100 books like Social Intelligence

By Daniel Goleman,

Here are 100 books that Social Intelligence fans have personally recommended if you like Social Intelligence. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Jonquil Lowe Author Of Be Your Own Financial Adviser

From my list on insights for managing your money wisely.

Who am I?

I’m an economist who started out in stockbroking. But that felt like an exploitative industry and, looking for a more positive role, I moved to the consumer organisation Which? There, I cut my teeth helping people make the most of their money and then started my own freelance business. Along the way, I’ve worked with many clients (including financial regulators and the Open University where I now also teach), taken some of the exams financial advisers do and written 30 or so books on personal finance. The constant in my work is trying to empower individuals in the face of markets and systems that are often skewed against them.

Jonquil's book list on insights for managing your money wisely

Jonquil Lowe Why did Jonquil love this book?

Cialdini is a social psychologist who set out to explore what makes us comply with requests from strangers.

He did this from the inside by taking jobs where he was trained by various organisations to sell their wares. What makes this book so valuable is that Cialdini not only identifies six key methods of persuasion that are routinely deployed but also offers guidance on how to defend yourself against them. This has huge relevance for personal finance.

As banks and other financial institutions increase their fraud detection systems, criminals increasingly see you, the individual, as the weak link they can exploit to defraud you. Cialdini’s book is a great tool to help you detect and rebuff scammers intent on parting you from your money.

By Robert B. Cialdini,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The foundational and wildly popular go-to resource for influence and persuasion-a renowned international bestseller, with over 5 million copies sold-now revised adding: new research, new insights, new examples, and online applications.

In the new edition of this highly acclaimed bestseller, Robert Cialdini-New York Times bestselling author of Pre-Suasion and the seminal expert in the fields of influence and persuasion-explains the psychology of why people say yes and how to apply these insights ethically in business and everyday settings. Using memorable stories and relatable examples, Cialdini makes this crucially important subject surprisingly easy. With Cialdini as a guide, you don't have…

Book cover of Emotions Revealed: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life

Dianna Booher Author Of Communicate Like a Leader: Connecting Strategically to Coach, Inspire, and Get Things Done

From my list on leadership communication.

Who am I?

Dianna Booher is the bestselling author of 49 books (Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, McGraw-Hill), in 62 foreign editions, with nearly 4 million copies sold. More than two dozen of her books focus on communication, and she’s facilitated workshops on the topic for 4 decades. She helps leaders shape their own message in book form at Booher Book Camps.

Dianna's book list on leadership communication

Dianna Booher Why did Dianna love this book?

Having read so very many books on body language (and having written a couple myself), I love finding a book that provides much broader cross-cultural research and deeper insights on a specialized, important aspect like facial expressions!

How shocking to learn that there are more than 500 micro-facial expressions, telling people exactly what we feel about any given situation! To be able to read such facial expressions would give leaders an incredible advantage as they communicate—negotiating around the conference table, . . . conducting a job interview, . . . or strategizing with a potential partner, . . . or choosing a spouse!

By Paul Ekman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Whatever culture we come from, emotions play a huge role in our lives and in every relationship within them. Whether anger, joy, fear or sorrow, they can be incredibly powerful things - but can be equally hard to understand or control. In "Emotions Revealed", Paul Ekman draws on a lifetime's study to take the reader on a complete tour of the emotional self. Against a background of specially commissioned photographs and forceful news images from around the world, he examines and explains how, when and why we become emotional and how far we can change what we get emotional about;…

Book cover of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You

Paul Gavoni Author Of Quick Wins! Using Behavior Science to Accelerate and Sustain School Improvement

From my list on improve organizational performance in any industry.

Who am I?

Navigating through schools with profound behavioral challenges firsthand, I've felt the pressing need for a shift. An undeniable call. Enter Organizational Behavior Management (OBM), leadership, and systems thinking. Remember that school everyone had given up on? With the precision of OBM, and the right dose of leadership, I've seen it transform from chaos to cohesion. My role? Think of me as a coach, steering schools towards structured strategies, turning behavioral disruptions into harmonious learning ecosystems. In the intricate dance between behavioral science and leadership, I stand firm, unwavering in my commitment to reshape schools, ensuring they rise from their challenges to become paragons of growth and transformation.

Paul's book list on improve organizational performance in any industry

Paul Gavoni Why did Paul love this book?

In diving into this book, I couldn't help but draw parallels between Maxwell's teachings and our foundational principles of Organizational Behavior Management (OBM). Although Maxwell isn't exactly a card-carrying behavior scientist, his wisdom on topics like vision, influence, and commitment resonates deeply with OBM practices I've come to advocate for.

He's revamped the book with modern examples, making it all the more relevant in today's business world. Yet, the core truths—those unshakeable leadership tenets—remain. Through my lens, blending Maxwell's insights with OBM's evidence-based strategies can empower anyone navigating the complex world of leadership.

This isn't just another leadership book; it's a bridge between traditional leadership wisdom and the pragmatic, results-driven approach of OBM. Highly recommended for those with a passion for melding theory with real-world solutions.

By John C. Maxwell,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What would happen if a leadership expert were willing to distill everything he's learned in his 30+ years of experience into a handful of life-changing principles just for you? It would change your life.

Internationally-recognized leadership expert and bestselling author John C. Maxwell wrote his million-seller The 21 Laws of Leadership over ten years ago. Now, this expanded and updated edition of one of the most trusted and referenced leadership books features revised content that is fundamental to any leader.

Maxwell provides new learnings that makes his original bestseller bigger and better including:

Sharpening and updating every Law of Leadership…

Book cover of The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations

Ken Wilcox Author Of Leading Through Culture: How Real Leaders Create Cultures That Motivate People to Achieve Great Things

From my list on leadership showing the art of motivating people.

Who am I?

Ken began his career as an Assistant Professor of German Studies at the University of North Carolina. After ten years in academe, he went to the Harvard Business School, following which he embarked on a 36-year career banking. Ken worked at Shawmut Bank, Bank of New England, and from 1990 through 2019 at Silicon Valley Bank. Mr. Wilcox earned a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School, as well as a PhD in German studies Ohio State University. He published Leading Through Culture: How Real Leaders Create Cultures that Motivate People to Achieve Great Things and soon he'll be publishing a second book One Bed Two Dreams: When Western Companies Fail in China.

Ken's book list on leadership showing the art of motivating people

Ken Wilcox Why did Ken love this book?

This book is considered by many to be the gold standard; it is used by many many professors of organizational behavior to form the basis of the leadership classes they teach.

I found it somewhat long and a little theoretical, but I would still recommend it to anybody who really wants to study leadership. It covers almost every topic and its insights and recommendations are “on the money.”

By Barry Z. Posner, James M. Kouzes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The most trusted source of leadership wisdom, updated to address today's realities The Leadership Challenge is the gold-standard manual for effective leadership, grounded in research and written by the premier authorities in the field. With deep insight into the complex interpersonal dynamics of the workplace, this book positions leadership both as a skill to be learned, and as a relationship that must be nurtured to reach its full potential.

This new sixth edition has been revised to address current challenges, and includes more international examples and a laser focus on business issues; you'll learn how extraordinary leaders accomplish extraordinary things,…

Book cover of The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are

Thomas R. Verny Author Of The Embodied Mind: Understanding the Mysteries of Cellular Memory, Consciousness, and Our Bodies

From my list on neuroscience and the mind.

Who am I?

As a thirteen-year-old boy, I read Sigmund Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams and I became totally fascinated by Freud’s slow, methodical questioning that eventually revealed deeply hidden unconscious conflicts in the lives of his patients. Then and there I resolved to become a psychiatrist. As a psychiatrist, I explored my patients’ early memories. Over the years, I authored seven books, including The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, published in 28 countries now. I have previously taught at Harvard University, the University of Toronto, York University (Toronto), and St. Mary’s University. This book takes my studies of memory a step further and drills right down to the intelligence of cells.

Thomas' book list on neuroscience and the mind

Thomas R. Verny Why did Thomas love this book?

I am a great admirer of Dr. Siegel who is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. This is a terrific book in which Siegel explores the role of interpersonal relationships in forging key connections in the brain. As he says, “Human connections shape neural connections, and each contributes to mind. Relationships and your personal linkages together shape the mind. It is more than the sum of its parts; this is the essence of emergence.” His description of brain architecture is excellent

Siegel’s emphasis on relationships is important and I fully agree with it. His take on the mind is interesting. He says, “The mind is a process that emerges from the distributed nervous system extended throughout the entire body and also from the communication patterns that occur within relationships.” I echo those sentiments in The Embodied Mind when I say that the mind is more…

By Daniel J. Siegel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This highly influential work--now in a revised and expanded third edition incorporating major advances in the field--gives clinicians, educators, and students a new understanding of what the mind is, how it grows, and how to promote healthy development and resilience. Daniel J. Siegel synthesizes cutting-edge research from multiple disciplines, revealing the ways in which neural processes are fundamentally shaped by interpersonal relationships throughout life. And even when early experiences are not optimal, building deeper connections to other people and to one's own internal experience remains a powerful resource for growth. Professors praise the book's utility in courses from developmental psychology…

Book cover of Monsters in Love: Why Your Partner Sometimes Drives You Crazy-and What You Can Do About It

Pavini Moray Author Of How to Hold Power: A Somatic Approach to Becoming a Leader People Love and Respect

From my list on creating business relationships that feel alive.

Who am I?

As a human, I struggle with staying connected during conflict. Because conflict naturally shows up in all relationships, I had to figure out how to do it better, or die alone! My path has woven through studying conflict resolution, becoming a relationship therapist, doing deep learning within my own life partnership, and exploring the realm of somatic psychology in my doctoral work. I long for a world where we have the skills we need to work through conflict without resorting to violence. In my dreams, the world is able to coexist with love and conflict. Our relationships thrive when we speak our full truth, and embody our values in action.

Pavini's book list on creating business relationships that feel alive

Pavini Moray Why did Pavini love this book?

The theme of this book is growing up and relating in a way that honors your own integrity.

Menakem is a relationship therapist and a long-time married person who promotes the idea of clean pain vs. dirty pain. Clean pain is doing the hard work of speaking what is true for you in your relationship. Dirty pain is blaming or manipulating your partner.

With a rare and rigorous honesty, I learned from this book that conflict is actually necessary for healthy relationships. 

By Resmaa Menakem,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Conflict is a natural part of any intimate relationship. Yet most couples either avoid it or try to smooth over their differences. This results in at least one partner compromising their integrity-and stunting their own growth.

Monsters in Love challenges the idea that conflict between partners is unhealthy or something to avoid. Instead, it encourages both people to stand by what they need and who they are-but to do so with compassion rather than competitiveness or vengefulness. This is the purpose of an intimate relationship: to create an atmosphere where both people learn to grow up and mature in their…

Book cover of Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks

Shannon Gibney Author Of See No Color

From my list on YA and MG about the Black experience.

Who am I?

I love stories and storytelling of all kinds – from YA to memoir to journalism to children's picture books. If there is a story worth telling I will pursue it, regardless of genre. I'm particularly fascinated by stories that are out of the mainstream, are hidden, or come from people and cultures at the intersections of place, race, and gender. See No Color, about a mixed Black girl adopted into a white family, was my first YA novel, and it was followed by Dream Country, which chronicles five generations of a Liberian and Liberian American family. I co-edited an anthology on BIPOC women's experiences with miscarriage and infant loss, What God Is Honored Here?

Shannon's book list on YA and MG about the Black experience

Shannon Gibney Why did Shannon love this book?

In 10 short stories set in a single neighborhood in the city, Jason Reynolds skillfully paints a layered picture of adolescence. Each story features a different block in the neighborhood, and a different group of kids confronting bullies, trying to tell their crushes how they feel, and generally inelegantly negotiating the wilds of growing up. The characters are as funny as they are believable, and their approaches to the issues they face will elicit compassion from any reader. 

By Jason Reynolds, Alexander Nabaum (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Look Both Ways as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

Carnegie Medal winner
A National Book Award Finalist
Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book
An NPR Favorite Book of 2019
A New York Times Best Children’s Book of 2019
A Time Best Children’s Book of 2019
A Today Show Best Kids’ Book of 2019
A Washington Post Best Children’s Book of 2019
A School Library Journal Best Middle Grade Book of 2019
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019
A Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Book of 2019
“As innovative as it is emotionally arresting.” —Entertainment Weekly

From National Book Award finalist and #1 New York Times bestselling author Jason…

Book cover of Secrets to Winning at Office Politics: How to Achieve Your Goals and Increase Your Influence at Work

Genevieve Hawkins Author Of Mentally at Work: Optimising health and business performance through connection

From my list on helping you thrive not just survive as a leader.

Who am I?

I’m an Executive who started life as an Occupational Therapist. As an undergrad, I had an innate curiosity around mental health, and what makes people thrive not just survive. This fascination sent me to university multiple times, and, as a self-confessed book nerd (my teams tell me one of my most common sayings is ‘There is a book you could read..’), constantly testing book theories at work. As an executive, I mentor up-and-coming leaders. This compilation of books represents the most common books I recommend to people to help them thrive at work as a leader. I hope you find them as useful as I have.  

Genevieve's book list on helping you thrive not just survive as a leader

Genevieve Hawkins Why did Genevieve love this book?

I remember vividly the moment, while researching change, when I read an article by Jeffrey Pfeffer on power in organisations. It was an ah-ha moment for me in making sense of some of the behaviours I was witnessing at work. Marie McIntyre, who studied with Pfeffer, wrote Secrets to Winning at Office Politics and writes in a much more accessible and practical way on understanding and working with these politics, while maintaining your own integrity. Many a mentee has said to me, ‘I’m not interested in the politics, I just want to do my job.' And my response to that is that if you want to be successful in your career, then you need to not just understand but work with the politics. But there are ways to do this, while still being you. And this book helps with how.

By Marie G. McIntyre,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Secrets to Winning at Office Politics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Office politics are a fact of corporate life. From new hire to experienced executive, everyone needs to learn how to effectively play the game to win. From sizing up the political climate in the office, to building positive relationships to increasing political power, SECRETS TO WINNING AT OFFICE POLITICS is the handbook for achieving on-the-job success. Marie McIntyre, organizational psychologist and corporate coach, reveals proven strategies to: - Turn adversaries into allies - Counter colleagues' powerplays - Develop an influence strategy - Cope with quirky bosses and annoying co-workers - Achieve personal and professional goals.

Book cover of Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close

Janice M. McCabe Author Of Connecting in College: How Friendship Networks Matter for Academic and Social Success

From my list on complicated friendships and meaningful connections.

Who am I?

I’ve been studying friendships for over 20 years. As a sociologist, I use social science research methods, particularly interviewing and network analysis, to better understand who people are friends with and how friendship ties help us. As a professor at Dartmouth College, I’m particularly interested in how friendship ties help college students academically and socially and how they get in the way academically and socially. My first research on friendship was a group project in a Women’s Studies course at Tulane University focused on undergraduate women’s close friendships. The best part of that study was developing close friendships with each other, some of which have lasted more than two decades!

Janice's book list on complicated friendships and meaningful connections

Janice M. McCabe Why did Janice love this book?

In a memoir co-written by two best friends, Aminatou and Ann detail the joys and struggles of their “big friendship” over the years in an honest and hilarious way. I appreciated their stories and advice on the work it takes to keep meaningful relationships that don’t fade or become resentful. It didn’t come easy to be open with each other and vulnerable about the friction they felt from ignoring racial and class dynamics in their friendship. They situate their friendship within the dynamics of their friend groups, which they term “the friendweb.” To live “shine theory” within the friendweb, ties are collaborative, supporting each other so that “I don’t shine if you don’t shine.” This book makes it clear that friendship is not always easy, but it is worth it. 

By Aminatou Sow, Ann Friedman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A close friendship is one of the most influential and important relationships a human life can contain. Anyone will tell you that! But for all the rosy sentiments surrounding friendship, most people don’t talk much about what it really takes to stay close for the long haul.

Now two friends, Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, tell the story of their equally messy and life-affirming Big Friendship in this honest and hilarious book that chronicles their first decade in one another’s lives. As the hosts of the hit podcast Call Your Girlfriend, they’ve become known for frank and intimate conversations. In…

Book cover of Flights

John Dalton Author Of Heaven Lake

From my list on that take you on extraordinary journeys.

Who am I?

I am the author of two novels, and I currently teach fiction writing in the MFA program at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. I’ve long been fascinated with journeys both real and literary. In the early 1990’s I lived in Taiwan and traveled across China—from Guangzhou to the far northwestern desert province of Xinjiang, an extraordinary journey that informed my first novel. 

John's book list on that take you on extraordinary journeys

John Dalton Why did John love this book?

There are dozens of journeys contained within this unclassifiable work of fiction. With each episode or story or exploration, the reader begins to perceive how travel transforms and erases us, even as it shows us the true strangeness of the world. If that sounds vague, then I’d say that you don’t read Flights for its many stories, as you do for Tokarczuk’s quiet, steely, attuned prose and exhilarating ideas.  

By Olga Tokarczuk, Jennifer Croft (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?



A visionary work of fiction by "A writer on the level of W. G. Sebald" (Annie Proulx)

"A magnificent writer." — Svetlana Alexievich, Nobel Prize-winning author of Secondhand Time

"A beautifully fragmented look at man's longing for permanence.... Ambitious and complex." — Washington Post

From the incomparably original Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, Flights interweaves reflections on travel with an in-depth exploration of the human body, broaching life, death, motion, and migration. Chopin's heart is carried back to Warsaw in…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in intelligence, emotions, and altruism?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about intelligence, emotions, and altruism.

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