Warmer weather = more beach days and afternoons by the pool. And no day of lounging in the sun is complete without a frosty beverage and some solid reading material. While we are fully supportive of mindless mysteries, trashy romance novels, comic books and geeky sci-fi, we know that some of you overachievers may want to use your downtime to refine your ever-evolving office ninja skills.
If you’re on the lookout for some non-fiction titles that will up your game at the office, we’ve got five suggestions.
Working in any office is a constant study in personality and relationships, and one of the keys to being successful is learning how to build relationships with different types of personalities. This book focuses on introverts, specifically within the context of a society that recognizes and rewards extroverts. Whether or not you identify as an extrovert, this book may be helpful in creating a work environment that supports all employees. One Amazon reviewer wrote: “This is a book that should be read by anyone who manages other people because it goes a long way in explaining introverts. They are not really so aloof or unfriendly as people may assume. But these are seeming disadvantages the introvert has to face, especially when being interviewed for a job.”
In an ideal world, all ninjas would automatically get what they deserve. In reality, what we get tends to have as much to do with our negotiation powers as our skills and talent. This book, which has spent time on both The New York Times’ and Wall Street Journals’ best seller lists, aims to “provide better agreements for everyone no matter what they negotiate – from jobs to kids to billion dollar deals to shopping.” One Amazon reviewer wrote: “Great read. The concepts are simple and seem so obvious once the author explains them. I loved how he provided hundreds of examples throughout the book from business to family situations.”
Every day at your office ends with a few rounds of “Kumbaya,” right? Maybe not. Spats, squabbles, competing priorities, and clashing points of view are all part of doing business as a team. Written by a nationally-recognized author and speaker on mediation, this book “ identifies core strategies for preventing and resolving both intermittent and chronic conflicts in the workplace.” One five-star Amazon reviewer wrote: “This book was prescribed for my class on management. I have used this book ever since. The advice and insight is very helpful.”
Hey, look at you! In charge for the first time ever! How exciting… and terrifying! The first shot at managing others tends to be a “sink or swim” scenario—why not jump into the shallow end with a pair of water wings? This book gets dozens of five-star reviews from Amazon shoppers at all levels of the org chart. One reviewer wrote: “Matuson's SUDDENLY IN CHARGE provides excellent advice for both high-level managers and those working in a ‘sea of cubicles.’ The author highlights various managements styles and chronicles sticky situations in the workplace and how to deal with them. Matuson grounds her anecdotes with practicable, doable check lists.”
The smartest ninjas know that every employee, regardless of their position, can help inspire a positive work culture. Friedman provides unusual and interesting insights on how to do just that. For example, he explains how learning to think like a hostage negotiator can help diffuse workplace arguments. One Amazon reviewer wrote: “It’s fun to read. It’s brisk, well-paced and well-constructed. Parts had me laughing out loud. But it’s also fascinating and loaded with actionable insights that I was immediately able to use.”
Again, if the magazine rack at checkout is more along the lines of your summer reading speed, we totally get it. But, when you’ve had your fill of celebrity gossip and one-pot chicken recipes (delicious though they can be), why not try one of our summer reading picks? We promise there won’t be a quiz in September!
What’s your favorite professional development or business-related book?