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Best Books on Communication as a Leader

Knight Campbell
May 26, 2024

"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said,
but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. "
– Robert McCloskey

Communication is the lifeblood of your organization and your relationships.

Great communication can get everyone on the same page and moving in the same direction. On the other hand, poor communication destroys results and hurts the people we care about.

Here are some resources to help you communicate more effectively!

One of our clients shared this with us on a backcountry ski trip in Mammoth, CA. It’s a simple way to promote great communication across your team and organization. This “user guide” allows new employees to understand your preferred communication style and helps you understand how they need to receive communication in order to get things done. Make your user guide today!  

If you have not heard about Radical Candor, listen to this now! Kim Scott’s book by that name is great, and this podcast will give you plenty to get started. Bottom line, care deeply about your people AND be brutally direct with them. If you can find that balance, people will accept your most critical feedback as well intentioned for their future development. 

This podcast provides some of the history of storytelling, but more importantly it offers concrete ways to improve your storytelling skills. Let’s face it, people like stories. If you develop the skill to put strategy, tasking, and performance evaluations into a story format, your people will remember what you said and be equipped to take action on your message more effectively!

Ok, this book clearly talks about risk. There is a full chapter on communication that is worth reading alone though. General McChrystal and Anna Butrico offer highly actionable insights on communication and tie communication into the larger picture of leading an organization. Bottom line, leadership, risk management, and business in general don’t happen if you can’t get communication right! 

The first time I taught communication I found it so difficult to find resources that did not just share obvious ideas. I happened to stay with a friend on the way back from guiding Mt Baker, and he recommended this book. It’s packed with actionable and research-backed insights to improve your communication. It’s also very easy to read. The book is based on courses that J.D. Schramm teaches on communication at Stanford Business School. 

Questions? We'd love to hear from you! 

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