SUGGESTED READING

Some of my favorite resources and books for the Show Up Hard journey.

7 Steps for Dealing with Difficult People,” by the Chopra Center (article)

A short article to bookmark and review before a challenging conversation.

Beyond Compassion Manifesto (downloadable and printable resource)

Postcard and poster versions of a manifesto championing resilience and healing.


The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel van der Kolk, MD (book)

A quintessential primer on the research of healing trauma and the life’s work of van der Kolk.


The Center for Nonviolent Communication (website, training, forum)

The nonviolent communication framework teaches skills for active listening and how to engage with another. A great place to begin for skill-building.

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever, by Michael Bungay Stanier (book)

An easy-to-read book offering a highly applicable approach to listening with a posture toward supporting another’s growth.

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most, by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen (book)

A detailed and powerful examination of how to manage challenging conversations, from the same Harvard-based group behind Getting to Yes.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brené Brown (book)

Brown’s stellar examination of the power of vulnerability, the embracing of fear, and the courage to show up.

Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care, by Cleveland Clinic (video)

A powerful four-minute video to practice the beginning of our empathy adventures, noticing our responses.

Engaging Difficult People: 100 Practical Lessons on Empathy and How It Transforms Relationships, by Laura Tyson (book)

Short, digestible chapters full of ideas and actionable changes to expand our capacity for empathy.

Everything You Think You Know about Addiction is Wrong, by Johann Hari (TED Talk)

Transcendental talk concluding that the power of connection overcomes the disease of addiction.

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreements without Giving In, by Roger Fisher and William Ury (book)

A classic from the Harvard Negotiation Project that is useful for a humane and skills-based posture for approaching conflict.

How Al-Anon Works: For Family & Friends of Alcoholics (book)

The classic blue book for family and friends of those who dance with addiction. It offers a helpful framework for anyone who easily slips into an Enmeshed way of engaging and a way of life for boundary ninjas.

In a Difficult Conversation, Listen More Than You Talk, by Emma Seppala and Jennifer Stevenson (article)

Bookmark this gem and return to it often, particularly when you worry you won’t know the right answer. Be reminded you don’t need to know anything; you just need to listen.

My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, by Resmaa Menakem (book)

A powerful framework to inform our body-centered leadership. As a social worker, Menakem brings a systems approach to his insightful analysis and the path forward.

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, by Marshall B. Rosenberg (book)

The nonviolent communication framework teaches offers skills for active listening and how to engage with another. A great place to begin for skill-building.

Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions, by Russell Brand (book)

Brand gives a 21st-century facelift to the twelve steps and includes modern addictions like technology. Be inspired to look at patterns in your own life as well as to compassionately support those around you.


Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown (book)

A how-to book for examining our sticky stories and reshaping the narrative of our lives. Brown weaves her hallmark vulnerability and courage throughout.

Sonder: The Realization That Everyone Has a Story, by the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (video)

This video is worth bookmarking and returning to regularly as a reminder.

Sympathy vs. Empathy, by Brené Brown (video)

Three-minute animated video detailing the differences between sympathy and empathy

Ten Keys to Handling Unreasonable & Difficult People, by Preston Ni (article)

Tips for creating our containers to maximize forward motion when we find ourselves stewards of change with a challenging person.

There Is No Good Card for This: What to Say and Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love, by Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell (book)

A gorgeous and incredibly practical book for empathy basics in a wide variety of life scenarios. Excellent content for empathy skill-building.

This Is Your Body on Stress, by Laura Shocker (article and infographic)

Understanding the basics behind fight or flight responses is helpful for noticing our own responses.

The Trauma of Everyday Life, by Mark Epstein, MD (book)

A Buddhist approach to growth and a way forward for the traumas we encounter on our life journeys.

Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others, by Laura van Dernoot (book)

Van Dernoot maps a way forward for knowing our own empathy adventures and investing in resilience. The Trauma Stewardship website and forum and “Trauma Stewardship” TED Talk will be go-to resources for those in the day-to-day work of creating change in the world and lives around them.

W.A.I.T Why Am I Talking?, by Dan Pezullo (infographic)

Gem of a map as to why you would speak in a meeting, which is also useful for examining why we talk in a variety of life settings.

Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, by Peter A. Levine (book)

A classic in understanding how the body processes trauma and ways forward for healing from traumatic experiences.

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, by Pema Chödrön (book)

Chödrön’s spiritual approach to facing life’s challenges. Easy to pick up again and again to supercharge our presence and resilience.

Women, HIV and Trauma: Toward Resiliency & Healing,” by Shannon Weber (article), including “beyond compassion,” by Silvi Alcivar (poem)

A poet weaves the light and dark of showing up with compassion and championing resiliency.


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