Unless you’ve retreated to a cave or a cloister, relationships are the context for your life and work.

If the people in your life support your search for meaningful work, their encouragement and suggestions will propel you forward.

The books in this section will help you sharpen your skills at interacting with others, so that you may make the most of the relationships you already have—and build some new ones—if an expanded circle might give you more support.

You will also find books here to inspire you with what others have accomplished by sticking together.

A pair of foxes enjoying the sunshine and nuzzling in my garden.

Relationship

Cover of People Skills

People Skills by Robert Bolton. 

A remarkably jargon free book, People Skills offers in-depth coverage of five “clusters” of skills critical to effective interpersonal relationships, including listening, assertiveness, conflict-resolution, collaborative problem-solving, and the skill to know which of these other skills to use and when.

Cover of Working Together

Working Together: Entrepreneurial Couples by Frank and Sharan Barnett.

Working Together is for every couple ready to put an end to separate lives and separate agendas.

Interviews with entrepreneurial couples across the country provide an in-depth look at shared work and life experiences.

This book:

  • Dispels the myths
  • Addresses the social biases
  • Looks at the benefits and risks
  • Outlines the steps to becoming successful co-entrepreneurs

This is the original and still best book on this topic. It does a great job of covering the most important issues for “married” couples attempting to run a business together.

Check out Amazon or Bookfinder.com for deeply discounted used copies. Even new ones go for under 5 bucks when you can find them but the price doesn’t reflect the true value.

Cover of We

 The myth of Tristan and Iseult is one of the earliest tales of romantic love. In We, Jungian psychologist Robert Johnson uses this myth to explain the essence and meaning of romantic love.

He identifies many of the unconscious beliefs about love that are shared by both women and men. But he goes well beyond that to show how we can overcome the illusions we often have about love so that we can create a deeper, longer-lasting, and more meaningful relationship, based on a new understanding of true love.

Cover of On the Way to the Wedding

With deep understanding and practical wisdom, Jungian therapist Linda Leonard writes about the longing for a true wedding, one that unites two beings in a sacred search for meaning in life.

Exploring dreams, personal experience, myths, fairy tales, and themes from films and literature, the author uncovers the inner obstacles to love and creativity as experienced by both men and women. Using the poetry and life of Rainer Maria Rilke she explores such traditional rituals as putting on the veil, taking the vow, and exchanging rings. She shows that whether one seeks an inner or an outer wedding, it is the work of transformation within that provides the transcendent ground for the attainment of enlightened relationship.

Cover of Soulmates

A deep look at what it means to meet another person soul to soul. Frequently recommended by friends and associates.

Cover Image of Chop Wood, Carry Water

Chop Wood, Carry Water: A Guide to Finding Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life by Rick Fields, Rex Weyler, Rick Ingrasci, and Peggy Taylor.

Though first published in the early 1980s, this book still feels new.

A good basic guide to the development of spirituality in everyday life.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Beginnings
2. Learning
3. Intimate Relationships
4. Sex
5. Family
6. Work
7. Money
8. Play
9. Tuning the Body
10. Healing
11. Technology
12. The Earth
13. Social Action
14. Inner Guidance
15. Perils of the Path

Family

Cover of The Family Patterns Workbook

Strategies for assessing family dynamics and ways to make healthy changes in how family patterns play out in your life. Uses a journaling program to evaluate your memories, feelings, and experiences and uncover the unrealized assets you can draw upon as you pursue your goals.

Cover Image of Chop Wood, Carry Water

Chop Wood, Carry Water: A Guide to Finding Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life by Rick Fields, Rex Weyler, Rick Ingrasci, and Peggy Taylor.

Though first published in the early 1980s, this book still feels new.

A good basic guide to the development of spirituality in everyday life.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Beginnings
2. Learning
3. Intimate Relationships
4. Sex
5. Family
6. Work
7. Money
8. Play
9. Tuning the Body
10. Healing
11. Technology
12. The Earth
13. Social Action
14. Inner Guidance
15. Perils of the Path

Community

Cover of People Skills

People Skills by Robert Bolton. 

A remarkably jargon free book, People Skills offers in-depth coverage of five “clusters” of skills critical to effective interpersonal relationships, including listening, assertiveness, conflict-resolution, collaborative problem-solving, and the skill to know which of these other skills to use and when.

Cover of Servant Leadership

Servant Leadership: A Journey Into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness by Robert K. Greenleaf. Foreword by Steven R. Covey. Afterword by Peter M. Senge.

A compilation of former AT&T executive Robert Greenleaf’s work in identifying and elucidating the nature of authentic leadership. Greenleaf deals with one of the most important social questions of our time: Who is a leader? Who is a follower? How does one effectively lead others?

Cover of Courageous Follower

The Courageous Follower: Standing Up to and for Our Leaders by Ira Chaleff.

Here, at last, is a book to balance the hundreds of management books on leadership.

The Courageous Follower is a handbook that gives us the insights and tools necessary to partner effectively with our leaders when we are confronted with the challenges of supporting and, at times, correcting them.

This book is a comprehensive guide for positively influencing the leader/follower relationship and assuring that power is used wisely to accomplish our agreed-upon purposes.


“If we are going to reinvent our government it will require that our agencies be filled with both courageous leaders and courageous followers. Paying more attention to the follower end of the equation is long overdue.”

Vice President Al Gore


“Countless books have been written to describe the qualities and responsibilities of the leader, but democracy cannot survive unless followers also behave responsibly. This book fills a large gap in any organization’s library.”

Barber Conable, Jr., former President, The World Bank

Cover of Builders of the Dawn

Builders of the Dawn: Community Lifestyles in a Changing World by Corinne McGlaughlin and Gordon Davidson.

Builders of the Dawn is based on real-life stories from 87 intentional communities—from Arcosanti in the Arizona desert and Auroville in India to The Farm in Tennessee and Findhorn in Scotland.

These are not “cults,” and only a handful are organized around any particular religious belief. These are all non-fanatical and down-to-earth communities that really work.

Cover We Build the Road as We Travel

We Build the Road As We Travel by Roy Morrison.

Many decades ago, a humble parish priest and a handful of students motivated the people of the town of Mondragon in the Basque region of Spain to build what is now a successful and resilient network of more than 170 worker-owned-and-operated cooperatives that serve well over 100,000 people.

This is the compelling story of the 21,000 workers of the Mondragon cooperatives, who built their own businesses, schools, and banks—taking control of their own communities and lives.

Cover of The Different Drum

“In and through community lies the salvation of the world.” So says Scott Peck, the author of the best-selling books The Road Less Travelled and People of the Lie.

With those two best sellers as background, Different Drum moves on to explore the “spiritual journey toward self-acceptance, true belonging, and new hope for world peace.”

Cover of In the Company of Others

In the Company of Others: Making Community in the Modern World edited by Claude Whitmyer (editor and contributor).

An inspiring guide to making deeper connections with others by living or working together.

In the Company of Others brings together a range of voices singing the praises of the human dream of community in its many forms. It offers guidance for starting a community and practical solutions for the economic and emotional challenges that may arise when we live or work with others–especially challenges of communications, authority, membership, decision making, and purpose. It also contains profiles of successful groups and communities.

Cover Image of Chop Wood, Carry Water

Chop Wood, Carry Water: A Guide to Finding Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life by Rick Fields, Rex Weyler, Rick Ingrasci, and Peggy Taylor.

Though first published in the early 1980s, this book still feels new.

A good basic guide to the development of spirituality in everyday life.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Beginnings
2. Learning
3. Intimate Relationships
4. Sex
5. Family
6. Work
7. Money
8. Play
9. Tuning the Body
10. Healing
11. Technology
12. The Earth
13. Social Action
14. Inner Guidance
15. Perils of the Path