People often ask me what BOOKS I recommend, particularly books focused on communication skills. 

So I thought, why not release a podcast episode where I talk about one of these books?  Or maybe THREE of them? And why not discuss them with a fellow book lover?

Enter Adam Ashton, author and co-host of “What You Will Learn,” a podcast all about books!

I met Adam years ago in Seth Godin’s inaugural Podcasting Fellowship, where we both developed our podcasting skills. Adam stood out for me as exceptional. Fast forward to today… his podcast has >7 million (!) downloads, and he’s published two books!

a grid of three images from a Zoom call between Adam Ashton (left) and Dr. Andrea Wojnicki (right)

He also has a fantastic laugh!

Adam joined me for the latest Talk About Talk episode to discuss a few of my most frequently recommended books. Thank you, Adam!

3 things to Talk About this week:

1. INFLUENCE by Robert Cialdini
2. CHATTER by Ethan Kross
3. GETTING TO YES by Roger Fisher, William Ury & Bruce Patton

by Robert Cialdini

The first book Adam and I discussed was the updated edition of Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

Cialdini is known as the godfather of persuasion, and for good reason. This book is the classic “influence bible” and I devoured it when the first edition was published in the 1980s. 

image shows the cover of "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert Cialdini

Adam and I agreed that although some of Cialdini’s examples are dated, overall this book stands the test of time,

Cialdini’s 7 levers of influence:

1. Reciprocity
2. Unity
3. Commitment/Consistency
4. Likability
5. Authority
6. Scarcity
7. Social Proof

My hack for memorizing all seven is the acronym R.U. CLASS: Just think, “Are you classy?” and start using these levers alone or in combination to up your persuasion game!

by Ethan Kross

If I had to choose, this book is my favourite these days! Chatter is only two years old, but it has already become one that I most frequently recommend to clients.

In Chatter, psychology professor Ethan Kross focuses on self-talk, a.k.a. the voice in your head that you may know as the inner critic.

image shows the cover of "Chatter" by Ethan Kross

Kross takes a common issue, provides guidance supported by evidence-based research, and shares accessible and actionable strategies for overcoming negative self-talk, or what he calls rumination.

One of those actionable strategies is to use distanced self-talk – as in not using first person to talk to yourself. This is a game-changing hack!

"When you're trying to work through a difficult experience, use your name and the second person 'you' to refer to yourself. Doing so is linked with less activation in brain networks associated with rumination and leads to improved performance under stress, wiser thinking, and less negative emotion." - Ethan Kross, author of Chatter

I highly recommend this book, especially if you’re looking for help boosting your confidence.

This book will affect you!

by Roger Fisher, William Ury & Bruce Patton

Last but not least, Adam and I discussed Fisher, Ury, and Patton’s Getting To Yes. Just as Cialdini is considered the godfather of persuasion, this trio could easily be the godfathers of negotiations.

I know many of you have probably read “Never Split the Difference,” a more contemporary book about negotiations. But have you read Getting To Yes?

These authors pioneered the concept of BATNA: Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement, something you’d cover on day 1 of any negotiations class.

image shows the cover of "Getting to Yes" by Roger Fisher, William Ury & Bruce Patton

You might be thinking, “My job doesn’t involve negotiating. I’m not a mediator or a union leader. Why is Andrea recommending this book to me?”

Negotiating is a life skill.

Think of the conversations you have with your customers, colleagues, bosses, subordinates, romantic partners, and children. On some level, we are negotiating all the time, and if you want to improve your negotiation skills, this book is a great place to start.

There you go – 3 things to Talk About – or 3 BOOKS to Talk About – this week: Influence, Chatter, and Getting To Yes. Thanks again to Adam Ashton for talking books with me!

Have you read any of these books? I’d love to hear about your biggest takeaways. Please email me or message me on LinkedIn to let me know.

Talk soon,


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