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The 50 Greatest Self-Help Books

Best Self Help Books


























Communication Skills
Self-Help Books

The ability of two persons to communicate clearly with each other is a significant part of any successful relationship, whether a friendship, relationships on the job, or intimate relationships between life partners. Communication is much more than words: it is tone of voice, gestures, timing, emphasis.

The books recommended in this section offer men and women helpful tools in understanding the differences in their approaches to communication, and also provide useful guidance to all people who want to improve their communication skills.

See also: Intimate Relationships: Relationship Advice; Men's Issues; Women's Issues, Parenting: Birth to Twelve Months; Parenting: Toddlers to Pre-Teens; Parenting: Teenagers; Success and Personal Effectiveness

Best Self-Help Books on Communication Skills

The Dance of Connection: How to Talk to Someone When You're Mad, Hurt, Scared, Frustrted, Insulted, Betrayed or Desperate by Harriet LernerYou Just Don't Understand: women and Men in Conversation by Deborah Tannen"These are the self-help books on Communication Skills I recommend most frequently."
David Yarian, Ph.D.






More Recommended Self-Help Books on Communication Skills

101 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills Instantly by Bennie Bough101 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills Instantly
Bennie Bough

This powerful, easy to use self-help manual provides good suggestions and reinforces excellent practices in interpersonal relationships. Results: increased prospects for advancement at work, greater opportunity to obtain what you want with reduced likelihood of misunderstandings, and enhanced feelings of safety and friendship with far less probability of hostility. Effective communication skills are the mark of an achiever! 2005, GoalMinds, Inc., 4th Edition



The Assertiveness Workbook: How to Express Your Ideas and Stand Up for Yourself at Work and in Relationships by Randy J. Patterson, Ph.D.The Assertiveness Workbook: How to Express Your Ideas and Stand Up for Yourself at Work and in Relationships
Randy J. Patterson, Ph.D.

Effective communication is an essential skill that impacts your professional success, the stability of your family life, and your personal happiness. Your ability to communicate effectively is significantly hampered if you can't assert yourself constructively. If you've ever felt paralyzed by an imposing individual or a powerfully argued opposing viewpoint, you know that an absence of assertiveness can leave you feeling marginalized and powerless. The Assertiveness Workbook contains effective, cognitive behavioral techniques to help you become more assertive. Learn how to set and maintain personal boundaries without becoming inaccessible. Become more authentic and open in relationships without fearing attack. Defend yourself when you are criticized or asked to submit to unreasonable demands. 2000, New Harbinger


The Courage to Be Yourself: A Woman's Guide to Emotional Strength and Self-Esteem by Sue Patton ThoeleThe Courage to Be Yourself: A Woman's Guide to Emotional Strength and Self-Esteem
Sue Patton Thoele

Sue Patton Thoele continues her mission to help readers improve their self esteem and make use of their core emotional strength. Geared to women who all too often find themselves satisfying the desires of others at the cost of their own needs, this self-help book supplies necessary tools to help readers transform their fears into the courage to express their own authentic selves. By revealing her own journey and the journey of other women, Thoele helps readers discover ways to set boundaries, transform self-defeating behavior patterns, communicate effectively, and become a nurturing and tolerant friend to themselves. This tenth-anniversary edition contains 30 percent new content, which includes a new introduction. 2001, Conari Press, 3rd Edition


The Dance of Connection: How to Talk to Someone When You're Mad, Hurt, Scared, Frustrted, Insulted, Betrayed or Desperate by Harriet LernerThe Dance of Connection: How to Talk to Someone When You’re Mad, Hurt, Scared, Frustrated, Insulted, Betrayed or Desperate
Harriet Lerner

Best-selling author and therapist Lerner offers clear and practical advice on how to speak out in a wide variety of difficult situations. Recognizing the difficulty of communication while in an emotional state, she supplies guidance on sharing vulnerability, voicing concerns, apologizing and setting limits. Filled with compelling stories and case examples. 2002, QuillA 50 Greatest Self Help Book



Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, et.al.Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most
Douglas Stone, et. al.

The authors offer practical advice for handling daily confrontations and unpleasant exchanges in a manner that accomplishes their objective and diminishes the possibility that anyone will be needlessly hurt. They show that such communications actually comprise three separate components: the “what happened” conversation (verbalizing what we believe was said and done), the “feelings” conversation (communicating and acknowledging each party’s emotional impact), and the “identity” conversation (expressing the situation’s underlying personal meaning). This self-help book will boost your confidence in having those difficult conversations. 2010, Penguin


How Can I Get Through to You?: Closing the Intimacy Gap Between Men and Women by Terrence RealHow Can I Get Through to You?: Closing the Intimacy Gap Between Men and Women
Terrence Real

Real believes that men and women do not speak the same emotional language because boys’ early emotional relationships were squelched by peers, siblings and fathers, while girls early on learned to be accommodating in emotional relationships. He believes healthy marriage follows a repeated pattern of harmony, disharmony, and restoration; and teaches skills for accomplishing the crucial ongoing task of relationship repair, including holding the relationship in high regard, preserving intimacy, and using relational speaking, listening and negotiating skills. A practical and helpful book. 2002, Scribners


How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine MazlishHow to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk
Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

This self-help book is an excellent communication tool kit which provides a step-by-step approach to improving relationships in your house. The book’s down-to-earth and respectful approach makes relationships with children of all ages less stressful and more rewarding. 2012, Scribner


Intimate Strangers: Men and Women Together by Lillian RubinIntimate Strangers: Men and Women Together
Lillian Rubin

This self-help book explains how the differences between women and men arise and how they affect such critical issues as intimacy, sexuality, dependency, work and parenting. Lillian Rubin decodes human behavior with a lively combination of intuition and scholarship and offers hope for every man and woman who has yearned for an intimate relationship and wondered why it seemed so elusive. 1990, Perennial


I Only Say this Because I Love You: Talking to Your Parents, Partner, Siblings and Kids when You're All Adults by Deborah TannenI Only Say This Because I Love You: Talking to Your Parents, Partner, Siblings and Kids When You’re All Adults
Deborah Tannen

Sociolinguist Deborah Tannen explains why talk in families often goes in circles and provides helpful tools for reconciliation and rebuilding. She emphasizes the importance of separating meanings of words from meta-messages, unstated but powerful meanings that come from the history of the relationships and the way things are said. 2002, Ballantine Books


Messages: The Communication Skills Book by Matthew McKayMessages: The Communication Skills Book
Matthew McKay

Now in its third edition, Messages is a best-selling classic that has previously helped more than 100,000 readers acquire communication skills in all aspects of life. This comprehensive and useful self-help guide addresses a variety of topics, including couples communication, using validation strategies during conflicts, active listening, reading body language, developing conflict resolution skills, talking to children, communicating with family members, public speaking, handling group interactions, being interviewed for jobs, and being the interviewer. This book is an invaluable resource. 2009, New Harbinger


The Messages Workbook: Powerful Strategies for Effective Communication at Work and Home by Martha DavisThe Messages Workbook: Powerful Strategies for Effective Communication at Work and Home
Martha Davis

The initial Messages taught you to listen well, disclose truthfully, and express honestly while communicating with others. This self-help workbook will help you apply these skills specifically to various facets of your life. Step-by-step worksheets, fill-in exercises, and case stories help you avoid communication pitfalls and create long-lasting, life-enhancing changes. The workbook extends the techniques of Messages to a wide range of situations. 2004, New Harbinger


Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions by James PennebakerOpening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions
James Pennebaker

Psychologist Pennebaker has studied thousands of people for over a decade to learn how the confession of troubling feelings benefits health. He finds that these benefits may occur whether you tell your secrets to a friend, a therapist, a priest or write about them privately. He clearly describes the cost to the body and mind of holding back painful thoughts and feelings. 1997, Guilford Press


People Skills by Robert BoltonPeople Skills
Robert Bolton

The author describes the twelve most common communication barriers, showing how these “roadblocks” damage relationships by increasing defensiveness, aggressiveness, or dependency. He explains how to acquire the ability to listen, assert yourself, resolve conflicts, and work out problems with others: skills that will help you communicate calmly, even in stressful or emotionally charged situations. 1986, Touchstone


You Just Don't Understand: women and Men in Conversation by Deborah TannenYou Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation
Deborah Tannen

This thought-provoking book describes in clear detail how women and men miscommunicate with each other. For most women conversation is a way of connecting and negotiating. Men use conversation to achieve or maintain social status or to impart knowledge. This self-help book was on the New York Times Best Seller List for 4 years. Filled with lively and entertaining examples of real conversations, this book gives you the tools to understand what went wrong and to find a common language to strengthen relationships. 2001, Perennial Currents


Communication Skills Self Help Resources