Let’s face it: Networking rarely makes it to the top of our priority list. Who hasn’t gone to a cringe-worthy networking event filled with awkward introductions and leaves with an unsatisfied feeling that you have wasted your evening?
Unfortunately, networking is an essential part of advancing your career. Many entrepreneurs are finding it isn’t what they do, but who they know that will truly open doors. While walking into a room full of people is less appealing than spending the night on the couch watching Netflix, it is something everyone should be doing more often. To make the process easier, we have put together the ultimate list of books that will help you network, develop relationships, and make those events a little less painful!
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz
It’s time to abolish eating a sad lunch at your desk alone. Never Eat Alone teaches you to build your network before you need it. The best way to network isn’t to network at all – you should aim to develop relationships because that’s what is going to make the difference in your life and career.
Superconnector by Scott Gerber and Ryan Paugh
A “superconnector” is someone who has left behind all traditional networking habits and started to build connections between communities. The authors do an adequate job of showing the importance of strong business relationships among multiple social circles.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey
This classic business book has sold more than 25 million copies. It helps guide its readers on how to attain goals. He teaches you to realize that there is enough success to go around and that will help you develop more symbiotic business relationships.
Networking Is Not Working by Derek Coburn
Derek Coburn approach to networking (or as he calls it un-networking) is unique. He developed a 20-30 person networking circle and introduced relevant partners, clients, and friends. Coburn keeps himself as the critical resource so that he is building his own network as well as others.
Give and Take by Adam Grant
You’ve probably grown up hearing, “nice guys finish last,” but thankfully, more research is proving that the opposite is the case. Adam Grant explores why some people fail while others succeed. Specifically, he looks at people who are giving individuals and discovers when it is helpful and when it leads to burnout. If you want to grow in your “givingness” and better understand how you communicate, this book can teach you the necessary tools.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Written back in 1936, the advice in this book is still relevant. Carnegie motivates you and teaches skills to make more friends and increase your influence, as well as how to value others and make them feel appreciated without feeling manipulated.
The Art of Conversation by Catherine Blyth
In today’s digital age, it can be challenging to connect face to face. Catherine Blyth takes a humorous approach to show how terribly some conversations go. She teaches strategies for how to communicate appropriately and to capture the real potential of a great discussion.
Giftology by John Ruhlin
John Ruhlin believes the way to properly network is through gift-giving. Of course, there is a right way and a wrong to try to improve business relationships by giving a gift. Ruhlin explains it all through personal stories, tactics, and experiences to help you master this art.
The Startup Of You by Reid Hoffman
As the co-founder of Linkedin – the biggest professional networking site – Reid Hoffman definitely knows what he is talking about. He explains why you need to manage your career as if you are operating a startup. To develop a competitive advantage, first, you need to understand what you are good at, what your aspirations are, and what people will pay you for it.
The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane
If you think that you aren’t outgoing or charismatic enough to be a strong networker, this
book will bust that myth. Cabane’s book shows the readers that all they have to do to become a great communicator is to develop the correct mindset and train yourself with techniques to build up your charisma. She offers tips and actions to help you become more present and introduces conversations that will improve the effectiveness of your networking.
The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over by Jack Schafter with Marvin Karlins
Written by a former FBI Special Agent who specializes in behavior, analysis, and recruiting spies, Jack Schafter definitely knows what he is talking about. He wrote this handbook filled with strategies on how to read people instantly and influence how they perceive you. He helps you to make a great first impression and get people to like you.
Networking like a Pro: Turning Contacts into Connections by Ivan Misner
If you are someone who feels like they have created all these contacts, but they go nowhere, then this is the book for you. Networking like a Pro teaches you how to form closer connections by showing you the proper networking techniques and illustrates this through real-life examples.
The Art of Nonconformity by Chris Guillebeau
This book teaches you that there is more to life than what you are currently experiencing. Based on Chris Guillebeau’s “A Brief Guide to World Domination,” The Art of Nonconformity debunks your assumptions about work while giving you the tools to live differently. Guillebeau teaches you to live an unconventional life all while exploring self-employment, goal-setting, and networking.
Click: Ten Truths for Building Extraordinary Relationships by George Fraser
For those who dread networking, this is the book for you. It walks you through ten basic principles and puts you on the path to success and happiness. George Fraser will teach you how to tailor your relationships to create the perfect link and how to seek out caring, creative allies.
Hiding in the Bathroom: How to Get out There When you’d Rather Stay Home by Morra Aarons-Mele
Introverts will completely understand the fear of walking into a room full of strangers. Morra Aarons-Mele provides an alternative to the stereotypical successful person – one who is intense, super social, and always on the go. She suggests that someone can still succeed without fitting into this model and gives you advice and exercises on how to evaluate your work/life balance and manage anxiety.
Breakthrough Networking: Building Relationships that Last by Lillian D. Bjorseth
Breakthrough Networking stresses the importance of nurturing your network to keep it stable for the future. The book walks you through how to meet new people and create strong bonds between these new contacts. You will also learn how to present your image professionally both in person and digitally.
Make your Contacts Count: Networking Know-How for Business and Career Success by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon
Make your Contacts Count was designed to be as interactive as possible with quizzes, assessments, and a step-by-step guide to help you through the awkwardness of networking and forming professional relationships. Its system of “Hello to Goodbye” walks you from entering a room, improving customer flow and how to follow up with your new contacts appropriately.
Highly Effective Networking: Meet the Right People and Get a Great Job by Orville Pierson
Almost every job-hunting expert agrees that the best way to get a job is by networking. This book suggests that you don’t need to build a vast, powerful network, but instead how to effectively use the network that you already have. Highly Effective Networking empowers you to use your small network to reach the right people and how to speak more eloquently.
The Fine Art of Small Talk by Debra Fine
Small talk can be terrifying and tedious, but this book helps you get through it. Right from the start, it provides you with a list of icebreakers and other conversational cheat sheets to help you through the first five minutes of the conversation. Now, you won’t have to spend avoiding eye contact and talking to others!
How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes
Leil Lowndes teaches you to not only use your words to create lasting relationships but how to use your body language. She reviews everything from how to smile, how to stand when talking to new acquaintances, and where to look when you are talking to someone. The book also teaches you how to navigate through small talk and create an instant rapport.