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BOOK REVIEWS: FEELING VISIBLE AND INCLUDED AT WORK

After a tough and busy 2020, take a moment to put your feet up with a good book... about internal communication and employee engagement. Here's our pick of recent books, as reviewed in this year's issues of Voice.

2nd December 2020


Diversify

By June Sarpong

Society is experiencing a growing number of high-profile campaigns – Black Lives Matter, Me too, transgender rights – which are highlighting societal issues that we cannot continue to ignore.

Diversify highlights the social, moral, and economic benefits of diversity and argues that the UK and USA should lead the way on tolerance and equality. It considers the issues and experiences of the demographically excluded which she calls the ‘others’ presenting theories, data, real-life stories that examine how things are or have been and provides a vision of how things could be.

It also sets out the uncomfortable truth about the inequality of the economic system and how if we fail to address these issues there will be a greater cost to society.

This is an excellent, thought-provoking book providing practical actions, discussion points and introduces Six Degrees of Integration that will enable communication professionals to support their organisations to shift behaviours to achieve a more diverse, just, and integrated workplace.

Reviewed by Moira Coad, communication and engagement specialist

 


 

Quietly Visible: Leading with influence and impact as an introverted woman
By Carol Stewart

Introverts are shy, lack confidence and hate public speaking.

These are some of the myriad of misconceptions expertly dispelled in this book. While celebrating the strengths of introverted women Carol highlights how today’s corporate, business and educational environments are geared towards extroverts.

But this isn’t just a book which raises awareness of the challenges facing introverts. It is a book about taking action. Through practical exercises, powerful personal stories and space for self-reflection, Carol challenges you to challenge your beliefs. She encourages you to step outside your comfort zone. She guides you on how to be your full, authentic, introverted self so that even if you find yourself right in the middle of the extraverted chaos, you can thrive amidst the noise.

It's a must-read for all introverted women and men, as well as anyone who has introverts on their team. 

Reviewed by Sarah Taylor-Robinson, internal communications manager, Shell International PLC

 


 

As an internal communications specialist who has recently transitioned into Crisis Communications, this book is gold.

It provides practical advice to start your plan but goes even further to include what you need to do/have in your first 24 hours of crisis e.g. giving you a detailed Crisis Comms 'Grab bag' for when crisis hits.

What makes this book stand out is the focus on internal communication and the importance of employees, something that isn't covered in such depth elsewhere. Amanda Coleman covers topics from how to deal with leadership to choosing spokespeople and delivers templates for crisis scenarios heatmaps and even measuring communications.

Her case studies e.g. the New Zealand terror attack, offer real-life recommendations and strategies that can be adapted to your own organisation.

This book is an absolute must have for all communicators, I highly recommend it.

Reviewed by Bonnie Khan, communications associate, Inverroy Crisis Management

 


 

Messengers: Who We Listen To, Who We Don’t and Why
By Stephen Martin & Joseph Marks

For those of us who have built parts of our career on instinctively knowing who is best placed to deliver good or bad news this book presents the evidence for our trusted gut feel.

Distilling over 60 years of behavioural science research Martin & Marks explore the eight traits they argue successful communicators use – consciously or otherwise – to make themselves heard.

From Taylor Swift to Donald Trump via Babe the pig, this is an accessible look at the hard and soft traits that can make the most unlikely messenger the most effective.

And why is this important? Because, the authors conclude, those who are heard are in a stronger position to be believed, and those who are believed get to decide what kind of society we become. A fascinating and ever so timely read; highly recommended.

What type of messenger are you? Find out here.

Reviewed by Laura Stevens, strategic & internal communications manager, Radioactive Waste Management
 

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