Soft skills encompass a variety of non-technical abilities that relate to how you work and interact with others. They are vital in nearly every profession and can play as big of a role in success as hard skills. Here’s a list of some popular and highly recommended books on soft skills:
“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
This classic offers timeless advice on how to build relationships and understand people.
“Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman
Goleman argues that EQ might be more important than IQ in terms of personal and professional success.
“Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High” by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
This book offers techniques to communicate effectively during challenging conversations.
“The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism” by Olivia Fox Cabane
Cabane breaks down the components of charisma and provides practical advice on how to develop it.
“Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” by Brené Brown
Brown discusses the power of vulnerability in establishing deeper connections and leading more authentically.
“Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel H. Pink
Pink explores the psychology of motivation and how modern organizations can tap into deeper forms of motivation for their teams.
“Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It” by Chris Voss
A former international hostage negotiator for the FBI offers insights into the art of negotiation.
“Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain
Cain champions the power and importance of introverts in society and organizations.
“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change” by Stephen R. Covey
Covey’s book is a guide for personal effectiveness and character ethic.
“Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well” by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen
This work delves into the difficult skill of receiving feedback and using it constructively.
“Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol S. Dweck
Dweck discusses the differences between a “fixed” and a “growth” mindset and how these perspectives shape our success.
“The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment” by Eckhart Tolle
Focuses on the importance of living in the present moment.
“Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini
Explores the science of persuasion.
“The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg
Discusses the science behind why habits exist and how they can be changed.
“Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most” by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen
Offers guidance on handling tough conversations.
“Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity” by Kim Scott
A guide to better leadership through honest feedback.
“Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges” by Amy Cuddy
Explores the power of body language and presence.
“The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t” by Robert I. Sutton
Discusses building a positive work environment.
“The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable” by Patrick Lencioni
Explores team dynamics and how to build cohesive teams.
“Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone” by Brené Brown
Focuses on the importance of authenticity and belonging.
“The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea” by Bob Burg and John David Mann
A story about the power of giving in business.
“The Art of Happiness” by Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler
Combines the wisdom of the Dalai Lama with Western psychology.
“Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know” by Malcolm Gladwell
Explores interactions and misunderstandings between strangers.
“To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others” by Daniel H. Pink
Discusses the art and science of selling.
“Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl
A holocaust survivor’s story about finding purpose through suffering.
“The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups” by Daniel Coyle
Examines what makes certain groups succeed.
“Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
Provides guidance on establishing personal and professional boundaries.
“Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work and Life” by Stuart Diamond
Offers a new model for negotiation.
“ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
Challenges traditional business wisdom.
“Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen
“Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t” by Simon Sinek
Discusses leadership and building trust in teams.
“Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.” by Brené Brown
Explores brave leadership.
“Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones” by James Clear
Delves into habit formation and personal development.
“Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” by Simon Sinek
Discusses the importance of purpose in leadership.
“Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” by Malcolm Gladwell
Explores intuitive decision-making.
“First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently” by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
Shares insights from a massive Gallup study on the workplace.
“Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life” by Marshall B. Rosenberg
Focuses on compassionate communication.
“The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business” by Josh Kaufman
Provides a foundational understanding of business concepts.
“Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success” by Adam Grant
Examines the power of giving in professional settings.
“Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman
Explores two systems of thought: the intuitive and the logical.
“Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Discusses managing and navigating change.
“The Likeability Factor: How to Boost Your L-Factor and Achieve Your Life’s Dreams” by Tim Sanders
Discusses the importance of likeability in personal and professional success.
“Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Explores why certain ideas thrive while others fade.
“Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth
Delves into the power of persistence.
“Fish!: A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results” by Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul, and John Christensen
Discusses boosting morale in the workplace.
“The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life” by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander
Focuses on changing perspectives to open up possibilities.
“Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses ‘No, But’ Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration” by Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton
Uses improv techniques to improve creativity and collaboration.
“Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World” by Cal Newport
Focuses on the benefits of deep, focused work.
“Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World” by Adam Grant
Discusses how original thinkers shape the world.
“Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg
Discusses challenges women face in the workplace and offers advice.
“You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation” by Deborah Tannen
Examines gender differences in communication.
This list, combined with the previous one, offers a comprehensive set of reading materials that cover a wide range of soft skills essential for personal and professional growth.
These books provide a solid foundation for anyone looking to develop and refine their soft skills. Reading even a few of these can greatly enhance one’s ability to communicate, collaborate, and navigate the complex world of interpersonal relationships in both personal and professional settings.