Communication is hugely important in all areas of life, including both professional and personal settings. Being able to communicate your needs in a proper way and understand people around you can significantly increase the quality of your life and help you advance in your career. Communication books are a great choice if you’re interested in improving your communication skills or learning the underlying principles that govern human interactions.
However, not all communication books are created equal, so be careful in your selection.
Quick Look - The Best Communication Books
- Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen, Roger Fisher - Get this book
- Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz - Get this book
- All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin - Get this book
- 4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication by Bento C. Leal III - Get this book
- Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend - Get this book
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie - Get this book
- Just Listen by Mark Goulston - Get this book
- Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern, Kathy Lubar - Get this book
- Extraordinary PR Ordinary Budget by Jennifer R. Farmer - Get this book
- Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Ron McMillan, Joseph Grenny, and Al Switzler - Get this book
What You Should Look for in a Communication Book
Books on communication are hugely popular and a staggering number of new titles are published every year. To quickly determine which are best for you, you should apply the following criteria to your selection process – author authority, type of skills covered, and cost.
First, you should investigate the author’s background to see how much authority they have in the field of communication. Check their other books, education, and professional career.
Also, make sure to check their reputation among other communication experts. See whether anyone recommends their books and how the readers rate their work.
Type of Skills Covered
Different books focus on different skills and are written for different settings. Some books are about selling your product, others cover efficient ways to guide and motivate your employees. There are also books on using communication skills for PR and building business connections.
A number of books also address interpersonal relationships with family members, spouses, friends, and strangers. Make your choice based on what segment you currently want to improve.
Finally, you should consider the price of the book before making the final decision. Always check the MSRP of the particular book and the advertised price to make sure you’re not being overcharged. Also, keep in mind that many books, especially the popular ones, also come in affordable paperback editions. Finally, you can always opt to buy a used copy to save a few bucks.
Our Picks for the Best Communication Books
Keep reading for the list of our favorite communication books.
1. Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen, Roger Fisher
Difficult conversations are all around us and extremely important, as they largely shape our lives. However, many people tend to avoid and put them off as much as possible.
The authors of Difficult Conversations will teach you how to approach these types of conversations with your spouse, children, co-workers, friends, clients, family members, and others. They provide an easy-to-follow approach to minimize stress and
You will learn to start conversations without being defensive, stay calm when you're feeling attacked, and put emotions aside.
2. Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz
Never Eat Alone is rightfully considered one of the best business communication books ever written. It was published in 2005 and reflects Ferrazzi’s networking experiences throughout his career.
The authors claim that the secret to successful networking at work is in reaching out to people and initiating contact. They claim that the biggest difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that the former always thinks in win-win terms in relationships with others.
Ferrazzi and Raz advise readers to never keep scores and make it a point to give others what they want, too. They also advise checking in with people on a regular basis and to never eat alone, as social invisibility is worse than failure.
3. All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin
Seth Godin, the famous author of numerous business and self-help books, penned this masterpiece in 2005. The book went on to sell millions and achieve
Godin explains many adverts contain straight-up lies and half-truths, but we tend to forgive those who know how to wrap them in good stories and nice packages.
Godin teaches the readers how to build beautiful stories around their products, tell when there’s an ugly truth hiding behind a nice story, develop immunity to marketing tricks and manipulations, and use truth to make their messages more memorable and easier to understand.
4. 4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication by Bento C. Leal III
Bento C. Leal III is an acclaimed author of self-help and communication books and 4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication is his finest work thus far. It was published in 2017 and quickly became one of the best-selling self-help books of the 21st century.
In 4 essential Keys, Bento C. Leal III claims that there are four crucial skills needed for successful communication. They’re universally applicable to romantic relationships, professional settings, family relationships, friendships, and all other relationships.
The skills presented in this book will help the reader listen to people with more empathy, nurture relationships, avoid listening blocks, successfully manage conflicts, and develop genuine appreciation and gratitude.
5. Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend
The importance of healthy boundaries is often overlooked. People with clear boundaries are routinely labeled as distant, selfish, and cold. However, boundaries are one of the essential elements of healthy relationships.
Cloud and Townsend wrote this fantastic book for all people who have trouble setting boundaries and taking control of their lives. They help the readers discern when it is the right time to say yes and when to say no.
The authors’ definitions of boundaries are rooted in biblical texts. The examined boundaries include relationships with spouses, friends, children, colleagues, parents, and yourself.
6. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
How to Win Friends by Dale Carnegie is the best known and most recommended book on communication and self-improvement written. Penned more than 80 years ago, its messages ring true to this day.
Carnegie, one of America’s most influential entrepreneurs, lays out the principles and strategies one should employ to develop and maintain quality relationships. The key to their success, Carnegie states, is in being genuinely interested in other people, their well-being, and success.
The book is written in an easy-to-follow language and offers countless nuggets of wisdom on business and personal relationships.
7. Just Listen by Mark Goulston
While many books on communication focus on the right things to say, Mark Goulston takes a different approach. Instead of talking, he advises the reader to listen carefully to what the other people have to say.
Goulston, an experienced psychiatrist, coach and business consultant, draws upon his professional experience to formulate simple and powerful techniques that can help the reader deal with angry, aggressive, toxic, and stubborn people.
The techniques are applicable to all settings and all types of relationships, though the author puts a strong emphasis on conflicts and problems in the professional environment.
8. Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern, Kathy Lubar
Managers often need to encourage their employees, especially in times of trouble and when the stakes are high. In the face of crisis and uncertainty, a strong leader figure might tip the scales to the right side and win the day.
Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar present simple and powerful strategies and techniques for empowering people around you in Leadership Presence. They teach how to handle difficult situations with confidence, build strong relationships, make moving and dramatic speeches, motivate people, and much more.
9. Extraordinary PR Ordinary Budget by Jennifer R. Farmer
It is a common misconception that PR is reserved for big companies. It, in turn, stems from another misconception – quality PR costs a lot. The facts are that PR is important for all organizations, regardless of their size, and that it doesn’t have to be expensive.
Jennifer Farmer offers her original CCRR approach to PR for companies and startups that operate on a tight budget. The acronym stands for credible, creative, responsive, and relentless. The CCRR framework relies on social media marketing, brand transparency, and attentiveness to create a cost-effective PR strategy for your brand and company.
10. Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Ron McMillan, Joseph Grenny, and Al Switzler
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes Are High came out in 2002. The 2nd edition hit the bookshelves seven years later. As of this writing, Crucial Conversations is still among the best-selling communication books written in the 21st century.
The authors teach the readers how to approach the most important conversations in their lives, leading them step-by-step through the preparation process. The readers can also learn how to turn anger and negative emotions into fruitful dialogue, become comfortable with pretty much any topic, and how to replace abrasiveness with persuasiveness.
Finding the Best Communication Books
The right communication books can help you advance in your career and boost your company. Likewise, they can help you build better relationships with your family and friends.
Finally, if you’d like to expand your knowledge of economics and entrepreneurship, feel free to check out our lists of best business books and best entrepreneur books. If you focus on investing, you can give these excellent investing books for beginners a go.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to look for in an excellent communication book?
There are several elements to include the skills, costs and the author’s philosophy.
What are the best communication books?
Benzinga recommends “Never Eat Alone,” “Difficult Conversations,” and “4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication.”