Self Help

7 Books That Will Help You Improve Your Performance At Work – Forbes

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Be honest: Are you giving your work your all? Or have you started to feel like it’s tougher than ever to keep up a high level of performance? Before you slip further or spiral into a full-blown case of imposter syndrome, engage in a little self-help.

The following books tackle various snags that might be causing your progress to stall. From teaching the art of delegation to helping you break self-sabotaging habits, these works will jostle you off your temporary professional plateau and toward the peaks. Allow yourself to reach for the stars again by getting sage advice from these knowledgeable authors.

1. The Four Greatest Coaching Conversations: Change Mindsets, Shift Attitudes, and Achieve Extraordinary Results by Jerry Connor and Karim Hirani

As an executive coach, I devour books on the topic. That’s why The Four Greatest Coaching Conversations tops this particular list. To develop their approach, Jerry Connor and Karim Hirani combed through endless data points and anecdotal evidence. They arrived at the conclusion that meaningful change requires the ability to sit in the moment and develop relationships, along with two other key mentalities. I want clients to exceed their expectations, and with this thoughtful work, I can better direct them toward rewarding outcomes.

2. How to Get Sh*t Done: Why Women Need to Stop Doing Everything So They Can Achieve Anything by Erin Falconer

True, Erin Falconer’s book speaks primarily about society’s ridiculously high expectations for career-focused women. Yet How to Get Sh*t Done provides insightful tidbits for any professional who burns the candle at both ends—and in the middle. I recognized some self-sabotaging tendencies of my own when reading through this guide, which prompted me to jot down some ways I can start working less to get further in my career. Now, I’m even more convinced that outsourcing and delegating are essential paths to true business bliss.

3. Great at Work: The Hidden Habits of Top Performers by Morten T. Hansen

Are workplace superstars born or made? Morten Hansen’s book suggests that many corporate standouts use some or all of seven specific practices to land in the winner’s circle, which means becoming a productivity hero is possible for most of us. He outlines what makes a high performer noteworthy, then offers self-assessment tools to help readers discover how to tap into their own unique abilities. Great at Work gave me fresh eyes to evaluate the A-listers I’ve admired and understand how I can replicate similar success by leaning on my core talents.

4. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

Were you ever embarrassed by poor work habits? Maybe you procrastinate. Perhaps you under-prepare. James Clear uses science to show that the problem isn’t you per se, but the systems you put in place. In other words, reversing ill-advised patterns boils down to establishing different ones. Atomic Habits makes me eager to attack a few foibles that I always assumed were part of my personality. With a few new tools and ideas, I know I can make permanent changes to rev up my productivity and happiness.

5. Employee Experience: Develop a Happy, Productive and Supported Workforce for Exceptional Individual and Business Performance by Ben Whitter

In the corporate environment of yesteryear, new employees received training and were then left to fend for themselves. Ben Whitter argues that today’s workers demand more customized experiences as a sign of commitment and loyalty from their employers. In Employee Experience, he provides concrete examples of ways managers and executives can walk alongside team members to help them achieve personal and professional success. As part of my end-of-year planning, I am using some of this book’s tips to ensure my colleagues and clients get amazing personal treatment.

6. Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport

I admit it: Some days, technology controls me from morning until night. After reading Digital Minimalism, I now see how devices, apps, platforms and software can work for me without my giving up power. Ever felt true terror at seeing your smartphone reach 10% battery life? You’ll appreciate Cal Newport’s advice. Throughout his bestseller, he helps readers reverse their reliance on technologies and reclaim a sense of balance. Yes, it’s tough to put away my laptop at 8 p.m., but I’m determined to go on a low-key digital fast.

7. Mind Hacking: How to Rewire Your Brain to Stop Overthinking, Create Better Habits and Realize Your Life Goals by Jennifer Ferguson

Have you even lain awake at 3 a.m., mind awash with racing thoughts, worries and ideas? A one-off bout with insomnia can be chalked up to temporary anxiety. But what happens when we live with long-term mental stress? Leveraging the science of neuroplasticity, Jennifer Ferguson illustrates methods to redirect brainpower from toxic notions and feelings into a more uplifting, self-confident place. It works: I’ve experienced novel, positive reactions to age-old challenges after adopting some of her daily habits and exercises aimed at retraining even mature gray matter.

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