Influence and persuasion. These 2 skills are at the core of leadership, sales, marketing, negotiations, and even parenting. In fact, effective communications are all about moving, persuading and influencing others to take action. So, what would it take to multiply your own effectiveness as an influencer and negotiator? We’ve carefully shortlisted 6 of the best influence books which jointly cover a blend of time-proven principles behind communications and people-relations, with practical tips for influencing moving people in a desired direction.
No time to read them all? Check out the links below for our free book summaries to get a quick overview of each book. Or, get our detailed infographic, text and audio summaries for all 6 books here!
The 6 Best Influence Books to Read
You can’t be a master influencer or persuader without a firm grasp of human psychology. In this book, Robert Cialdini presents 6 key Principles of Persuasion. Get a crash course on the role of mental cues and shortcuts in decision-making, find out how certain cues are used to get people to say “yes” automatically, and how you can use these “Weapons of Influence” to defend yourself against manipulations while influencing others positively. Read the Influence free summary here, or get the full infographic/ text/ audio summary bundle here.
2. TO SELL IS HUMAN
The word “sales” is often associated with pushy door-to-door salespeople or used-car salesmen. Yet, such traditional notions of selling are dead. Today, everyone sells even if they don’t realize it. In this book, Daniel Pink explains the difference between “selling” and “moving” people. You’ll learn the new “ABC”s of selling, to more effectively pitch, improvise, serve others and move them into action. It’s time to apply proven sales tools and techniques to improve your salesmanship and influence! Read the To Sell is Human free summary here, or get the full infographic/ text/ audio summary bundle here.
3. START WITH WHY
Great leaders and organizations can motivate action and create sustainable change because they inspire others. In this book, Simon Sinek explains the limitations of the carrot-and-stick approach, and why it’s crucial to start with WHY. Learn how to appeal to the head and heart by using The Golden Circle, communicate from the inside-out, align your “Why”, “How” and “What” to inspire others and build loyal followers who stick with you through thick and thin. Read Start with Why free summary here, or get the full infographic/ text/ audio summary bundle here.
4. NEVER SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE
Human negotiations are fundamentally about our primal, emotional desire to get what we want. The author of this book, Chris Voss, is an experienced FBI negotiator and award-winning teacher. He explains why the tried-and-tested methods used in hostage situations are just as effective in various work and personal scenarios (from getting a pay raise to buying a house). This book covers numerous influence and negotiation skills, such as building rapport, tactical empathy, saying “no” strategically, shaping perceptions, and finding leverage in any situation to secure the best possible deal. Read the Never Split The Difference free summary here, or get the full infographic/ text/ audio summary bundle here.
5. GETTING TO YES
Since negotiations are pretty complex, you may want to get additional perspectives from this book, where Roger Fisher and William Ury explain how to use “principled negotiations” to achieve better outcomes while maintaining or improving your relationships. Their framework transforms conflict into positive outcomes using 4 key foundations of principled negotiations—people, interests, options, and criteria. To top it off, they present extra tips and strategies to overcome 3 common negotiation obstacles. Between this book and Never Split the Difference, you’ll be on your way to negotiating like a pro! Read Getting to Yes free summary here, or get the full infographic/ text/ audio summary bundle here.
6. CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS
The principles, strategies, and tactics above are all useful. Yet, you’re likely to toss everything out of the window when you’re dealing with a topic that’s truly sensitive and important to you. Crucial conversations involve 3 key components: high stakes, differing views, and strong emotions. Faced with this potent combination, we tend to fumble in our interactions…often with painful outcomes. That’s why you need to learn the 7 principles of crucial conversations–with specific skills and techniques–to recognize when a dialogue is breaking down, how to bring it back on track, overcome difficult or sensitive issues, and get the results you truly want. Read Crucial Conversations free summary here, or get the full infographic/ text/ audio summary bundle here.
So there you are, the 6 recommended reads to multiply your effectiveness in influencing, persuading, and moving others in the desired direction. These are certainly 6 of the best influence books that we’ve come across. They cut across a range of strategies, skills and techniques that you’ll need to sell an idea, persuade people to say “yes”, inspire people, move them into action, or get a win-win outcome. Do read all 6 books if possible, as they offer different aspects of influencing and persuasion.
Looking for book recommendations for other areas, topics or challenges? Check out our visual book map for the best books to read here.