The best books to inspire, motivate, influence, and become more charismatic

Why am I passionate about this?

Kurt Mortensen is an international authority on charisma, negotiation, and influence. Kurt has spent over 20 years researching influence, leadership, sales, persuasive presentations, and he teaches at the university level. Kurt is the author of Persuasion IQ, Laws of Charisma, and the best-selling book Maximum Influence. His books have been translated into 28 languages. He is also the host of the popular podcast Maximize Your Influence. Mortensen teaches that professional success, personal relationships, and leadership all depend on the ability to persuade, influence, and motivate others. The key is to get others to want to do, what you want them to do and like doing it. 


I wrote...

The Laws of Charisma: How to Captivate, Inspire, and Influence for Maximum Success

By Kurt Mortensen,

Book cover of The Laws of Charisma: How to Captivate, Inspire, and Influence for Maximum Success

What is my book about?

The Laws of Charisma explores the vital skills and traits needed to earn trust, generate interest, and motivate others in the workplace. Bestselling author Kurt Mortensen defines the intersection of these pivotal abilities as charisma—an enviable quality that can lead to improved relationships, greater income, and more success in every area of life. To some extent, charisma is innate, but in this inspiring guide Mortensen explores the trait’s four core elements to show how anyone can draw out a more charismatic and compelling presence. With the help of practical tools, simple principles, applicable exercises, and insightful assessments, you’ll learn how to radiate confidence, passion, power, and optimism; influence others by improving communication skills; and persuade and empower anyone by creating instant rapport. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Power of Charm: How to Win Anyone Over in Any Situation

Kurt Mortensen Why did I love this book?

Brian Tracy was one of my early mentors. He taught me the keys to success and happiness. He changed my life and gave me the personal development bug. He has studied all types of successful people and has written over eighty books. I love this book because charm is a big part of being charismatic. This book gives you more confidence by building trust and using that innate charm to be more likable and win the support of others.

By Brian Tracy, Ron Arden,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Power of Charm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Brian Tracy has devoted his life to helping others achieve things they never dreamed possible. Now, he gives readers the key they need to open any door and get whatever they want, every time.

This book gives you proven ways to become more captivating and persuasive in any situation. As one of the world's premier business consultants and personal success experts, Brian Tracy shows readers what charm can do, and how they can use simple methods to immediately become more charming and dramatically improve their social lives and business relationships.

In The Power of Charm, you will learn how to:…


Book cover of Changing Minds: The Art and Science of Changing Our Own and Other Peoples Minds

Kurt Mortensen Why did I love this book?

I love the science behind influence and changing minds. This Harvard professor and psychologist shares the science and gets into the nitty gritty of shifting someone’s beliefs. I love to geek out on the studies and charts that are shared in this book. He provides a process for persuasion and how to influence in stages.  He helps us realize we all persuade and influence every day and in every career.

By Howard E. Gardner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Changing Minds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Think about the last time you tried to change someone's mind about something important: a voter's political beliefs; a customer's favorite brand; a spouse's decorating taste. Chances are you weren't successful in shifting that person's beliefs in any way. In his book, Changing Minds, Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner explains what happens during the course of changing a mind -- and offers ways to influence that process. Remember that we don't change our minds overnight, it happens in gradual stages that can be powerfully influenced along the way. This book provides insights that can broaden our horizons and shape our lives.


Book cover of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People

Kurt Mortensen Why did I love this book?

Vanessa calls herself a human behavior investigator. She talks about the formula for charisma and how to read people. These critical influence tools help people adapt their ability to bond with people and persuade them how they want to be persuaded. This book gives you the hacks to influence better and faster. I love how she focuses on first impressions. We all know that the first impression is critical to having charisma and connecting with people.

By Vanessa Van Edwards,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Captivate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Do you feel awkward at networking events? Do you wonder what your date really thinks of you? Do you wish you could decode people? You need to learn the science of people.
 
As a human behavior hacker, Vanessa Van Edwards created a research lab to study the hidden forces that drive us. And she’s cracked the code. In Captivate, she shares shortcuts, systems, and secrets for taking charge of your interactions at work, at home, and in any social situation. These aren’t the people skills you learned in school. This is the first comprehensive, science backed, real life manual on…


Book cover of Influencer: The Power to Change Anything

Kurt Mortensen Why did I love this book?

Influence is all about getting someone to change and accept your beliefs or ideas. I love that this book has five authors coming together to share how to change others' behavior. What works and what does not work based on studies and research. They looked at hundreds of successful influencers and categorized the keys to change and the art of influence. These principles are boiled down to easy-to-apply concepts.

By Ron McMillan, Al Switzler, Kerry Patterson , Joseph Grenny , David Maxfield

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Influencer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

CHANGE YOUR COMPANY. CHANGE THE LIVES OF OTHERS. CHANGE THE WORLD.

An INFLUENCER leads change.
An INFLUENCER replaces bad behaviorswith powerful new skills.
An INFLUENCER makes things happen.
This is what it takes to be an INFLUENCER.

Whether you're a CEO, a parent, or merely a person who wants to make a difference, you probably wish you hadmore influence with the people in your life. But most of us stop trying to make change happen because we believe itis too difficult, if not impossible. We learn to cope rather than learning to influence.

From the bestselling authors who taught the…


Book cover of Psycho-Cybernetics

Kurt Mortensen Why did I love this book?

This book is a classic. The reality is that if you can’t influence yourself – you can’t influence other people.  If you can’t lead yourself – you can’t lead other people. I call this book self-persuasion. There is a reason this book has sold 35 million copies. Maltz was the first to talk about the importance of your self-image.  He uses science to teach you how to reprogram your mind for success and increased motivation.

By Maxwell Maltz,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Psycho-Cybernetics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The landmark self-help bestseller that has inspired and enhanced the lives of more than 30 million readers.

In this updated edition, with a new introduction and editorial commentary by Matt Furey, president of the Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation, the original 1960 text has been annotated and amplified to make Maxwell Maltz's message even more relevant for the contemporary reader.

Maltz was the first researcher and author to explain how the self-image (a term he popularized) has complete control over an individual's ability to achieve, or fail to achieve, any goal. He developed techniques for improving and managing self-image visualization, mental rehearsal and…


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Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

By Antonieta Contreras,

Book cover of Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

Antonieta Contreras Author Of Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

As a trauma therapist and dedicated researcher, I love uncovering valuable insights within lesser-known books. There are hidden gems, free from the pressure of commercial success, crafted by authors deeply committed to research, understanding, and the art of writing itself. Their dedication resonates with me, as I believe in the profound value of information and the power of critical thinking. Through my own book, Traumatization and Its Aftermath, I aim to emphasize that psychological concepts often lose their depth in translation and my mission is spreading awareness and fostering a deeper understanding of trauma and its intricate facets. With that idea in mind, I chose these five titles. 

Antonieta's book list on uncovering the human experience and exploring the depths of trauma

What is my book about?

A fresh take on the difference between trauma and hardship in order to help accurately spot the difference and avoid over-generalizations.

The book integrates the latest findings in brain science, child development, psycho-social context, theory, and clinical experiences to make the case that trauma is much more than a cluster of symptoms to be tamed, but instead best understood as development gone off course, away from growth and towards (only) survival.

This book prompts a profound shift in perception, inviting to view trauma as an intricate and diverse experience, a point of view that ultimately leads to sharper treatment and, hopefully, more healing. It encourages a transition from asking, "What happened to you?" to the deeper question, "What is your relationship with what happened to you?"

Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

By Antonieta Contreras,

What is this book about?

The book is comprehensive, bold, and practical-a much-needed resource for the assessment and treatment of trauma. Instead of the traditional focus on the overall importance of healing, Traumatization and its Aftermath decodes why some people don't heal as easily as others, analyzes the various failures of diagnosis, and explains how to make therapeutic interventions truly effective.

This book offers a systemic deep dive into traumatization that clarifies myths and misinformation about the entire spectrum of trauma and provides both clinicians and non-clinicians with the right level of validation, preventive measures, conceptualization methodology, assessment tools, and healing facts that have not…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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