The Top Four Books for Using Psychology to Succeed in Business
How can we use the power of psychology to make people and organizations more effective, reach our full career potential, and untangle the knot of conventional management? These insightful reads will help answer those questions, each taking wisdom from the world of psychology and applying it to achieve success in business.
Related: Top Five Books for a Changing Workforce
Laszlo Bock: Work Rules!, April 2015
Laszlo Bock, head of Google’s innovative People Operations, comments that “We spend more time working than doing anything else in life. It’s not right that the experience should be so demotivating and dehumanizing.” He uses that insight as the heart of Work Rules!, a playful manifesto with the potential to change how we work and live. Bock draws on the latest research in behavioural economics and human psychology to create a unique blueprint for attracting the most spectacular talent to your business and ensuring that they succeed. Upbeat and honest, it offers valuable lessons and tools to detach yourself from conventional management.
Heidi Grant Halvorson: No One Understands You and What to Do About It, April 2015
Halvorson, a social psychologist and bestselling author, explains why we are so often misunderstood – and how we can fix it. She claims that once you understand the science of perception you can communicate more clearly, send the messages you intend to send, and improve your relationships. Halvorson explains how trust, power, and ego are lenses that affect our interactions, and gives practical advice on how to manage them.
Shawn Achor: The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work, September 2011
While this book has been around for a few years, Achor’s Happiness Advantage will always remain relevant. Many of us make the drastic assumption that once we find the new great job, or the next big promotion, then we will be happy. Research from the past decade in the field of positive psychology shows that this formula is actually backward. Happiness fuels success, not the other way around. Filled with useful tools for creating change, Achor explains how we can reprogram our brains to become more positive, and thereby gain a competitive edge at work. A must read for everyone trying to excel in a world of increasing workloads, stress, and negativity.
Gary Chapman and Paul White: The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, October 2012
Another classic read, Chapman and White’s follow-up to The 5 Love Languages applies their ground-breaking love language concept to the workplace. The book explains to leaders in any sector how to communicate appreciation and encouragement to their employees, which naturally results in higher levels of job satisfaction, healthier relationships between managers and employees, and decreased cases of burnout. The 5 Languages of Appreciation is an excellent choice for our senior leaders looking to make a positive impact on their team.
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A version of this appears in print in our Fall 2015 Women of Influence Magazine, Page 15.