Resources – my top 5

  1. People Skills – Robert Bolton. Written in 1979 it shows it’s age in some ways yet also demonstrates that these skills are universal and constant. I have seen so much material lifted from this book in more modern best sellers – this is one of the originals and still the best. If you had to pick 1 core book to read and own, this is it.
  2. Communication Skills for Dental Health Care Providers – Young.  Textbook available from ADA Library. It is up to date (2015), covers a lot of ground and well sourced and referenced. It is also quite dry and academic.
  3. Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman. As Dentists we are familiar with academic intelligence – we all possess it (a pre-requisite to entering Dental School) and use it in tandem with hand-eye coordination to practice our Hard Skills. This book expands the view of different types of intelligence – the theory put forward very persuasively by Goleman is that high Emotional Intelligence is the key quality that enables people to excel in life, both in relationships and in the workplace.
  4. Empathy, why it matters and how to get it – Roman Krznaric. Australian born author – also has a blog and award-winning Youtube clip ( ). Fascinating examination of a key communication skill that is often mentioned but poorly understood.
  5. Seth’s blog. ( ) Marketing guru – sign up for free to get a post every day to your inbox. Quirky style, not exactly what you think – he is not a conventional marketer. Seth approaches marketing from the perspective of checking your own mindset and then examining the relationship with your customer – he advocates a position of generosity of spirit and ‘radical empathy’.

Honourable mentions;

  1. Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman. Nobel prize winning economist – quite an academic piece (referencing many groundbreaking studies by himself and colleagues) but very compelling. An exploration of our sub-conscious, biases and choices – we are not the paragons of reason that we assume ourselves to be!
  2. Getting to Yes – Fisher and Ury. Interests and BATNAs – all of this and much more in the core textbook for Negotiators.
  3. Difficult Conversations – Stone, Patton and Heen. Acknowledges that Difficult Conversations will be part of all aspects of life and that we often handle them badly. Step-by-step guide to navigating these conversations and turning them into productive problem solving experiences. Too many steps in my view but many new ways of looking at old problems.

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