to be sure, it has built its reputation as a “must read” for all levels of negotiation–from major decisions in the board room to the occasional conflict that can arise between officemates working under deadlines and limited resources. It will help you create win-win situations when asking for and receiving help from your network.

Finally, my own book, The Power of Everyday Networking, is packed with ideas that will help you with a job search or any transition.





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