We have a part of our show called “Three Questions” where we ask the guest the same three questions each time. And as repetitive as the questions are, we always get amazingly different answers from our guests.

It’s a simple formula and that might be why the answers are almost always great!

Question #2 is, “What’s something you’ve read, watched, or listened to that you think the audience can benefit from?”

If you asked me this question right now, mid-COVID, and your goal was to improve your ability to communicate, here are the books I would put on your must read list as a Physical Therapist.

** DISCLAIMER ** In the spirit of complete transparency the links to the books below are amazon affiliate links. That means if you buy them here we get a few nickels to rub together. While this is a great way to support the show, just know that we fully support these books on our must read list. They’re not just on our website to make a few nickels, I’ve read all of these and suggest them to friends and family regularly. – Jimmy

1 – Never Split the Difference – Negotiate as if your Life Depended on it – Chris Voss & Tahl Raz

This book is written in such an amazingly easy to read format by Chris Voss, a former FBI Lead Hostage Negotiator. Think your last negotiation was intense? This guy has you beat on his easiest day! But why should a Physical Therapist read a book written by a hostage negotiator? Because as Voss describes, “Every interaction is a negotiation.” A negotiation for information, leverage, or insight. He lived in a world where you couldn’t say, “OK, you have ten hostages and I want them all, why don’t you just keep five and we’ll call it even?” So he has simple street-wise strategies that work in a bank robbery gone wrong, a salary negotiation or a subjective exam. This is a really easy read and the skills you pick up are simple to apply immediately in clinical care. A great message from Voss, paying attention to what your counterpart is telling you with words, non-verbals and paraverbals.

2 – Building Your Storybrand – Clarifying your message so Customers Will Listen – Donald Miller

This is a book I suggest for any Physical Therapist who’s looking to open up their own clinic. You’re “branding” with everything you do, this book shows you HOW you are framing that brand from the perspective of EVERYONE ELSE. It’s a plan that’s easy to understand, easy to follow and easy to install. Miller and company even include a free interactive brand guide. What more could you want? How about a podcast, they have that too! This book is essential reading for anyone who has, wants to build or will EVER be involved in creating an experience for someone else. That’s ALL OF YOU PTs!

3 – Purple Cow – Seth Godin

This is one of the “OG’s” of marketing books from a true marketing OG, Seth Godin. I had a chance to hear him speak at a book release a few years back and was more than impressed. Seth is more thoughtful and introspective than “flash” or “sizzle”. He points out ways that people receive information, how they might literally notice a purple cow standing by the side of a road on their way to work one day, but a few days later it blends into the back ground. It’s become “less remarkable” because you’ve seen it a few times. He juxtaposes that idea with your brand, or your messages or YOU as a person. How can you paint your idea “purple” so people notice it? He NEVER gives you the answers in his books, but he leaves you with the tools to think for yourself.

4 -Crush It! – Gary Vaynerchuk

To say I didn’t like @GaryVee when I first started bumping into his content online a few years back would have been an understatement! He came off like he was playing a character, typical “New York” guy with an “I don’t give a F*CK!” attitude who dropped cheap one-liners for attention. But then a funny thing happened, I stopped listening to HOW he was saying things and focused on WHAT he was saying. And you know what? I’m 100% on board with @GaryVee now. His themes don’t change much: Produce content your audience values, humility, empathy, and #Hustle are woven throughout his massive content library which cover a variety of topics. But bottom line, whatever industry you’re in, this guys values and core messages will resonate with what you’re trying to do. If you need a kick in the @ss to motivate you to climb the next professional or personal mountain, dial up any of his books or podcast.

5 -Start With Why – Simon Sinek

As someone who a former Rock Radio DJ who asked questions for a living, “Why….?” is a pretty classic go to when you want to put the ball back in someone else’s court in a conversation. But what Sinek does in “Start With Why” is focus on the reason behind why people pay attention to what you’re doing, a big part of it, is “Your Why”. He’s got one of the most viewed TED talks ever, which is pretty exclusive company. But his premise is simple, people don’t follow what you do unless they know why you’re doing it. He uses the framework to highlight why movements were built by greats like Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King Jr and the Wright Brothers. He focuses on the most powerful of the 6W’s, Why! This book can keep you grounded in what you’re doing and make sure you start and stay with your Why.

Those are five picks for you to improve your ability to communicate. If you want our FULL list of NEED TO READ books here.