Kare’s Favorite Books on Connecting
by Deborah Tannen
In her #1 bestseller You Just Don’t Understand, Deborah Tannen showed why talking to someone of the opposite sex can be like talking to someone from another world. Now Tannen is back with another groundbreaking book, this time widening her lens to examine the way we communicate in public–in the media, in politics, in our courtrooms, and classrooms–once again letting us see in a new way forces that have powerfully shaped our lives. The war on drugs, the battle of the sexes, political turf combat–in the argument culture, war metaphors pervade our talk and influence our thinking. We approach anything we need to accomplish as a fight between two opposing sides. In this fascinating book, Tannen shows how deeply entrenched this cultural tendency is, the forms it takes, and how it affects us every day–sometimes in useful ways, but often causing damage. The Argument Culture is a remarkable book that will change forever the way you perceive–and communicate with–the world.
by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman
You know the feeling. You meet someone new—at a party or at work—and you just hit it off. There is an instant sense of camaraderie. In a word, you “click.”
From the bestselling authors of Sway, Click is a fascinating psychological investigation of the forces behind what makes us click with certain people, or become fully immersed in whatever activity or situation we’re involved in. From two co-workers who fall head over heels for each other while out to dinner and are married a month later (and fifteen years later remain just as in love), to a team of scientists who changed the world with the magic of their invention, these kinds of peak experiences, when our senses are completely focused on the moment, are something that individuals—and companies—strive to achieve. After all, when you’re in the “zone,” you’re happier and more productive. Why is it that we click in certain situations and with certain people, but not with others? Can this kind of magical connection be consciously encouraged? Is there a way to create such peak experiences, whether on a date or in your job? According to Ori and Rom Brafman, there is.
by Joe Navarro
Clues to Deceit: A Practical List is based on Joe Navarro’s work as a former FBI Special Agent and member of the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Program. This is a practical guide for anyone who is interested in detecting deception, written by the author of the international bestseller, “What Every Body is Saying.” This is an easy-to-use short guide with a list of over two hundred of the most frequently seen behaviors associated with deception. It is intended for anyone who asks questions to get at the truth or who conducts due diligence.
by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler
Our colleague’s husband’s sister can make you fat, even if you don’t know her. A happy neighbor has more impact on your happiness than a happy spouse. These startling revelations of how much we truly influence one another are revealed in the studies of Drs. Christakis and Fowler, which have repeatedly made front-page news nationwide. In Connected, the authors explain why emotions are contagious, how health behaviors spread, why the rich get richer, even how we find and choose our partners. Intriguing and entertaining,Connected overturns the notion of the individual and provides a revolutionary paradigm-that social networks influence our ideas, emotions, health, relationships, behavior, politics, and much more. It will change the way we think about every aspect of our lives.
by Melinda Blau
Our barista, our mechanic, our coworker—they populate our days, but we often take them for granted. Yet these are the people who bring novelty and information into our lives, allow us to exercise different parts of ourselves, and open us up to new opportunities. In their unprecedented examination of people on the periphery, psychologist Karen Fingerman, who coined the term “consequential strangers,” collaborates with journalist Melinda Blau to expand on and make her own groundbreaking research come alive. Drawing as well from Blau’s more than two hundred interviews with specialists in psychology, sociology, marketing, and communication, the book presents compelling stories of individuals and institutions, past and present. A rich portrait of our social landscape—on and off the Internet—it presents the science of casual connection and chronicles the surprising impact that consequential strangers have on business, creativity, the work environment, our physical and mental health, and the strength of our communities.
by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler
A crucial conversation, as opposed to a casual exchange, is a discussion between two or more people about tough issues where opinions vary, stakes are high, and emotions run strong. When a topic needs to be breached that could easily lead to disaster, such as approaching a boss who is breaking his or her own safety or quality policies, or critiquing a colleague’s work, or talking to a team member who isn’t keeping commitments, talking openly is a must, but can be very difficult. Mastering your crucial conversations can kick-start your career, strengthen your relationships, revitalize your organization and your community, and even improve your health, according to the authors of Crucial Conversations. (One study says a modest improvement in the ability to talk and connect with others corresponds to a two-thirds decrease in the death rate!)
by John C. Maxwell
World-renowned leadership expert John C. Maxwell says if you want to succeed, you must learn how to connect with people. And while it may seem like some folks are just born with it, the fact is anyone can learn how to make every communication an opportunity for a powerful connection. In Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, Maxwell shares the Five Principles and Five Practices to develop the crucial skill of connecting.
by Robert Axelrod
The Evolution of Cooperation provides valuable insights into the age-old question of whether unforced cooperation is ever possible. Widely praised and much-discussed, this classic book explores how cooperation can emerge in a world of self-seeking egoists-whether superpowers, businesses, or individuals-when there is no central authority to police their actions. The problem of cooperation is central to many different fields. Robert Axelrod recounts the famous computer tournaments in which the “cooperative” program Tit for Tat recorded its stunning victories, explains its application to a broad spectrum of subjects, and suggests how readers can both apply cooperative principles to their own lives and teach cooperative principles to others.
The Fine Art of Small Talk: How To Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills — and Leave a Positive Impression
by Debra Fine
Nationally recognized communication expert Debra Fine reveals the techniques and strategies anyone can use to make small talk — in any situation. Do you spend an abnormal amount of time hiding out in the bathroom or hanging out at the buffet table at social gatherings? Does the thought of striking up a conversation with a stranger make your stomach do flip-flops? Do you sit nervously through job interviews waiting for the other person to speak? Are you a “Nervous Ned or Nellie” when it comes to networking? Then it’s time you mastered The Fine Art of Small Talk.
by Azriel Winnett
A major key to happiness is the quality of our relationships with those who are near and dear to us, and with all those around us. Through providing you with the tools to connect effectively with others, How to Build Relationships That Stick could bring about far-reaching changes, improving your life. Whether you aim is to save a shaky marriage (or even enhance a good one), to make new friends or improve your relationship with your old ones, you need this eye-opening book. It will help you get on better with your children, your neighbors, or your colleagues in the workplace.
by Mark Goulston
“Right now, there’s someone in your life you need to reach,” writes Mark Goulston, “but you can’t, and it’s driving you crazy. Maybe it’s somebody at work: a subordinate, a team member, a client, your boss. Or maybe it’s somebody at home: a partner, a parent, a defiant teen, an angry ex.” If only you could get that person into a calm and receptive state of mind, you’d likely be able to work out your differences, whether they surface at the boardroom table or the dinner table. In Just Listen you’ll discover field-tested, powerful techniques for getting people to do what you want them to do. With Just Listen, the power to succeed is yours.
by Rita Carter
Multiplicity presents an entirely new view of our selves. Instead of seeing each person as a single personality, Carter argues that we all consist of multiple characters, each one with its own viewpoint, emotions and ambitions. The mother who feeds breakfast to her children, for example, has quite different concerns and opinions from the woman taking part in a boardroom discussion two hours later, and from the woman she will be with her husband that night. Yet all three may share the same body, and none is any more “authentic” than another. Personality changes in a person are conventionally frowned upon, but Carter shows that in today’s world our ability to switch from one personality to another according to what is demanded of us is a huge strength, providing one’s personalities work together as a team rather than against each other. In addition to its groundbreaking scientific thesis, Multiplicity contains extensive exercises designed to help readers achieve this harmony.
by Howard Rheingold
Like it or not, knowing how to make use of online tools without being overloaded with too much information is an essential ingredient to personal success in the twenty-first century. But how can we use digital media so that they make us empowered participants rather than passive receivers, grounded, well-rounded people rather than multitasking basket cases? In Net Smart, cyberculture expert Howard Rheingold shows us how to use social media intelligently, humanely, and, above all, mindfully.
by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein
Nudge is about choices-how we make them and how we can make better ones. Authors Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein offer a new perspective on preventing the countless mistakes we make- including ill-advised personal investments, consumption of unhealthy foods, neglect of our natural resources, and other bad decisions. Citing decades of cutting-edge behavioral science research, they demonstrate that sensible “choice architecture”can successfully nudge people towards the best decisions without restricting their freedom of choice. S straightforward, informative, and entertaining, this is a must-read for anyone with interest in our individual and collective well-being.
by Richard Burton
You recognize when you know something for certain, right? You “know” the sky is blue, or that the traffic light had turned green, or where you were on the morning of September 11, 2001—you know these things, well, because you just do. In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton shows that feeling certain—feeling that we know something—- is a mental sensation, rather than evidence of fact. An increasing body of evidence suggests that feelings such as certainty stem from primitive areas of the brain and are independent of active, conscious reflection and reasoning. In other words, the feeling of knowing happens to us; we cannot make it happen.
by David Destano and Piercarlo Valdesolo
Character. We want it in our leaders, we look for it in our spouses and friends, we try to teach it to our children. The prevailing view is that it comes from hard work and due diligence. It’s cultivated; it’s stable. But if character is so stable, then why do we so often disagree over who’s got it and who doesn’t? Why do we so often see paragons of virtue fall, see supposedly honest people deceive, and find ourselves surprised when those without a good bone in their body engage in acts of humility and generosity?
In Out of Character: The Surprising Truths About the Liar, Cheat, Sinner (and Saint) Lurking in All of Us, we attempt to turn the prevailing wisdom upside down by showing that character, nobility, and goodness are all shaped to a high degree by forces outside of our awareness.
by Jeff Jarvis
A visionary and optimistic thinker examines the tension between privacy and publicness that is transforming how we form communities, create identities, do business, and live our lives.Thanks to the internet, we now live—more and more—in public. More than 750 million people (and half of all Americans) use Facebook, where we share a billion times a day. The collective voice of Twitter echoes instantly 100 million times daily, from Tahrir Square to the Mall of America, on subjects that range from democratic reform to unfolding natural disasters to celebrity gossip. New tools let us share our photos, videos, purchases, knowledge, friendships, locations, and lives.Yet change brings fear, and many people—nostalgic for a more homogeneous mass culture and provoked by well-meaning advocates for privacy—despair that the internet and how we share there is making us dumber, crasser, distracted, and vulnerable to threats of all kinds. But not Jeff Jarvis.In this shibboleth-destroying book, Public Parts argues persuasively and personally that the internet and our new sense of publicness are, in fact, doing the opposite.
by Sam Gosling
Do the things on your desk betray the thoughts on your mind? Does your dining room décor carry clues to your character? Award-winning psychologist Sam Gosling has dispatched teams of scientific investigators to poke around bedrooms and offices, check out iPods, and peek at personal websites—to see what can be learned about us simply from looking at our belongings. What he has discovered is intriguing: When it comes to the most essential components of our personality—from friendliness and flexibility to openness and originality—the things we own and the way we arrange them can say more about who we are than even our most intimate conversations. Packed with original research and a wealth of fascinating stories, Snoop is a captivating guide to our not-so-secret selves, and reveals how intensely connected we are to the places in which we live and work.
by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman
Why is it so difficult to sell a plummeting stock or end a doomed relationship? Why do we listen to advice just because it came from someone “important”? Why are we more likely to fall in love when there’s danger involved? In Sway, renowned organizational thinker Ori Brafman and his brother, psychologist Rom Brafman, answer all these questions and more. Drawing on cutting-edge research from the fields of social psychology, behavioral economics, and organizational behavior, Sway reveals dynamic forces that influence every aspect of our personal and business lives, including loss aversion (our tendency to go to great lengths to avoid perceived losses), the diagnosis bias (our inability to reevaluate our initial diagnosis of a person or situation), and the “chameleon effect” (our tendency to take on characteristics that have been arbitrarily assigned to us).
Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion
by Jay Heinrichs
Thank You for Arguing is your master class in the art of persuasion, taught by professors ranging from Bart Simpson to Winston Churchill. The time-tested secrets the book discloses include Cicero’s three-step strategy for moving an audience to actionÑas well as Honest Abe’s Shameless Trick of lowering an audience’s expectations by pretending to be unpolished. But it’s also replete with contemporary techniques such as politicians’ use of “code” language to appeal to specific groups and an eye-opening assortment of popular-culture dodges.
by Dan P. McAdams
Who are we as Americans? What is our deep identity? How do we make a good life? Renowned psychologist Dan P. McAdams suggests that the key to American identity lies in the stories we live by. And the most powerful life story in America today is the story of redemption. On a broad societal scale and in our own private lives, we want first and foremost to transform our suffering into a positive emotional state, to move from pain and peril to redemption. American identity is the redemptive self. Based on 10 years of research on the life stories of especially caring and productive American adults, The Redemptive Self explores the psychological and cultural dynamics of the stories Americans tell to make sense of who they are.
by Nick Morgan
Nick Morgan shows how anyone can be an effective speaker by presenting an image of authenticity and respect for their audience, whether in a group presentation or a one-on-one conversation. He presents a four-step process, perfected in his teaching at Harvard, that enables the reader to use their own personal speaking style while becoming a more persuasive and charismatic communicator and leader. The basis of this process is the fact that when words and body language are in conflict, body language wins every time. This isn’t easy to overcome, because normally body language is immediate, while the words lag slightly behind, and even a momentary conflict is perceptible to the audience. The key to success is to train your body language to unconsciously align with your message.
Word Hero: A Fiendishly Clever Guide to Crafting the Lines that Get Laughs, Go Viral, and Live Forever
by Jay Heinrichs
Ever hear someone utter an unforgettable phrase and feel yourself reacting with with…well, awe? Ever read a great quote and think I could never come up with anything that clever? Daunting as it may seem, there’s nothing mystical about witcraft. Crafting memorable lines doesn’t require DNA-encoded brilliance. What it does require is some knowledge of the tricks and techniques that make words stick. In Word Hero, Jay Heinrichs rescues the how-to of verbal artistry from cobwebbed textbooks and makes it entirely fresh – even a little mischievous. Fear not: on offer here are not dry, abstract ideas couched in academic jargon. Rather, Heinrichs takes you on an amusing – and amazingly helpful – tour of the mechanisms that make powerful language work. You’ll learn how to slyly plant your words in people’s heads and draw indelible verbal pictures by employing such tools as “crashing symbols,” “rapid repeaters,” “Russian Dolls” and even the powers of Mr. Potato Head.