By: Wilma Slenders
I love to read. Maybe you do, too!
As a voracious reader, I’m often asked for reading recommendations. I enjoy reading books related to leadership, management, trust, and strategy, but also enjoy books on topics that are divergent and different.
These were my favorite books of 2016.
1. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.
This book was written by a neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. With that diagnosis his life, and that of his wife, changed significantly. As he shares his story, he learns about how the medical system treats patients – not as people, but as numbers on a checklist to be ticked off. He discusses his marital problems, reconciliation and the birth of his child, all while writing from his bed.
This read was an emotional roller coaster. It raised many questions about the purpose of life, the contributions we have to make, our relationships, and what I would do if I was diagnosed with a terminal illness.
2. Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential by John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut.
Compelling People was written by John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut who worked with, and are often referenced by, Dr. Amy Cuddy, from Harvard. People want to be effective and appealing to others. Combining cutting edge research, as well as their experiences with prominent individuals who combine both, one, or neither, Neffinger and Kohut researched the dimensions of strength, the root of respect, and warmth, the root of affection. The key is projecting both at once to in order to be seen as strong and capable, as well as likable and warm.
This is an important read for anyone who needs to influence without authority, and win respectand affection. I have recommended and provided this book to many of my clients who have found it valuable.
3. The Dance of Connection: How to talk to someone when you’re mad, hurt, scared, frustrated, insulted, betrayed or desperate by Harriet Lerner.
Dr. Lerner is the New York Times Bestselling author of The Dance of Anger, a book I enjoyed many years ago. While The Dance of Connection was published in 2001, it is still highly relevant today. The subtitle tells the story without any need for assistance from me. The book highlighted some of the elements of my upbringing, perceptions and experiences that held me back from having conversations when I was emotionally charged. We could all be better at challenging conversations.
What were your favorites in 2016?