Communication skills books

10 Best Communication Skills Books to Improve Your Skills in 2024

In a world saturated with information, the real challenge often lies not in the abundance of words but in the efficiency of communication.

As George Bernard Shaw wisely noted, “..the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”. Sometimes, it’s tough to say what we mean, and people might misunderstand us. This can lead to confusion, misinterpretations, and missed opportunities. 

Poor communication and interpersonal skills can hold you back in personal and professional areas, impacting your growth and relationships.

So, let’s recognize that effective communication isn’t just about words—it’s about understanding and connection.

We’ve picked out ten remarkable communication skills books to help you break through conversation barriers and master impactful communication to reach your communication goals

Let’s explore these literary guides and learn how to communicate better! 

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Best Books to Improve Your Communication Skills 

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie 

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is one of the oldest communication skills books still popular today
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: Dale Carnegie 
  • Year published: 1936
  • Estimated reading time: 8 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner 
  • No. of pages: 291
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.7/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.2/5 (Goodreads)

Have you ever thought about why making friends sometimes feels like an art? 

Well, guess what? How to Win Friends and Influence People breaks down the secrets to building connections in a world where people carefully choose their companions based on distinct qualities.

One of the oldest and still very popular communication skills books, it delves into the psychology of human interactions, offering you essential skills to attract and dramatically deepen meaningful relationships. It emphasizes the importance of influencing others without coming across as manipulative—a skill that can be cultivated and honed.

The book also tackles the delicate topics of criticism, complaining, condemning, and achieving big success in relationships. 

Through anecdotes and insights, the book guides you to navigate the complex world of feelings and relationships, encouraging a friendlier and more understanding way of communication. 

“Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”

Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People takeaways 

  • Avoid criticism and instead understand, empathize, and appreciate others sincerely. Practice active listening and center conversations around others’ interests to build genuine relationships 
  • Sync your goals with others to create cooperation. Also, remember and use people’s names—a simple but powerful move to boost connections
  • Skip arguments for lasting goodwill. It’s all about reciprocity. Be truly interested in others for successful interactions

What readers say

Hall of Fame book that is still relevant and fresh nearly 100 years later. Everyone needs to read, and multiple times!”

2. How to Listen with Intention by Patrick King

How to Listen with Intention by Patrick King is among the top communication skills books to read
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: Patrick King
  • Year published: 2020
  • Estimated reading time: 6 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner 
  • No. of pages: 198
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.6/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.8/5 (Goodreads)

Picture a world where every chat you have makes a real impact, where people genuinely feel heard and understood. That’s what this book brings to the table.  

How to Listen with Intention is the seventh book in the How to be More Likable and Charismatic series by bestselling author and social skills coach Patrick King. It takes you on a journey to master the art of active listening, one of the most important communication skills. 

Through this easy read, you will learn to connect, create rapport, and build trust effortlessly, enhancing the quality of your communication and relationships. 

This book is your guide to the essential skill of authentic connection—more crucial than charisma or witty banter. 

“Those who seem most boastful in a conversation, who jealously guard attention or speak over others, are often those who feel most insecure in themselves.”

Patrick King 

How to Listen with Intention takeaways

  • Eliminate distractions and be fully present in conversations, offering your undivided attention to the speaker
  • Master active listening by going beyond words. It’s about understanding those underlying emotions by asking questions and showing empathy
  • Make space for open and non-judgemental communication, build stronger relationships by reflecting on what you understood from the conversation, and embrace the silence

What readers say

The book does a great job of breaking down listening in understandable ways and points out several missteps of which I know I have been guilty. It also illustrates actionable ways to improve as a listener and gain a better perspective on the art of conversation.”

3. Crucial Conversations by Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler & Emily Gregory

Looking for communication skills books? Try Crucial Conversations by Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler & Emily Gregory
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Authors: Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, Ron McMillan, Al Switzer & Emily Gregory 
  • Year published: 2001
  • Estimated reading time: 8 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner to intermediate 
  • No. of pages: 288
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.7/5 (Amazon)
    • 4/5 (Goodreads)

Imagine making every conversation a success, even the tough ones. That’s the promise of Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, our next on this list of unmissable communication skills books. It’s not just a book; it’s a guide that transforms how you communicate in today’s complex workplaces.

Written in a witty and engaging style, the book offers powerful skills to navigate any conversation, even the difficult ones, ensuring you get the desired results. 

The book teaches you how to be persuasive, not abrasive, and steer a dialogue back to productivity when things get intense. Plus, it equips you with essential skills for mastering high-stakes conversations, whether they’re with colleagues, family, friends, or even enemies. 

Drawing on 25 years of studying successful communicators, the book reveals the secrets of those who handle crucial conversations effectively. The goal is clear—to empower you to become a powerful communicator in any situation.

So, if you’ve ever faced a conversation that went south quickly, this book might just be your game-changer.

“Goals without deadlines aren’t goals; they’re merely directions.”

Kerry Patterson

Crucial Conversations takeaways 

  • Focus on one pressing problem at a time instead of trying to address multiple issues together
  • Find a mutual purpose to create a productive environment for everyone to have open and safe conversations
  • Keep your discussions respectful and constructive without holding back from expressing yourself

What readers say

These authors have taken their ideas into the corporate world in a big way, but I find the skills and ideas incredibly useful for difficult conversations in any area of life. I gave away my first copy and then bought a second. Well worth your time.”

4. Elite Communication Skills for Young Professionals by Ty Hoesgen

Elite Communication Skills for Young Professionals by Ty Hoesgen is one of Amazon's most popular communication skills books
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: Ty Hoesgen 
  • Year published: 2022
  • Estimated reading time: 8 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner 
  • No. of pages: 288
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.8/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.5/5 (Goodreads)

Ever felt like you’re missing out on opportunities or not getting the recognition you deserve just because your communication skills are not up to the mark? Well, Elite Communication Skills for Young Professionals has your back. 

This book spills the beans on how mastering communication can be your secret weapon for a kickstart in your life and career.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between—this book will help you shine. Even Warren Buffet, the financial guru himself, vouches for the power of communication to boost your worth.

The book provides insights on gaining people’s respect without saying a word, decoding those nonverbal cues, and confidently talking to absolutely anyone, even if you’re a bit of an introvert. But it’s not just theory; it’s packed with actionable tips, teaching you how to keep cool before a big meeting, ace video calls, and crack many more such situations. 

So whether you’re a communication pro or feeling a bit shaky, this book will upgrade your communication skills, make work and personal life smoother, and fast-track your success. 

“If life was easy, it would lose its meaning”

Ty Hoesgen 

Elite Communication Skills for Young Professionals takeaways 

  • Nonverbal cues are as important as your words when you communicate  
  • Use breathing techniques to center yourself while speaking in public
  • By asking the right questions, you can extract information from others while making lasting positive impressions 

What readers say

I found this book very useful to help my overall skills and confidence in communicating and overall confidence in myself. As someone who was always scared to speak publicly and privately I found the tips and examples Tyler provides in the book to help boost my overall confidence. This is a must read.”

5. Active Listening Techniques by Nixaly Leonardo

Active Listening Techniques by Nixaly Leonardo is another one of our favorite communication skills books
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: Nixaly Leonardo 
  • Year published: 2020
  • Estimated reading time: 6 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner to intermediate 
  • No. of pages: 184
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.6/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.6/5 (Goodreads)

Active Listening Techniques is a comprehensive guide to enhancing the skill of active listening, a crucial aspect of effective communication skills. 

The book shows you how active listening can help you build rapport, foster empathy, and resolve misunderstandings. 

The heart of the book consists of 30 practical methods, each carefully written to address specific challenges that you may commonly encounter. Each technique is explained with real-world examples, case studies, and scenarios for you to understand them clearly. 

“Most people listen passively, merely waiting for their turn to speak.”

Nixaly Leonardo 

Active Listening Techniques takeaways 

  • Learn how to really tune in when people speak. The book shows you 30 easy ways to become an ace listener, making your relationships stronger and more genuine
  • Active listening isn’t just about hearing words. It’s a tool to help you resolve conflict, defuse tensions, and create more productive conversations
  • Apply the techniques in your professional and personal relationships, not just for better communication but for a happier life as well

What readers say

“A great book for those who are looking to hone their active listening skills. Also touches on effective communication techniques that you can actually use in the real world. A practical book that I would recommend (and already have) to every person that I communicate with on a daily basis!”

6. Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle 

Communication skills books very relevant today include Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: Sherry Turkle
  • Year published: 2015
  • Estimated reading time: 10 hours
  • Recommended level: Intermediate 
  • No. of pages: 352
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.4/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.8/5 (Goodreads)

Ever feel like your constant connection to technology is taking a toll on real, face-to-face talks? 

Well, Reclaiming Conversation digs deep into how your love affair with tech is messing with your ability to have meaningful chats. 

While there are internal communication software that help you communicate with your team effectively, Sherry Turkle, a pro in the world of human technology, breaks down the consequences of the digital obsession and makes a solid case for bringing back the lost art of conversation. 

She lays it all out, from how texting affects relationships to messing up family dinners and work vibes. She emphasizes the challenges the digital age throws our way, like loneliness and a loss of identity. 

Turkle believes that by understanding the limitations of technology, we can revive the good old talk, have real conversations, and tackle today’s problems.

So, if you’re feeling the urge to put down that phone and have a real conversation, Turkle’s book might just be your guide in this digital world!

“Intelligence once meant more than what any artificial intelligence does. It used to include sensibility, sensitivity, awareness, discernment, reason, acumen, and wit.”

Sherry Turkle

Reclaiming Conversations takeaways  

  • Make face-to-face talks your go-to for genuine connections. There’s something special about in-person chats that can’t be replaced by texts or calls
  • Take a breather from the digital buzz. Spend some quality time in solitude, reflect, and find a balance. Too much screen time has a negative effect physically and mentally 
  • Be there for your kids, and always keep an eye on their digital activities  

What readers say

This book will change how you see and understand technology and conversation. Sherry Turkle is clear, stories are excellent, she makes a claim and then works to support it, but she is fair and considerate with her argument. Already reread certain sections. Will not ever view technology the same way. Have already changed some habits. Thank you!”

7. Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through Absolutely Anyone by Mark Goulston

Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through Absolutely Anyone by Mark Goulston
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: Mark Goulston
  • Year published: 2015
  • Estimated reading time: 8 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner 
  • No. of pages: 256
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.6/5 (Amazon)
    • 4/5 (Goodreads)

You know those people who only talk about themselves? Exhausting, right? Goulston gets it. Good conversation is a two-way street. 

Just Listen is your guide to becoming a stellar listener and communicator, helping you build trust and immediate connection. In this book, Mark Goulston, psychiatrist, business consultant, and coach, spills all his secrets on turning impossible or unreachable people into your allies, customers, colleagues, or buddies for life.

Through this engaging book, he breaks down how to connect with people on a deeper level and talk confidently. The book is a goldmine of techniques—making killer first impressions, listening like a pro, understanding strangers, defusing anger, etc. 

And here’s the main trick: When you need to get a message across, especially to tricky folks like disgruntled employees or unhappy clients, start by listening to them. That’s the secret sauce. 

“If someone can’t or won’t listen to you, get him to listen to himself.”

Mark Goulsto

Just Listen takeaways 

  • Prioritize listening before speaking. If you can make others feel understood, valued, and interesting, it will be easy for you to connect with them
  • Convince others by making them ‘buy into’ your ideas. Encourage people to identify desirable but seemingly impossible goals and explore ways to make them possible
  • Surprise others with empathy to win them over. Allow people to vent and release stress before you present your ideas. Address problems openly and discuss them candidly for a better understanding

What readers say

This book is a magnificent jewel that should be read in schools. It teaches how to get along in this world in a way that we all should learn to do. Dr. Goulston has done a superb job in opening my mind.”

8. Verbal Judo by George J. Thompson

Next on the list of communication skills books is Verbal Judo by George J. Thompson
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: George J. Thompson 
  • Year published: 2010
  • Estimated reading time: 7 hours
  • Recommended level: Beginner 
  • No. of pages: 224
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.6/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.8/5 (Goodreads)

This gem among communication skills books guides you on transforming heated arguments into wins. 

Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion is a guide to using words to navigate disagreements and turn tough talks into positive outcomes. Authored by former cop and communication expert George J. Thompson, the book compares effective communication to martial arts, emphasizing the verbal judo approach.

Thompson breaks people down into three types—the nice, the difficult, and the wimp—offering a step-by-step guide on how to deal with each. 

He also outlines a five-step process for voluntary compliance and shares tips on listening, empathizing, asking, paraphrasing, and summarizing for effective communication skills.

Packed with examples from police stories and real-life situations, this book is a practical guide for mastering the art of persuasion in relationships, making it valuable for effective communication in any scenario.

“Never react to what people say. React to what they mean. Just remember: People hardly ever say what they mean.”

George J. Thompson 

Verbal Judo takeaways 

  • Empathy is the best way to get people to listen to you
  • Avoid authoritative commands with others and explain the reasons behind rules. Successful communication is all about understanding the other person’s perspective rather than talking down to them
  • Identify your flaws to become a better speaker    

What readers say

Awesome book, I wish I could meet the author someday. Very useful, managed to put the lessons into action. Resulting in positive outcomes when delivering bad news to those unlucky few.”

9. Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get from Good to Great by Carmine Gallo

 Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get from Good to Great by Carmine Gallo counts among the most popular communication skills books
via Amazon

 About the book 

  • Author: Carmine Gallo 
  • Year published: 2018
  • Estimated reading time: 8 hours
  • Recommended level: Intermediate 
  • No. of pages: 256
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.4/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.9/5 (Goodreads)

In today’s fast-paced world, having a cool idea isn’t enough. According to Carmine Gallo in Five Stars, you need to master the ancient skill of persuasion to really shine, move forward, and achieve big success.

Gallo dives into Aristotle’s old but gold persuasion formula, showing how it’s still relevant in inspiring folks today. 

The book emphasizes the importance of communication skills as tech shrinks our world. Gallo chats with neuroscientists, economists, and leaders from various institutions like NASA, to show you how talking right is the key to grabbing attention and sparking big dreams.

But wait, it’s not just about you—it’s also about making business and customer experiences unforgettable. Gallo shares simple methods from successful companies for creating moments that turn people into loyal fans.

“Your career is your business. You are its CEO. Complacency breeds failure. As the CEO of your career, you must continually improve your skills, especially the art of communication.”

Carmine Gallo

Five Stars takeaways 

  • Concentrate on a single, concrete, and time-specific goal to talk effectively. Impress your recruiters and land your dream job by narrating compelling stories about yourself
  • Make presentations captivating by keeping them brief and incorporating visuals, like pictures. The quality of communication distinguishes good teams from great ones
  • Inspire others by connecting on an emotional level. The best communicators opt for short words over long ones, recognizing the power of simplicity

What readers say

“Incredible stories and facts put together to take your communication skills to the next level. I started to use the techniques even before I finished the book and it worked flawlessly!”

10. The Silent Language by Edward T. Hall

 The Silent Language by Edward T. Hall is last but not least in our list of top communication skills books
via Amazon

About the book 

  • Author: Edward T. Hall 
  • Year published: 1959
  • Estimated reading time: 7 hours 
  • Recommended level: Intermediate to advanced 
  • No. of pages: 217
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.5/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.7/5 (Goodreads)

This insightful book by Edward T. Hall should be on your must-read list of communication skills books. It delves into the complex world of nonverbal communication, exploring how unspoken gestures and actions form the silent language that shapes human interactions. 

Hall uses examples from everyday life, like the pecking order in a chicken yard, to explain how this silent language works. He also talks about culture shock, when you feel disoriented in a new culture because things are so different.

Even though the book was written long ago, its principles remain relevant. Hall’s observations about cultural rules and how we communicate without words are timeless. 

It might be a little tricky to follow in some parts since this book was written in a different era, but overall The Silent Language is a cool guide for anyone who wants to understand the unspoken ways we connect and clash with others.

“One of the most effective ways to learn about oneself is by taking seriously the cultures of others. It forces you to pay attention to those details of life which differentiate them from you.”

Edward T. Hall

The Silent Language takeaways 

  • Move beyond spoken language—let your body language, gestures, and personal space convey messages. These non-verbal communication skills, operating subconsciously, greatly influence how messages are perceived and interpreted
  • Understand the differences in personal space and gestures across different cultures. This helps you get cross-cultural communication right, avoiding mix-ups and clashes
  • Embrace the concept of high-context and low-context cultures. Recognize the various communication styles for effective communication in diverse cultural settings

What readers say

I first read this for a Poly project as a youngster. Its brilliance is built on what you know, or think you know, but perhaps don’t fully appreciate until you are told or have it explained to you. ET Hall is a level above. Have a read, it’ll highlight so much, you’ll be surprised, and very impressed.”

Bonus read: Growth hacking books

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Improve Your Communication Skills with ClickUp 

In a professional setting, effective communication and leadership skills are crucial components for success. 

The insights gained from top communication skills books can provide a solid foundation. But the theories and frameworks alone may not be enough. You need something more than just literature.

This is where ClickUp, a versatile communication and project management tool, bridges the gap. While communication skills books provide the what and why of effective communication, ClickUp offers the how by allowing you to implement these principles in a digital space where teams can communicate effectively, collaborate, and manage projects in real time.

ClickUp 3.0 Home view simplified
Get an all-in-one view to better anticipate and organize your daily work, reminders, and calendar events with ClickUp Home

So let’s explore the features of ClickUp in detail and see how it can transform communication strategies from concepts on paper to productive results in the digital workspace.

Clickup project management tools 

ClickUp is an all-in-one project management and productivity tool with the primary goal of making people more productive. It enhances workflows and facilitates team communication by bringing all your tasks and projects into a centralized platform. 

ClickUp’s Project Management features focus on bringing teams closer together through connected workflows, conversations, documents, real-time dashboards, and more. This integrated approach enhances collaboration, allowing your teams to work more efficiently, make informed decisions, and ultimately save time.

ClickUp 3.0 Setting Task Priority
Quickly set Task Priority within a ClickUp task to communicate what needs attention first

With over 15 different views, including Gantt charts, Timelines, Lists, Boards, and Calendars, this versatile app accommodates the preferences of every team member. It allows you to choose the most suitable view, providing visibility and transparency across the team. 

ClickUp communication tools

ClickUp Docs, Chat view, List view, and Homepage
Collaborate on ideas and create stunning Docs or wikis with nested pages and custom formatting options for roadmaps, knowledge bases, and more

Discover ClickUp’s Chat View that brings your team communication together, allowing you to share updates, link resources, and collaborate seamlessly and effortlessly. Whether it’s company-wide updates, team discussions, or project-specific chats, you can create a dedicated space for any work inside ClickUp. 

ClickUp Chat View
Share updates, link resources, share files, and @mention people to assign tasks on ClickUp Chat View

Manage and access chats, stay in the loop with notifications, and streamline team communication with ClickUp’s real-time chat channels where you can tag colleagues, share files, assign tasks, and more

When tasks seem overwhelming, assign comments for clarity and follow up by using ClickUp Assigned Comments. It creates action items instantly, assigned to others or yourself.

Assign Comments Task
Convert comments into tasks and assign them to your team with ClickUp

ClickUp collaboration tool 

The top communication skills books remind us of the importance of alignment. Keep everyone on the same page with the collaborative features of ClickUp Docs that allow you to create, edit, and organize documents with your team. 

ClickUp Docs
Create compelling docs and collaborate with co-workers in ClickUp with comments, tags, synced editing, and built-in chat

Centralize all your team’s documents and projects in one place, making it easily accessible for everyone. You and your team can edit and share documents in real time. By helping teams to work together on various projects, ClickUp makes an excellent workplace communication tool. 

Also, explore ClickUp Whiteboards for a fun and collaborative team experience! 

It’s like having a virtual canvas where you can unleash your creativity and turn ideas into action. Whether you’re brainstorming, mapping out strategies, or working on agile workflows, ClickUp Whiteboards provide the perfect space. 

ClickUp 3.0 Whiteboards simplified
Brainstorm, strategize, or map out workflows with visually collaborative ClickUp Whiteboards

Collaborate in real-time, even if your team is miles apart, and move seamlessly from idea to action by creating tasks directly from your whiteboards and adding all the context you need. 

Another notable feature is ClickUp Email, which enables you to manage your emails without leaving the platform. By integrating popular email applications like Gmail, Outlook, or Front, you can seamlessly send and receive emails within ClickUp Tasks. This integration streamlines communication and keeps all relevant information in one place.

Clickup templates 

Looking to quickly translate your learning from these communication skills books into action? ClickUp offers various communication templates that can enhance how you communicate with your team and build relationships. 

These templates go beyond providing a structural framework for your communication and collaboration plans. They help you organize your ideas, improve efficiency, and enhance your workflow. 

One such customizable template is the ClickUp Communication Plan Template which enhances communication and project management. It facilitates client communication and provides sections for detailed planning, such as project details, objectives, and summaries. 

ClickUp Communication Plan Template
Use the ClickUp Communication Plan Template to execute your learning from communication skills books and create a process roadmap for seamless communication

Integrating project management elements like due dates, task comments, automation, and AI further supports effective communication planning.

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Communicate better with ClickUp 

ClickUp is an all-in-one platform where the principles learned from the top 10 communication skills books are tested and refined through interaction and collaboration.

It provides you with a dynamic environment for applying communication skills practically. 
So what are you waiting for? Sign up for free and take a step closer to becoming a better communicator at the workplace! 

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