How to Best Share a Book With Your Staff [Podcast]

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Stack of BooksIf you lead then you have done it.

You have read a book it was so helpful that you had to share it with your staff.  And then…nothing.  No feedback.  No changes.  You later see the book on their office shelf and wonder, “Was it helpful?”

On this podcast I talk about the best way to share a book with your staff.

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I am a product of books.  Next to people, books have been the biggest influencers in my life.

I know the frustration of giving a book to someone hoping they will read it, only to find out later they thought the book was ok or worse they hadn’t even read it.

How do you give a book the best chance of impacting your staff?

3 Considerations

1. Timing – too often leaders read an impacting book and in their excitement they force feed the book to their staff.

It’s not helpful to force a church growth book on your team if you’ve had to lay some people off.

It’s not a good idea to require self-help reading when a department is executing their biggest event.

If people don’t have the time or space to digest what they read, the material will be lost on them.

Let the pulse of the organization dictate your recommended reading.

2. Delivery – the way you deliver the book sets the stage for the book’s effectiveness.

Consider the means of delivery that works best for your team. To do that chose the form of the book and the way you want to put it into their hands.

A. The Form

Hardcopy – I recommend writing a personal message on the inside of the book.  A personal message communicates belief in the book and in the reader’s insights.

Digital – you can gift a purchase on Amazon and still include an emailed message with the purchase.

B. Putting the book in peoples hands.

Consider having a book launch reception.  It’s a great way to build excitement and place the book in peoples hands.

CAUTION: Never order a case of books and send an email out telling your staff you come pick up their copy.  If the book is important enough to be read, then it’s important enough to be personally delivered.

3. Discussion – good books lead to good conversations.

Tips on how to structure good book discussions:

First, Break the book in to parts and set up meetings to discuss each part.

Second, Give the staff the discussion questions one day before each meeting.

Possible Discussion Questions:

    • If you were not reading this book for work purposes, would you read it?  Why or why not?
    • Share one practical application you have learned from the book.
    • Comment on an idea in the book that you are not convinced works or is best for our church or company.
    • In chapter ___, pg. ___ the author claims…., do you think that would work in our organization?  Why or why not?

CAUTION: Do not require some kind of book report, for two reasons 1. it feels like homework.  2. it says I don’t trust that you will read.

Third, use the discussion questions to provoke thought not to guide the conversation.

One of the best things that can happen is a difference of opinion about the book.  When people are willing to discuss their different opinions the team is sifting out what is beneficial and doable in the book.

Join the Conversation:  What are some methods you have experienced that improve a book’s impact on a team?

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