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5 books that will teach you something new about humans

Whether you are reading for pleasure or seeking to learn something new, this post might give you an idea of what to read next. Every book on my list will tell a story of human relations and how to become a better leader.

I wanted to create a list of books I would recommend to others for a very long time. I posted occasionally on social media some titles I read or want to read, but really never had time to organize all my resources. From now on I will try to dedicate a page on my website where visitors can see those books I strongly recommend to read. This blog post is the first of many, I hope.


#1: What happened to you?: Conversations on trauma, resilience, and healing

by Oprah Winfrey and Bruce D. Perry

This is not an easy read but a very important one. As an organizational designer I am learning how to facilitate trauma-informed interventions for my clients, teams and organizations.

As a mother I am discovering how trauma impacts brain of a child and how early childhood relations with caregivers impact all other relations of a child with the world.

As a friend I now know that instead of asking “What is wrong with you?” I’d better say: “What happened to you?” Asking a different question helps to shift perspectives from judgement to empathy, it helps to create space for discovery, learning, appreciation and ultimately lead to a more healthy relationships at work and home.

I believe every thoughtful and caring leader must read this book if he/she/them want to cultivate trust-based, trauma-informed, and psychologically safe working environment.

#2: Group Dynamics

by Donelson R.Forsyth

This book will give you a very detailed explanation of every aspect of human-to-human interactions in a group. I am already having so many “Aha!” moments as a practitioner and as a person who often teams up with others.

It is a very thick book and will take me more weeks to complete it, but I am enjoying so much. The book is a mini-encyclopedia that gives you in-depth insights on why do people fight, why do they collaborate, who influences whom, how leaders are chosen in groups, and how do they fail.

#3: Trust: A Very Short Introduction

by Katherine Hawley

I am reading every resource that I can find on trust and psychological safety. This little book can you a fantastic primer to introduce such topics as trust and district; why trustworthiness matter; honest and dishonesty; knowledge and expertise. While the book is very comprehensive and yet concise, it does not offer any advise on strategies. After all is it a very short introduction. Still, I would recommend reviewing this books to reflect on why we trust some people and not others, and why being trustworthy is so important for survival of our species

#4: Aventures et mésaventures d'une aide-soignante à domicile: Anecdotes de vie

by Florent Catanzaro

Who said that learning can’t be fun? As French is not my mother tongue I strive to maintain it and enjoy the process at the same time.

This little book was written before pandemic but how helpful it is now to fully grasp complexities of day-to-day work of those who take care of sick and elderly.

With humour, humanity and lots of tact, the book describes relationships between the caregiver and her clients, and relatives of her clients; and between caregivers themselves.

Leadership takes many forms. Nursing and caregiving one of those leadership roles we often take for granted.

#5: Star Wars: Knight Errant

by John Jackson Miller

Of course there are times when you want to read for pure pleasure, to escape to a different universe; the Star Wars books are the perfect solution for such times!

Apparently, there are some 45 books chronologically describing history and traditions of many worlds in the Star Wars universe.

For me it all started from the need to understand jokes and cultural references I’ve seen in some TV shows. But now, as I am reading the 15th book of the Star Wars timeline, I can’t help but recommend it to anyone who listens.

Sometimes, you do need to get closer to the dark side to appreciate the power of the light.

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