Books of interest

For some of us, reading a spot-on book can be an enormously efficient way to learn.  I’ve found the following books have come up in my coaching recommendations again and again.

Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work by David Rock

An incredible book for managers who want to develop their people through getting them to think.  Includes powerful, immediately applicable models and practices.  Coach’s note: the first section explains why the models work through an exploration of brain theory.  If you’re a jump-right-in person, skip forward to part 2.

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg and Arun Gandhi

By far, the most powerful book I’ve ever read.  Rosenberg’s concepts take just a few minutes to understand but a lifetime to master.  His conflict resolution system has worked everywhere from inner-city St. Louis to the Gaza strip.  Simply knowing there’s a path out of any difficult situation generates enormous possibilities for everyone.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

A very clear set of processes anyone can use to get out of being stuck in overwhelm.  Wildly popular and useful.  I use Allen’s principles daily.

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss what Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen, and Roger Fisher

Extremely powerful insight into the “missing conversations” of identity and emotions.  A leader who masters the concepts out of this Harvard Negotion Project book clearly differentiates themselves.

The Power of a Positive No: Save The Deal Save The Relationship and Still Say No by William Ury

In this time of overwhelm, being able to stay connected while you renegotiate a request into an agreement which will work for you is a fundamental skill.  Ury, the author of “Getting to Yes” clearly articulates a new process for doing just that.

Assessment Tools

Of all the assessment tools – Meyers-Briggs, DISC, Hogan, etc., the two that I’ve found that are by far the most powerful are the Enneagram and the Strengthsfinder. In addition to self-awareness which characterizes all assessments, both of these tools provide clear steps forward for growth.

Enneagram – The Enneagram is a centuries-old self-awareness system. Don Riso and Russ Hudson of the Enneagram Institute have developed a super-structure around the Enneagram that gives you clear indicators of your level of emotional well-being, and specific suggestions for you to squarely deal with your derailers. Additionally, the Enneagram provides rich descriptions of how you will interact with yourself and others if you evolve on your path – and what it will look like if you don’t.

Strengthsfinder 2.0 – In order to access this assessment, you first need to buy one of Gallup’s related books: “Now Discover Your Strengths” or “Strengthsfinder 2.0”. Inside each book is an access code which will allow you to take the test. The philosophy of the Strengthsfinder authors is that too often, we spend the vast majority of our attention focused on our weaknesses. While addressing weaknesses is certainly useful, the opportunity lost by not developing our strengths can be staggering. Strengthsfinder uses data from millions of assessments to give you pinpoint suggestions to grow and leverage your strengths.