Mobile phone technology and I grew up together.
When I was a kid, seeing these shiny new gadgets all around me, I wrote down a list of reasons why I deserved to get a phone, what I planned to use it for, and its benefits to my parents and me. I’m not sure if I showed it to them, but I did end up getting a phone soon after. A Nokia, of course.
Like many people my age, I grew up texting. Unfortunately, no benefits here for me, since my preferred form of communication made me dread the other, speaking to people on the phone.
For years, I avoided calling (or responding to) people I wasn’t close with like Republicans avoid masks during a pandemic.
I worked on it, and now I have no issue talking to people on the phone. I even prefer video calls (who am I?). However, I still feel awkward when I have to talk on the phone but had time to prepare emotionally beforehand. Old habits die hard, okay?
But this isn’t about overcoming my voice call fear. It’s about honest and heartfelt communication, and in a way, about what happens when we go out of our comfort zone. Mostly though, it’s a list of communication skills books. But nothing is “just” itself, isn’t it?
Recently, I took an unexpected call and I was greeted with a shower of compliments that completely turned my day around.
In Part Four of my education and career guide, What I Wish I Had Known & Three Ways to Make a Difference, Wherever You Work, I wrote:
When David’s client stepped into his salon and asked him to style her hair, he asked if she had any special plans that night. A party, some type of social engagement, anything? She said no, nothing special. Which wasn’t exactly true. In fact, she did have something planned for that night. Something big. She was planning to end her life — and she wanted her hair to look nice at her funeral.It all matters. by Alexandra Franzen
The hairdresser was so sweet, that the woman decided not to follow through with her suicide plan. You can read the story at the link, it’s so moving that David actually wrote a book on it, Life As a Daymaker: How to Change the World by Simply Making Someone’s Day.
Don’t you simply love that term, daymaker? All of us, in little ways, can make someone’s day, especially at work, where we spend 1/3 of our time.
A good conversation is more powerful than we realize, whether when we’re doing most of the talking or the listening.
Have you experienced the magic of a thoughtful word or a compliment lately? We get so entrenched in everyday chores and speaking patterns that we rarely stop to verbally appreciate ourselves, our work, our fragments, and especially other people.
I try to tell the people I love that I love them often. I try to tell them everything I appreciate about them. Tip: the list grows the more you pay attention to it.
The best 5 communication skills books that aren’t communication books per se
See, none of them have the word in the title.
Communication skills books that aren’t communication books per se: The Awakened Family: How to Raise Empowered, Resilient, and Conscious Children -Shefali Tsabary Ph.D.
I read this book this summer on the beach. Beach days hold within them the power to make you fully immerse yourself in them, with no expectation or agenda. The book is supposedly about parents trying to raise conscious children, but I believe everyone should read it, even if they never plan on having kids or if their kids are now adults. It’s packed with gems about the way parents (therefore, most of society) behave.
Communication skills books that aren’t communication books per se: Rework – David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried
Supposedly about work, but in reality, about so much more. Fried and DHH (as he’s lovingly known on Twitter) are simply decent people. They’ve created a super successful company without ever sacrificing values or integrity. A must-read to revolutionize the way we work and talk.
Communication skills books that aren’t communication books per se: Models: Attract Women Through Honesty – Mark Manson
Supposedly about dating, but in reality, about so much more. Almost everyone has read Manson’s book, “The Art of Not Giving a Fuck”, but Models is the real star of the show. As a longtime reader, I feel proud of his well-deserved success. He’s grown a lot, even though it’s in a direction I’m not super into, I still appreciate him and think everyone should read some of his work.
Communication skills books that aren’t communication books per se: Living, Loving & Learning – Leo Buscaglia Ph.D.
Leo Buscaglia, known as Dr. Love, was one of those larger-than-life people. Even though he passed in 1998, I read his work more than two decades later. I think my mother found his books when she was researching for her Master’s Degree. This book is a collection of his lectures that he delivered worldwide between 1970 and 1981. I’m so glad I read them. You will know what I mean when I talk about larger than life when you read his work.
Communication skills books that aren’t communication books per se: I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression – Terrence Real
Lastly, this book is a must-read for every man, but as a human, I believe it’s a hard read each of us should go through. Don’t let the scary word “depression” put you off, it’s about mental health, yes, but also about the way men communicate, the way men raise boys, about how the world treats men’s feelings and inner worlds.