Personal Growth

Crucial Conversations - Patterson,K., Grenny,J., McMillan, R., Switzler, A. (summary)

In their book Crucial Conversations, Pattersson, Grenny, McMillan and Switzler describe seven steps to improve the conversations we have that matter most. Crucial conversations are called as such, because these are the conversations that determine our future and the future of the people around us. They are therefore more than the conversations that are uncomfortable, frustrating or challenging.
After a short introduction to crucial conversations, this article will shortly address each of the seven steps described in the book to have a successful crucial conversation.


Deep Work - C.Newport (summary)

In his book, deep work, Cal Newport describes four rules which can help you to stay focused on the things that make you happy and successful in a world of distractions.

This article describes the difference between deep work and shallow work, why it is important to do more deep work, and four rules to help you spend more time on deep work.


Coach Yourself to Succes - T. Miedaner (summary)

Coach yourself to success by Talane Miedaner contains 101 tips, divided over 10 categories, to attract success in your life. Why would you hire a professional coach, when you can coach yourself? According to Miedaner, positive energy and self-confidence are the two most important factors for achieving success. Whoever feels good radiates success, and whoever radiates success will be more successful.
Most tips in this book therefore suggest small things to make you feel better, by taking better care of yourself, thinking about the future, setting goals for the future and stop doing things that do not bring joy to your life.
This article will address all 10 categories, and a few of the tips of each category summarized. Working on these categories in this specific sequence will help you reach your personal success faster.


Getting Things Done - D.Allen (summary)

In his book Getting things done, David Allen describes a system which helps to achieve a life with ´mind like water´, which is the secret of productivity. When something is thrown into a glass of water, the water wrinkles, but in the end, the water finds its peace back. This is how our mind should react as well. Whenever our thoughts are triggered by an external event and starts wrinkling, it should have time to find back the balance.
In today’s worlds however, people are occupied more and more with everything that they have or want to do, which keeps their mind wrinkled continuously.  These people do not have a mind like water.
In this book, Allen describes a system which helps people getting back their mind like water. His system is based on two principles: defining the next executable action for every theme and log your actions in a system which can be trusted. The system itself contains 5 steps: collecting, processing, organizing, reviewing and doing.


Nonviolent Communication - M.Rosenberg (summary)

In Nonviolent communication, Marshall Rosenberg describes a way of communicating with empathy and focus on personal needs, and without judgement. Nonviolent means to bring out the best in yourself by letting the way you communicate be led by love, respect, understanding, appreciation, compassion and care, instead of letting it be led by egocentrics, greed, prejudices and aggression. 
This article describes: the four elements of nonviolent communication, the importance of perceiving without judging, the difference between feelings and interpretations, and how to take matters into your own hand by thinking in terms of choice rather than must.


The Corporate Athlete - K.Gonnissen & A.Goudsmet (summary)

In The Corporate Athlete, Koen Gonissen and Alain Goudsmet describe a holistic approach for maximal personal performance. In this book, the authors present a model in which every person has three batteries: for mental, emotional and Physical resistance. Each of these batteries can be strengthened, improved and need to recharged.
A few basic principles which are connected to this model are: manage your energy, not your time (1), you are as strong as your weakest battery (2) and take good care of yourself to be able to recharge your batteries faster (3).


Dream Dare Do - B.Tiggelaar (summary)

In his book Dream Dare Do, Ben Tiggelaar describes three steps to change personal behavior. Most people who have failed to change their behavior to give up smoking, finish that course, or to lose weight for example, have failed because they did not define concrete actions to achieve their goals in advance. Their good intentions already end in the first step of change: Dreaming…


One Small Step Can Change Your Life - R.Maurer (summary)

In One Small Step Can Change Your Life – the Kaizen Way, Robert Maurer describes the power of Kaizen in a personal environment. Implementing small and easy improvements, the basics of the Toyota Production System, can also be applied to achieving personal goals.
Maurer describes why you need to take small steps if you want to change people’s behavior and then describes six techniques to apply Kaizen in your personal life: Asking small questions (1), thinking small thoughts (2), taking small actions (3), solving small problems (4), bestowing small rewards (5) and identifying small moments (6).


First Things First - S.Covey (summary)

In his book First Things First, Stephen Covey describes setting priorities as the most important aspect of successful (personal) improvement. No matter how efficient you do your work, if you´re doing the wrong thing, nothing will really improve.
This is where Covey distinguishes himself from traditional time management theories which are designed around the efficiency of a task. He compares the difference between efficiency and setting priorities with a compass and the clock: how fast you go is not as important as where you´re going.


Thinking, Fast & Slow - D. Kahneman (summary)

This fantastic book, thinking, fast and slow, is full of psychological explanations of humans behaving irrationally. Because of the high information intensity of this book, it is impossible to make a summary of 1000 words. This article will therefore only include the few lessons I found most interesting, liker reasons why people play the lotto even though the ´know´ their shot at winning is statistically small, why people overestimate their own performance and why people deteriorate from their (new year’s) resolutions when they are busy.



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