More than 50% of people say they have no one outside their immediate family to talk to about important matters — a number that continues to grow every single year. As the digital revolution continues to transform society, it often takes human connection along with it.
Meaningful relationships are the foundation of both personal and professional success, yet fewer and fewer people know how to form them. While every relationship is different, getting insight into how others have built and fortified their connections never hurts.
The right book can give you the tools you need to connect more deeply with those around you. By reading some of these titles, you can develop an understanding of how these kinds of relationships can be beneficial to everyone — both inside and outside the office.
1. Friend of a Friend…: Understanding the Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life and Your Career by David Burkus
The average businessperson devotes hours upon hours to networking every single year, time that often comes to little more than a business card or an email address. David Burkus’ book shows that this type of networking often ignores the power of networks you already have that you don’t even know about. Friend of a Friend explores various examples and case studies that show the ways in which friends, family, former clients, and other people you know have already formed an invaluable network for you — you just need to take advantage of it.
2. Gratitude and Pasta: The Secret Sauce for Human Connection by Chris Schembra
While most people get their networking done through conferences or business meetings, Chris Schembra has his own formula for human connection: pasta dinners. Gratitude and Pasta doesn’t come out until April, but the advance copy I got my hands on offered a profound how-to guide for using dinners as a way to cut through the noise and develop lasting relationships with others. Chris himself considers dinner a failure if fewer than six people cry, so you’re in for a powerful experience with his book.
3. Creating Connections: 31 Days to Building Stronger & Deeper Relationships by Mitch Taylor and Vickie Musni
Sometimes, it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference when it comes to developing relationships. Mitch Taylor and Vickie Musni have created a simple series of steps you can take to bolster your connection with anyone without breaking your back in the process. Creating Connections is a definitive list of small things that can turn a professional friendship into something deeper and more meaningful.
4. Network Marketing Queen: Your Guide to Creating Massive Success by Owning Your Feminine Power by Erin Pollinger
Building relationships is all about being honest and true to yourself, but the business world can often discourage women from fully embracing their femininity. Dr. Erin Pollinger shows that being who you are on the job doesn’t inhibit success — it promotes it. Network Marketing Queen tells Erin’s inspiring success story in a way shows the power that sincerity can have when used properly. Whether you’re strengthening your network or shooting for the top, being yourself always pays off in the end.
5. Unafraid: A Survivor’s Quest for Human Connection by Niyati Tamaskar
Niyati Tamaskar’s story may not be an easy read, but it’s a necessary one all the same. After being diagnosed with cancer, Tamasakar was forced to confront the taboo around the disease common in her home country of India. By being honest about her diagnosis and her struggles, Tamaskar broke barriers, hurt feelings, and reformed her relationships in ways she’d never thought possible. Unafraid shows the difficulty — and necessity — of connecting with others with a great sense of humor and unforgettable moments of emotion.
6. Silver Spoon: The Imperfect Guide to Success by Bennie Fowler
In the cutthroat world of professional sports, true person-to-person connection can seem like an impossibility. Success, however, is rarely achieved on one’s own. Former NFL star Bennie Fowler’s new book Silver Spoon details the uphill battles that he and other athletes faced in overcoming their limitations and achieving their dreams. By learning from the daily habits of top performers, you can find the right combination of methods for achieving your own version of success.
7. Never Eat Alone, Expanded and Updated: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz
Never Eat Alone has quickly become a must-read book for people looking to strengthen and deepen their personal networks, and it’s easy to see why. Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz have compiled a number of valuable rules into an ingenious system for connecting with others. Whether it’s through regularly scheduled outreach or properly deployed content, this book outlines some of the key tools for both keeping existing relationships intact while developing new ones.
8. 25 Hours a Day: Going One More to Get What You Want by Nick Bare
If you’re wanting inspiration from your next read, look no further than Nick Bare’s newest book. 25 Hours a Day tells the story of how Nick grew his company from a startup in a college apartment to a multimillion-dollar business — while enlisted in the U.S. Army. As a leader, Nick was forced to go above and beyond, and that kind of effort is critical for maintaining deep relationships while staying on top of your business.
While a book can be helpful for getting started, the key to sparking human connection is in doing the legwork yourself. Once you’ve dug into some of these reads, incorporate what you’ve learned into your daily habits — the results will be well worth the effort.