My nightstand has been crowded lately and my Kindle has been filled with library books. Every time I see a recommended book, I’ve scribbled it down or added it to my Libby app - my reading list has become much longer than my actual reading bandwidth.
Have you tried the Libby app? Although I love going to actual libraries best, the Libby app has made it easy to continue to read and checkout books anytime. (Not an ad, I’ve just enjoyed this app)
I’ve been reading lots of fiction over the winter, but as a coach, I always love having some great books that offer new perspectives on life and leadership. Here are a few books stood out that I wanted to share with you.
This unpacks the importance of psychological safety at work - especially now as we’re operating in a global knowledge economy. “Psychological safety” can sound a little woo-woo or “extra” until you realize the impact of distrustful relationships, office gossip, being disregarded, disrespected or humiliated in a meeting or public space. As humans, we want to be treated with dignity. In workplaces where safety isn’t really a priority - whether intentionally or by sheer blindness - the impact of culture on performance is huge. We underperform and experience extreme stress when we think we are being evaluated or judged. That’s why so many of us have bombed interviews. This book unpacks the issues with a lot of data and studies for those who like to geek out.
You’ll see more about ADHD and Dyslexia in my work in the coming months. ADHD and Dyslexia is rampant in the design, engineering and other creative fields. I have mild dyslexia, and my two sons do as well. Although not diagnosed with ADHD, I definitely had some moments of self-recognition as I read this book. Girls and women generally are missed as being identified as having ADHD because they often don’t display the hallmark “hyperactivity”.
So many of my clients struggle (and shine brilliantly!) with diagnosed or self-diagnosed ADHD or dyslexia. This book in particular has just been released and was written by the authors of Driven to Distraction. It’s highly readable and highlights the strengths of folks with ADHD as well as the challenges. ADHD has many symptoms that are two ends of a spectrum - for example, ability to think broadly as well as an ability to focus deeply. I’ve enjoyed better understanding the superpowers that ADHD includes.
Finally, How We Show Up by Mia Birdsong. I loved this book because Mia is an Oakland author. Her investigation into how we reclaim community was a comfort during a time of feeling very separated and apart. She also opens up about how she specifically claimed community in a way that could work for her in a busy, committed life. So often community and friends can get pushed away in our overwhelm of keeping up with daily life. When she describes how she makes a commitment to stay in touch with a specific group of women she cares about, I realized that just because we care about another doesn’t mean we’ll easily and automatically stay connected. But, with some intention and planning, we can bring friends and community together.