13 Books to Improve Communication at Work

In both professional and personal contexts, communication is critical to success.

To improve your quality of life and career, you must communicate effectively and comprehend the people around you.

Reading communication books is a good solution if you want to improve your communication skills or learn about the basic principles that guide human relationships. 

Here are some of the best books to invest in:

Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz

What makes it worth reading?

Never Eat Alone is widely regarded as one of the best books on business communication ever published. Ferrazzi’s networking experiences throughout his career are reflected in this book published in 2005. According to the writers, the key to effective networking at Work is reaching out to others and establishing contact. They assert that the vital distinction between successful and unsuccessful people is that the former always view connections with others in a win-win manner.

Ferrazzi and Raz advise readers not to keep score and to make a point of giving others what they desire as well. Additionally, they advise often checking in with people and never eating alone, as social invisibility is worse than failure.

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The Science of Effective Communication by Ian Tuhovsky 

What makes it worth reading?

If you want to learn more about the art of communication, this is a must-read! The book is jam-packed with precise information about verbal and non-verbal communication and the impact these skills have in real-world situations. Additionally, the author provides real-world examples and recommendations on applying the theory in practice.

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Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get from Good to Great By Carmine Gallo

What makes it worth reading?

Carmine Gallo, the author of Talk Like TED (another good communication read), returns to Aristotle’s three-part formula for persuasion, in which he asserts that all great communicators. From the founding fathers to today’s most successful business leaders, adhere to ethos (credibility), logos (logic), and pathos (emotion) (emotion). Additionally, he brings in neuroscientists, economists, historians, billionaires, and CEOs of firms such as Google, Nike, and Airbnb to demonstrate how it works.

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Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear by Dr. Frank Luntz

What makes it worth reading?

Words That Work is a guide to how to say things. The book’s main idea is that interpretation is an essential part of communication, not the intention. The book talks about mistakes that can lead to misunderstood messages and how to choose words carefully.

It also teaches the skills of mastery in messaging. People who write and speak should follow these ten golden rules of language and examples of how words can be misunderstood in both business and politics.

Words That Work lays out a strategy for communicating the correct meaning and understanding during a discussion. This book illustrates the importance of carefully framing thoughts and demonstrates how to deliver words effectively.

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Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen 

What makes it worth reading?

A definitive guide on effective teamwork and feedback acceptance, both of which are essential parts of communication. The writers discuss this impediment and negatively react to feedback on the relationship.

Accepting feedback in a mature, constructive manner is easy with this helpful, practical guide. If you want to develop yourself and have better relationships, this book is for you.

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Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone By Mark Goulston

What makes it worth reading?

How do you make people listen? How do you persuade folks to pay attention? Goulston, a psychiatrist and business coach provides tools and tactics for breaking communication obstacles when dealing with “defiant bosses, angry employees, or self-destructive management teams.”

Goulston brings his experience as a hostage negotiator trainer to bear, instructing students to develop empathy, de-escalate conflict, and gain buy-in.

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Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age By Sherry Turkle

What makes it worth reading?

We are more connected than ever before, but also more isolated in many ways, Turkle observed in her previous book “Alone Together.” Turkle, a clinical psychologist and the director of MIT’s Initiative on Technology and Self, makes the case in this book for what we lose when we prioritize our devices above face-to-face interactions. Additionally, she guides how to re-establish more meaningful, nuanced human connections.

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Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance by Erica Dhawan

What makes it worth reading?

Digital Body Language is a how-to manual for interpreting nonverbal clues in online communications. This guide demonstrates how to read reactions and establish trust while hiding behind a computer screen. The sections detail which communication tools to utilize in specific scenarios and show how to communicate wisely and effectively across several platforms. Erica Dhawan also discusses transcending digital divides such as gender, age division, and culture. Digital Body Language is an invaluable resource for connecting with coworkers and clients while working remotely.

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Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen, Roger Fisher

What makes it worth reading?

We’re often confronted with difficult conversations, which significantly impact our lives. The problem is that most individuals try to put them off as long as they can. Learn from the writers of Difficult Conversations to tackle difficult conversations with your employees, coworkers, or clients.

They offer a straightforward strategy for reducing anxiety and getting the most out of the way you interact. As a result, you’ll gain the ability to strike up discussions without getting defensive, maintain your composure while you’re under assault, and put your emotions on hold.

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Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication by Oren Jay Sofer

What makes it worth reading?

Say What You Mean is the definitive guide to establishing meaningful and mindful conversations. Oren Jay Sofer delves into the unconscious habits and patterns that many communicators fall into and demonstrates how to break free of autopilot conversations and communicate with intention.

This advice emphasizes maintaining attention, avoiding ambiguity, and minimizing anxiety during dialogues. The text demonstrates how to be direct while remaining empathetic, illustrating that conversational clarity does not have to be at the expense of humanity.

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We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter by Celeste Headlee

What makes it worth reading?

Inspired by a widely-viewed TED talk, We Need to Talk offers advice on how to navigate difficult conversations. Celeste Headlee teaches readers how to be fully present in discussions, approach them without judgment, avoid repetition and fluff, and get to the heart of the topic.

The book emphasizes dialogue as a necessary survival skill and instructs readers to perfect it. We Need to Talk teaches readers to quit multitasking, mine conversations for crucial information, and hear critical messages.

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The Art of Communicating by Thich Nhat Hanh

What makes it worth reading?

The Art of Communicating is a handbook on having a kind and open dialogue with others. Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist monk and mindfulness expert specializing in self-talk, empathic listening, and mindful communication in the workplace. More meaningful interactions that lead to deeper, more genuine relationships are the goal of the methods and best practices outlined in this guidebook.

Avoiding unpleasant and poisonous workplace discussions is the subject of several chapters in this book. The Art of Communicating is a beautiful resource for professionals looking for more genuine, kind, and open dialogue in the corporate world.

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Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern, Kathy Lubar

What makes it worth reading?

Managers frequently need to inspire their employees, even more so during difficult times and when the stakes are high. In times of crisis and ambiguity, a strong leadership may tilt the scales to favor the right and win the day.

In Leadership Presence, Belle, Linda Halpern, and Kathy Lubar share simple yet effective tactics to empower those around you. They educate students on how to deal with difficult situations confidently, develop strong connections, deliver moving and dramatic speeches, and motivate others, among other things.

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Final Thoughts

While communication is a critical component of business, many professionals struggle with the practice. The exchange of words and knowledge is not the only objective of the course.

Communication in the workplace is about presenting messages effectively and persuasively and gaining listeners’ support. Books about communication can assist readers in avoiding misconceptions, capturing and holding their audience’s attention, and speaking more confidently in the workplace.

These guides foster collaborative efforts and assist professionals in achieving more favorable outcomes during conversations.

Leading a team? Check out our top reads for team leaders!

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