In my last blog post, I suggested some excellent books to help you lead. Now, I have three more for you to take on.
If you can improve your ability to listen, you’ll improve your ability to lead.
Here are three books that will help you develop your listening skills. Even though these books aren’t really about leading, they will help you be a better leader.
The first book to improve your skills to help you lead is The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier.
Leading isn’t really about telling people what to do. The Coaching Habit teaches a stack of questions to ask. These suggestions almost always seem to work when you need to turn the conversation around. They allow you to help someone think through the problem or opportunity that they bring to you. This gets you off the track that has you solving everything while no one else gets smarter or better.
The second book is Conversational Intelligence by Judith Glaser.
The author introduces how the manner in which you and your team talk with each other determines how difficult the conversation is going to be. Glaser connects it to the biology that is triggered within your brain. This gives you insight as to how to initiate and respond to conversations. Your conversations will be more well received, open, and collaborative.
People can recognize speech patterns (which are behaviors) and decide how to respond to make sure the conversation goes the best way possible. The book is a bit annoying because it seems to be selling a high priced workshop that you “need” to go to in order to become great at this. But, I found that I improved dramatically just by reading the book and following the basics that she presents quite well.
The final book recommendation is Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman.
The people you lead, as well as you yourself, are driven by emotions. While I love stoic philosophy (I’m a big fan of The Daily Stoic), which helps one be more rational and reasoned with our reactions and actions in the world, we just can’t get away from the fact that we are emotional by nature. Developing instincts and intelligence about emotions, both your emotions and others, will help you lead.
I use all of these tools as much as possible when coaching my clients.