Every day you are using psychology in your business. Whether it is to pay attention to some website, to try to remember what you have been told, to influence someone to buy something from you, or to support your staff through difficult times, psychology is ever-present. Yet, few business leaders actually study psychology. So here are seven essential books which between them give you some basics to help you use psychology in your business in better ways.
50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology
Whenever I am in business meetings I hear myself listening to various psychological “facts” and statements which are part of popular business culture, but for which there is no evidence. For instance, people will often say in meetings that someone is either “left brain” or “right brain”. This is the notion that our brains are divided into different kinds of functions with one side of the brain dealing with logic and the other creativity. You will have doubtless heard that theory. The problem is, it is complete bunkum. There is no evidence to support it. Also, at meetings I hear people say that men and women think differently. Again, there is no evidence for that suggestion either. These are amongst the popular myths debunked in this book, 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology. Before you embark on studying the remainder of psychology, you may well need to get rid of those old assumptions and myths you had – this book will do that for you…! Get this book
The Inner Winner
If you want to succeed in your business, you are going to have to use your brain. Indeed you are going to have to stop saying “if I want to succeed” and replace it with “when I succeed”. The problem for many business owners, however, is that they hold themselves back. To make progress in business you need to understand yourself before you can boost personal performance or hope to increase the performance of others in your company. The Inner Winner helps you perform better by providing you with the psychological theories and the tactics to improve. You don’t need to worry too much about the technical nature of performance psychology – this book is hugely approachable and gives you easy to use techniques to help improve your life and your business. To get the most from your own psychology, this is an excellent book. Get this book
Even though you may succeed by increasing your performance, you may well believe you have a poor memory. Memory is an essential human component. You could not walk, without memory for instance because you would forget how to put one foot in front of the other. And if you couldn’t remember how to read, well, I may as well not write this…! But even though our memories clearly function very well indeed, we seem to lack the ability to recall simple things, such as someone’s name. This book, Memory Power-up, is by a former “memory champion” and will help you use practical techniques to recall anything you want to. You can use the book to assess your current level of memory capability before you try the techniques. The book then takes you through some “gentle stretches” before taking you to the final “workout” for your memory. Get this book
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
Professor Robert Cialdini is the undisputed expert in the psychology of persuasion. In this classic book he guides you through decades of research into how we all try to persuade each other in order to achieve our own ends. The book will help you in business negotiations, in presentations and in sales. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion takes you through the six essential components of persuading people that you are indeed right. It covers the well-established theme of reciprocity, for instance, as well as social proof and the less well-known aspects of commitment and consistency. Use these “weapons of influence” as they are called in the book and you will be able to achieve greater control over things as a result of your increased powers of persuasion. The book also includes an “epilogue” which looks at influence in the “automated age” and how the plethora of choice and information is affecting how we can influence each other. Get this book
Book of Tells
One aspect of influence is understanding what the opposition is thinking. We give away our thoughts in “tells” or what some people call “body language”. The Book of Tells is by a psychologist who has specialised in the study of non verbal communication and how we talk to each other without saying a word. Indeed, he was the expert psychologist for the reality TV show, “Big Brother”. Understanding “tells” is very important in sales situations, for instance, or in negotiations. Understanding more about non verbal communication is an excellent use of psychology in business and this book really helps you get to grips with non verbal communication. If you want to know if your staff are telling the truth or if you need to know whether your customers are really submitting to your charms, then you need this book. Get this book
Ultimately, everything we do involves our emotions, including buying a business service. Tapping into people’s emotions is what successful sales people do all the time. But what about your business as a whole? Are you using emotional influence as much as possible? This book looks at the world of emotions in terms of sales, as well as emotions in the workplace. It is crammed with useful examples, case studies and diagrams to help you understand the whole arena of emotions and their importance in business. Indeed, as the author says: “In today’s highly competitive marketplace where many products look alike, it is the emotional benefit that can make the difference. At the same time, companies with engaged, productive work forces will undoubtedly achieve competitive advantage.” I couldn’t have put it better myself…! Get this book
Consumerology: The truth about consumers and the psychology of shopping
In the final analysis, your business depends upon people buying from you. This book, Consumerology, helps you understand the psychology of buyers. What do they do and why? This book uncovers these things for you and helps you get inside the head of shoppers. The book is mostly aimed at retail, but its principles can be applied elsewhere. The book includes details of studies as well as case histories which together convey the importance of understanding the thinking of your customers. In addition, Consumerology reveals the myriad tricks and psychological games high street shops play on consumers; the ways in which we are manipulated into buying things we don’t want; the ways in which we deceive ourselves; and the cutting edge behavioural science being used to change our habits to even more significant degrees. As a result it shows how you too can sell more using such techniques. Get this book
So, there you have it – 7 psychology books that will be at home on your business bookshelf.