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20 Books Guaranteed to Boost Your Influence at Work

Feb 14, 2023

Are you frustrated by your lack of ability to effectively drive the attitude, behavior, and motivation of your colleagues, customers, and clients?

Listed below are 20 of the most intriguing books guaranteed to influence how others engage with and respond to you personally and professionally.

Dominate Your Mindset:

The Outward Mindset by The Arbinger InstituteIt is possible to greatly influence the effectiveness of your team’s performance. With a shift in your mindset to seeing others and adapting your behavior to be more cooperative, this insightful process bears surprising results. Persuasive real-life examples are illustrated throughout the book.

“The biggest lever for change is not a change in self-belief but a fundamental change in the way one sees and regards one’s connections with and obligations to others.” Arbinger Institute

Thanks for the Feedback by Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone

For your team to flourish, they need to know how they are doing. While compelling, well-timed, and well-delivered feedback may ultimately result in improved performance, what about poorly delivered feedback? Training yourself and your team to focus on the value of the feedback despite resistance to it will positively influence people’s responses to it.

 “Seeing my own contribution to my circumstances makes me stronger, not weaker. If I contribute to my own problems, there are things I have the power to change.” – Douglas Stone

Think Again by Adam Grant

How do we think and learn and what makes us intelligent? In this book, Adam Grant examines the value of challenging your thoughts and beliefs. He articulates how to influence others through understanding not arguing.

“We learn more from people who challenge our thought process than those who affirm our conclusions. Strong leaders engage their critics and make themselves stronger.” Adam Grant

You Have More Influence Than You Think by Vanessa Bohns

 In this book, the author references studies showing how we underestimate the weight of our words and actions. She wants the reader to “feel emboldened to exercise your influence when it makes sense to do so”. 

“We underestimate how much those that aren’t close to us are willing to do for us.” -Vanessa Bohns

The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene

A powerful discourse on the art of human nature. Instead of being discouraged by human nature, shift how you experience it.  This book details how to harness and strategically use your knowledge of human nature to positively influence the actions, drive, and engagement of others.

“As Abraham Lincoln said, “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.” – Robert Greene 

How to Listen with Intention by Patrick King

To truly influence others, they must feel heard. While simple in concept it can be challenging to do so proficiently. In his book, Patrick shares how to gain insight and understanding through effective listening and reflection.

“Those who seem most boastful in a conversation, who jealously guard attention or speak over others, are often those who feel most insecure in themselves.”- Patrick King

The Velocity Mindset by Ron Karr

You influence others by what you learn from uniting their thoughts, past experiences, and brain chemistry. These are what determine one’s mindset.

 “Grow your business through better conversations in less time.” – Ron Karr­

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Learn how to question what you believe and improve your ability to identify and understand your judgments. How we communicate our point of view, has a direct correlation to how we influence how others interact with us.

 “The confidence people have in their beliefs is not a measure of the quality of evidence but of the coherence of the story the mind has managed to construct.” Daniel Kahneman

Master Meticulous Communication Skills:

Influencer by Grenny et al

Learn how to get clear on the results you want, how you will achieve them, and the behaviors you enact at key moments.  Follow the Six Sources of Influence taking notice of the influence you develop and the results that follow.

 “Leadership is intentional influence” – Joseph Grenny

Personal Brand Clarity by Suzanne Tulien

When you are conscious and consistent with communicating in word and deed, what you value, and what is important to you, you will influence whom you attract and how others respond to you. Becoming clear on your personal values and how you define them will attract others with similar values.

“The clearer you are about what you believe about yourself, the more you enable yourself to become it”. Suzanne Tulien

The Articulate Advocate by Brian K Johnson and Marsha Hunter

While this book is written by an attorney for attorneys, the message will resonate with anyone wanting to develop greater influence. The endeavor to speak and express your thoughts in a manner that causes people to sit up and pay attention is worthwhile. The book takes you through the art and science of advocating for what you believe in.

 “Speak in phrases when what you are saying is important - when you want the listener to think carefully about what you are saying.” – from The Articulate Advocate

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

An interesting point of view on how to use the skills and methods of negotiating to influence the outcomes of interactions with your team, clients, and customers. It is all in how you respond to and engage in verbal communication with others.

 “Conflict brings out truth, creativity, and resolution.” – Chris Voss

Motivational Interviewing by William R Miller and Stephen Rollnick

How often do you pattern your language to motivate and influence behavior? In this book, the authors showcase how to influence someone’s desire to change based on their values and interests. It is a process when consistently applied leads to surprising results.

“The desire to fix what seems wrong with people and to set them promptly on a better course, relying in particular on directing. What could possibly be wrong with that?” William R Miller

Coordinate Action with Outcomes:

Captivate by Vanessa Van Edwards

This book is about “human behavior hacking”. Knowing what makes people tick, influences your behavior in interacting with them. Learn the rules of human behavior and how to act on this information.

“Developing your interpersonal intelligence is like adding a catalyst to your success.” Vanessa Van Edwards

The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath

This is a fascinating read regarding the powerful influence of creating moments. That is, create opportunities that lead the participants to have an aha moment, leading to different decisions.

“You want to get your people to trip over the truth, so they have the emotional willingness to change.”- Dan Heath

Influence: what’s the Missing Piece? By Karen Keller

This book encourages you to get back to and refine the basics of influencing others. Karen helps you stop trying to fix things and people and focus on how to develop your team.

“True impact – real influence – has to involve connection and relationship.”-Karen Keller

What Every Body is Saying by Joe Navarro

What is the value of non-verbal cues and the information they share? From your handshake, the look on your face to the way you stand, your body is sending valuable messages.  Understanding the science behind how the brain impacts behavior and improving your ability to accurately read the non-verbal communication of others will influence your ability to interact with them more effectively.

“The primary way we influence each other is through non-verbals”- Joe Navarro.

The One Thing by Gary Keller

Focusing on one thing influences your ability to get what you want. Look at those who are most successful, they spend an inordinate amount of time doing one thing. Imagine each team member focused on one thing and the outcomes that may result from that focus.

“Extraordinary results happen only when you give the best you have to become the best you can be at your most important work.”-Gary Keller

Accountability by Greg Bustin

It is vital to understand the way we address, act on, and hold others accountable influences how others experience and view us and our organization. In his book, Greg Bustin shares how effective accountability begins with holding yourself accountable.

“Accountability is also one of the most universally misunderstood and misapplied concepts in business, making it one of the biggest challenges leaders face.” – Greg Bustin 

The Leadership Challenge by Kousaz et al

In its sixth edition, The Leadership Challenge is a reference book for those who want to become a “leader people want to follow”. Each chapter defines a practice that influences how others respond to them. Included are real-world case studies that exhibit each practice in action.

“The instrument of leadership is the self, and mastery of the art of leadership comes from mastery of the self.” -James M. Kouzes

You have all the information you need to begin expanding your influence.

With focus, determination, and a bit of intentional activity you are well on your way.

Choose the area of influence you believe will have the most immediate impact and sit back to enjoy the fruits of your efforts.