If you’ve been following the articles I have penned you will know that I am a big fan of books. Books about leadership, business, finance, investing, productivity and then there are the books I can only describe as weird. These are books that teach you some strange skills that could be very useful in your daily life. I’m going to mention just 5 here but there are quite a few more that deal with subjects that seem weird. All that said, these are skills that are useful to have in your arsenal as an entrepreneur.

What Every BODY is Saying by Joe Navarro

It’s acknowledged far and wide that understanding body language is very useful in life. What I love about this book is that it is written by a former investigator and it solid from both a psychology and biology standpoint.  The applications for what the book teaches us are useful in meetings, sales and leadership contexts. Knowing when to press, when to back off, when to support and when to cool off will make you a great negotiator, leader, subordinate and all-round person. I recall a situation many years back when my employer was unhappy with a segment of the staff and suspended them all, to make a point. Afterwards, he asked me in his office if he had been harsh. As he asked he gave a body language signal that indicated he needed support and I proceeded to support his actions while advocating for the suspended staff. It works if you know how and when to use it and this book will help you to.

How to develop a superpower memory by Harry Lorayne

Now this book I read for fun. At first. What struck me was the quick assertion by the author that the reason our memories range between not so good and absolutely terrible is that we do not use them. So he immediately suggests ditching things like making lists and rather employing the techniques in the book to develop a superpower memory. Does it work? Absolutely. I would never call my self someone with a bad memory but in one reading of a chapter, I could memorise a list of 50 words from 16 before reading it. It’s really practical, with no tricks or gimmicks.

Breakthrough Rapid Reading by Peter Kump

Of all the skills one could learn this one that I really never thought would be useful to learn. I nothing against speed reading but being a fan of reading I always thought that there was enough time in the day to read what is important. However, I’ve learnt that there are many applicable cases for speed reading and it is a very important skill to learn and use. This book will help double, triple or even quadruple your reading speed while capturing the information in the text. Very useful if you have to read for work or leisure at any level and wouldn’t mind doing it faster.

A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science by Barbara Oakley

Extolling the virtues of being good with numbers is probably going to be overkill so suffice it to say that numbers matter in business. This book in particular is for those who have been numerically challenged in the past. It doesn’t have to be the end of your story as this book breaks down the learning in a manner that is easier to digest than the way it was presented in school. The book does also delve into science which you may find useful if not entertaining.

How to get anyone to do anything by Dr David Lieberman

I’ll be honest, I read this book because I wanted to see all the weak points in Dr David Lieberman’s text and attack him and anyone who believed that you could manipulate people. This book is not about manipulating people. It is rooted in the psychology of decision making and uses some of the systems which we popularly use on ourselves such as implementation intentions (I will do xxxx on xx date using xx platform for xxx amount of time) to help achieve your goals with people. Having worked in both sales and accounts receivable I can tell you that not only do the ideas in this book work but they are not that hard to learn.

Are there any books you have read that teach weird skills that can be useful in business and life?