One of the fundamental aspects of human interaction is communication and having these skills have a profound impact on our personal and professional lives. Whether you are trying to convey ideas clearly, looking to improve your public speaking, enhance your listening skills or navigate difficult conversations.
While mastering these skills is not always easy, reading books on communication would go a long way to make you an effective communicator with practical techniques and insightful anecdotes from experts. These books cover a wide range of topics including interpersonal communications, public speaking negotiation, and conflict resolution.
In this guide, let’s explore some of the best communication books from timeless classics to modern master piece.
50 Best Books on Communication You Should Read
1. How to Win Friends and Influence People
- Author: Dale Carnegie
- Subtopic: The Only Book You Need to Lead You to Success
This is one of the best communication books to improve business and personal lives. It is packed with practical tips on becoming a great conversationist including asking open-ended questions and highlighting shared interests to foster rapport and build trust.
The author explores readers to make efforts in creating a win-win relationship rather than using force or manipulating others.
2. Everyone Communicates, Few Connect
- Author: John C. Maxwell
- Subtopic: What the Most Effective People Do Differently
Communication goes on every day but the bigger question is how many people truly connect while conversing? According to Maxwell, communication should go beyond just conveying information to building relationships and meaningful connections.
This book also covers how individuals can communicate with clarity and simplicity using clear and concise language to the audience’s level of understanding.
3. Emotional Intelligence
- Author: Daniel Goleman
- Subtopic: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ
You may not agree with this concept until you have read this book to the last page. Daniel Goleman argues that emotional intelligence (EQ) is also as important if not more than intellectual Intelligence (IQ). He also supports these claims with scientific research and studies.
In the book, Goleman analyses the components of emotional intelligence which includes self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills, and highlights the roles of EQ in various areas of life including leadership, decision-making, and personal well-being.
4. The Fine Art of Small Talk
- Author: Debra Fine
- Subtopic: How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills, and Leave a Positive Impression
This book is a must-read if you are clueless about how to start conversations in social situations. Debra offers practical advice, strategies, and techniques to initiate conversations, find common ground and keep it flowing.
Asides from this, the book uncovers ways to approach strangers, open conversations with icebreakers, and open-ended questions that bring about dialogue.
5. How to Talk to Anyone
- Author: Leil Lowndes
- Subtopic: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships
Leil argues that nobody is unapproachable and notes that communication challenges such as anxiety can be responsible for the sluggishness in communication. In this book, she exposes readers to several ways to start and keep conversations with confidence using body language, nonverbal cues, tone of voice, and facial expressions.
6. Because the Internet
- Author: Gretchen McCulloch
- Subtopic: Understanding the New Rules of Language
This book explores how the internet has transformed communication in the digital age and gives insights into the evaluation of language, the impact of technology, and how you can express yourself online with several linguistic tools such as emojis, abbreviations, and memes.
7. Non-Violent Communication
- Author: Marshall B. Rosenberg
- Subtopic: A Language of Life
This book is a transformative guide as not everyone can successfully manage conversations in emotionally charged situations. The author Rosenberg highlights the importance of empathy in communication and resolving conflicts as well as managing anger and expressing emotions constructively.
He further explores real-life examples, dialogues, and exercises to help readers practice and apply the principles of non-violent communication.
8. Words That Change the Minds
- Author: Shelle Rose Charvet
- Subtopic: The 14 Patterns for Mastering the Language of Influence
This is a self-help book on communication that exposes readers to the power of language and how it influences one’s thoughts, beliefs, and actions.
The book explores how using language effectively can create positive change in all areas of life including relationships, career, and personal well-being.
9. Failure to Communicate
- Author: Holly Weeks
- Subtopic: How Conversations Go Wrong and What You Can Do to Right Them
Sometimes conversations take a wrong bend and leave individuals thinking of what to do. Holly Weeks seems to have answered the question in his book- “Failure to Communicate”.
He offers readers practical tools and techniques to improve communication skills such as active listening, asking open-ended questions, and expressing oneself clearly and assertively.
The book also covers scenarios of communication breakdowns such as conflicts, misunderstandings, and difficult conversations.
10. Just Listen
- Author: Dr. Mark Goulston
- Subtopic: Discover the secret to getting through to absolutely anyone
Communication shouldn’t be about just conversing. Goulston believes that listening and understanding one’s emotions, needs and perspective can help create a better connection.
This book also gives tips on becoming a better listener and breaking barriers to effective listening such as distraction, biases, and preconceived notions.
11. You Just Don’t Understand
- Author: Deborah Tannen
- Subtopics: Women and Men in Conversation
This book explores the differences in the communication style between men and women. According to the author, women prioritize connection and seek to establish rapport while men focus on status and independence.
Also, Tannen explains how women and men employ different strategies to convey meaning, express emotions and assert themselves in conversations.
12. Power Questions
- Author: Andrew Sobel
- Subtopic: Build Relationships, Win new business, and Influence others
In this book, Andrew Sobel introduces a different concept to provoke deep thinking, encourage self-reflection and generate meaningful conversation using power questions. This can be used in different contexts such as sales, leadership, networking, and personal relationships.
13. Skill With People
- Author: Les Giblin
- Subtopic: Career Sucess, Better Social life, Improved family house
This book focuses on improving interpersonal relationships and building effective relationships with real-life examples and strategies.
14. You are not Listening
- Author: Kate Murphy
- Subtopic: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters
Maybe your communications are not effective because you are only concerned with speaking and being heard rather than listening. This book explores the art of listening in a world filled with distractions and constant noise.
It also offers practical insights and strategies for becoming better listeners. Different levels of listening including emphatic, active, and deep listening are also being discussed.
15. The Charisma Myth
- Author: Olivia Fox Cabane
- Subtopic: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism
This is a self-help book that explores the concept of possessing great charisma during communication. Olivia also provides readers with techniques and exercises to improve this aspect of their lives. It also covers tips on handling obstacles that can hinder charisma such as self-doubt and fear of rejection.
16. The Art of Communicating
- Author: Thich Nhat Hanh
- Subtopic: The Fascination of Mindfulness In Our Daily Lives
The “Art of Communication” written by Thich, a Buddist Monk and peace activist provides readers with a thoughtful and practical approach to improving communication skills in all aspects of life.
The book introduces the concept of mindful breathing as a tool for cultivating mindfulness during communication and the power of compassionate speech.
17. Talking to Strangers
- Author: Malcolm Gladwell
- Subtopic: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know
In this book, Malcolm offers insight into the complexities of human communication and the potential consequences of our assumptions and misjudgment towards people we don’t know. The author argues that our default assumption is to trust strangers and this often leads to difficult situations.
He also introduces concepts like “default to truth” and “transparency” as factors that make us believe others without questioning their motives. Moreso, he suggests that readers adopt a more cautious and skeptical approach when dealing with people they dont know.
18. Made to Stick
- Author: Chip Health
- Subtopic: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
Thinking of better ways to craft messages that stick in the minds of people? here’s your treat. The author shares his thoughts on creating ideas that are memorable, impactful, and influential. The best way to start is by practicing the acronym “SUCCESs” which stands for Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and Stories.
He further explains the role of emotions in influencing decision-making and behavior.
19. All Marketers Are Liars
- Author: Seth Godin
- Subtopic: Discover Why Authenticity is the Best Marketing of All
There’s no offense intended however, the author challenges the traditional notion of marketing and argues that successful marketing is about telling compelling stories rather than trying to deceive or manipulate consumers.
According to the books, consumers are not looking for factual accuracy or objective truth when it comes to brands or products but is seeking meaningful stories that align with their own beliefs and desires, and aspiration.
As a marketer, the ability to effectively tell these stories gives you better chances of connecting with your target audience and building long-lasting relationships. Seth emphasized the power of storytelling, authenticity, and remarkability in their efforts toward consumers.
20. Difficult Conversations
- Author: Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen, Roger Fisher
- Subtopic: How to Discuss What Matters Most
If you are finding it hard to navigate and handle challenging conversations effectively then this framework by these authors is all you need.
The book offers strategies for handling conversations constructively and productively. He also offers tips for managing difficult emotions and avoiding common pitfalls such as blaming or avoiding such conversations.
21. 4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication
- Author: Bento C. Leal III
- Subtopic: In Love, Life, Work -Anywhere!
According to Bento, there are basic keys to making every conversation effective and if used properly can establish better and long-lasting relationships. They include active listening, clear and concise language, non-verbal communication, and understanding.
22. Crucial Conversations
- Authors: Kerry Patterson, Ron McMillan, Joseph Grenny, and Al Switzler
- Subtopic: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
This is the go-to book for handling difficult and high stake conversations effectively. It offers tools and techniques to navigate conversations that are emotionally charged where opinions differ in the framework called the “STATE” model which stands for, Share your fact, Tell your story, Ask for other’s path, Talk tentatively, and Encourage testing.
Also, it includes tips to overcome barriers to effective communication such as silence, defensiveness, and violence.
23. The Definitive Book of Body Language
- Authors: Barbara Paese, Allan Paese
- Subtopic: How to Read Others’ Attitudes by Their Gestures
This book explores various aspects of non-verbal communication and body language. It provides readers with a deeper understanding of how these elements can influence communication and how they can interpret and use it to their advantage using real-life examples.
24. Leadership Presence
- Authors: Belle Linda Halpern, Kathy Lubar
- Subtopic: Dramatic Techniques to Reach Out, Motivate, and Inspire
According to this book, leadership presence is the ability to engage and connect with others, inspire trust and confidence as well as effectively communicate ideas and visions. The authors further argue that leadership presence isn’t solely based on one’s title or position but on the ability to project authenticity, credibility, and confidence.
The book also offers practical strategies and exercise to develop and strengthen leadership presence and the importance of understanding self-awareness and understanding one’s strength and areas of growth.
25. Simply Said
- Author: Jay Sullivan
- Subtopic: Communicating Better at Work and Beyond
This book focuses on improving communication skills for professional and personal success. It also offers tips for crafting impactful messages, including structuring communication using storytelling and incorporating visual aids.
26. Never Eat Alone
- Author: Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz
- Subtopic: Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time
This book contains insights on networking and relationship building and achieving goals through the power of connection.
It also highlights the importance of generosity, authenticity, and empathy in building strong relationships. Asides from this, the book explores the need to attend events, join professional organizations,s and utilize online platforms.
27. The Power of Approachability
- Author: Scott Ginsberg
- Subtitle: How to get noticed, Get Hired,d and Get Ahead.
According to Ginsberg, one of the key factors in building connections and creating positive impressions on others is approachability. He also explores the importance of this element in various aspects of life such as networking, leadership, and customer service.
Barriers to approachability such as fear, judgment, and lack of awareness are also discussed in the book.
28. We Need to Talk
- Author: Celeste Headlee
- Subtopic: How to Have Conversations That Matter
One of the best ways to build connections, resolve conflict, and foster understanding is through having meaningful conversations. Celeste offers guidance on how to approach difficult situations with empathy and respect. Furthermore, she provides insights into the power of face-to-face communication and the benefits it brings in building relationships and understanding others.
29. Unleash the Power of Story Telling
- Author: Rob Biesenbach
- Subtopic: Win Hearts, Change Minds, Get Result
Another key to effective communication which is mostly overlooked is the power of storytelling. This book provides valuable insights, techniques, and advice for crafting and delivering compelling stories that will captivate the audience, change minds, and achieve desired results.
30. The Power of a Positive No
- Author: Williams Ury
- Subtopic: How to Say No and Still Get to Yes
Saying” No” always seems harder than saying “Yes” for some reason. However, this book by Williams Ury explores how to effectively say “No” while maintaining positive relationships and achieving mutually beneficial outcomes.
This book also provides strategies for setting boundaries, expressing one’s needs, and asserting one’s priorities and values.
31. Talk Like TED
- Author: Carmine Gallo
- Subtopic: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo
Ever wondered how TED speakers evoke emotions such as awe, excitement, and inspiration? Well, Carmine seems to have it all figured out.
He provides tips on how to use personal anecdotes, humor, vocal variety, and visuals to create a narrative that keeps the audience engaged. He also emphasizes the use of storytelling in capturing and keeping everyone glued to you.
32. Say What You Mean
- Author: Oren Jay Sofer
- Subtopic: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication
This book explores the practice of non-violent communication and guidelines on how to effectively communicate with empathy, clarity, and authenticity.
Oren also highlights the importance of being present, aware of one’s emotions, and being responsive rather than reactive during conversations.
33. Five Stars
- Author: Carmine Gallo
- Subtopic: The Communication Secrets to Get from Good to Great
This book uncovers the 5 key communication practices used by successful individuals to record results. The author explores the role of clarity, storytelling, passion, enthusiasm, empathy, and understanding in communication.
34. People Skills
- Author: Robert Bolton
- Subtopic: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts
This book focuses on improving interpersonal communication skills and building stronger relationships by addressing the 12 most common challenges and dynamics of personal conflicts.
It also emphasizes the importance of assertiveness in communication and the art of active listening to create positive and fulfilling connections.
35. The Art of Gathering
- Author: Priya Parker
- Subtopic: How We Meet and Why It Matters
This book explores the power of potential gathering and also provides insights on how to create meaningful and transformative experiences. According to the author, anyone can turn gatherings into becoming more intentional, engaging, and impactful whether it’s a social event, meeting, or conference.
36. The Coaching Habit
- Author: Micheal Bungay Stanier
- Subtopic: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever
It is said that the best way to be part of skilled communication is knowing the coaching habit. This book explores knowing what, when, and how to ask questions. It also applies to everyone in place of authority including parents, teachers, and leaders.
37. Surrounded by Idiots
- Author: Thomas Erikson
- Subtopic: The Four Types of Human Behaviour and How to Effectively Communicate with Each in Business
This book explores the human behavior and communication styles that complement them. Erikson categorizes people into 4 behavior types – red, yellow, green, and blue.
He offers practical steps for dealing with individuals based on their unique characteristics and preferences. He further explains how these elements impact teamwork, leadership,p, and collaboration.
38. If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?
- Author: Alan Alda and Random House Audi
- Subtopic: My Adventures n the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating
Every day, a lot of people communicate but not all conversations are understood. As such, the audience returns without getting answers to their questions. In this book, the authors provide guidelines on becoming a true communicator in every aspect of our lives.
The book further encourages readers to use their innate ability to read what’s probably going on in the minds of others. They can also ask questions that would help them communicate better and gain understanding.
39. Reclaiming Conversation
- Author: Sherry Turkle
- SubTopic: The Power of Talk n a Digital Age
The prevalence of digital devices and platforms has led to a decline in face-to-face conversation and this has brought about the loss of deep connection and empathy. However, Sherry Turkle is positive that these aspects of communication can be reclaimed with the right tools.
She provides a roadmap for reconnecting with others in this digital age and inspirations for fostering meaningful conversations in both personal and professional relationships.
40. Thanks for the Feedback
- Author: Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen
- Subtopic: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well
The importance of getting feedback in personal development and building stronger relationships cannot be over-emphasized. This book focuses on the challenges and benefits of managing and utilizing feedback for personal and professional growth effectively.
The book also covers the types of feedback such as appreciation, coaching, and evaluation and gives insights on how anyone can differentiate them and understand their intentions and impact.
41. The Seven Levels of Communication
- Authors: Micheal J. Maher
- Subtopic: Go From Relationships to Referrals
This book exposes readers to 7 levels of communication that individuals go through to develop strong connections with others. It also covers several aspects of communication including the importance of building rapport, active listening, and effective storytelling.
Asides from this, Maher explores the importance of gratitude and building a referral-based business. As well as cultivating a network of advocates that will refer and promote one’s products and services.
42. How To Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less
- Author: Nicholas Boothman
- Subtopic: Learn to Read Body Language, Synchronize Behavior, and Make Meaningful Connections
This self-help book offers practical tips and techniques for building instant connection and rapport in less than 2 minutes. It focuses on the importance of first impressions and significant non-verbal communication such as body language and facial expression in creating a favorable impression.
Also. it offers advice on how to project confidence and positivity through voice tone, speech rate, and overall demeanor.
- Author: Malcolm Gladwell
- Subtopic: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
This thought provocating book cuts across neuroscience and psychology and explores the power of intuition and rapid decision-making. According to author Malcolm, the unconscious mind possesses the ability to make an accurate and reliable judgment in split seconds and even outperform conscious analysis.
The book also covers the concept of thin-slicing, priming, and the idea of mind-reading.
44. Start with Why
- Author: Simon Sinek
- Subtopic: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
In most cases, the essence of communication is to answer the question why? and this can also be the driving force for an effective conversation.
The book introduces the concept of the “Golden Circle” – a model that consists of three concentric circles: why, how, and what. It explains that most organizations and individuals focus on what they do and how they do it. However, the most successful ones begin with why they do it.
Understanding “why” in this context can be a building force in action and communication.
45. The Communication Playbook
- Author: Teri Kwal Gamble, Michael W. Gamble
- Subtopic: Strategies for Effective Communication
One aspect this book explores is the role of technology and social media in communication and provides guidelines on using these platforms effectively while maintaining authenticity and meaningful conversations.
It also uncovers the importance of understanding one’s communication style and the style of others as it can impact interactions.
46. Words That Work
- Author: Frank Luntz
- Subtopic: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear
At the end of the day, it’s truly not what you say that people hear but what resonates with them and how your message is interpreted. As such, Luntz advises that readers should be persuasive in communication and choose words that are clear, concise, and memorable.
47. The Storyteller’s Secret
- Author: Carmine Gallo
- Subtopic: How the World’s Most Inspiring Leaders Turn Their Passion into Performance
This book explores the power of storytelling in capturing attention, inspiring action, and influencing audiences. It also uncovers the techniques used by TED speakers, and business leaders to connect and engage with their listeners.
Other elements to tell stories are also discussed including creating a compelling narrative structure using vivid language and imagery.
48. Wired for Story
- Author: Lisa Cron
- Subtopic: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
Did you know that the human brain responds to stories on a deeper level compared to other forms of interaction? Understanding the neuroscience behind the human brain can help writers, readers, and speakers create more engaging and impactful narratives.
49. Conversational Intelligence
- Author: Judith E. Glaser
- Subtopic: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results
This book opens readers to the impact of conversation on relationships, trust, and overall organization. According to the author, conversations have the power to either activate the brain’s reward or threat response which would impact the outcome of the interaction.
Furthermore, Judith introduces the neuroscience in communication and explains several levels of conversations including transactional exchanges and transformational discussions.
50. The Pyramid Principle
- Author: Barbara Minto
- Subtopic: Logical Writing, thinking,g, and problem-Solving
Do you know how to start conversations using your main point? If you dont, here’s your treat. This book introduces the concept of using your main points to get the attention of your audience and then delving into the supporting information to keep them interested.
It also covers the practical guidance of applying this structure to various aspects of communication such as written reports, presentations, and conversations.