Why a Book Club Can Help Your Career
by Valerie Carrillo
I love to read a good book. Before I relocated to Knoxville a couple of years ago, one of my favorite activities was attending the monthly book club in my neighborhood. Not only was it a great way for me to diversify my reading, but I also found it was an important way for me to make new connections and discover what was happening in my neighborhood. For two hours, we would eat great food, sip wine and discuss our book of the month. It was fun. Not everyone had time to finish the book, but it was enormously helpful to get us to commit to reading.
We often think of reading as something we do alone, especially when it comes to books on leadership and career advancement. However, business book clubs can be an essential component of your leadership development. It can sharpen your intelligence, improve your emotional intelligence, plus make you a better communicator.
If you have not been to a WICT book club meeting, here are a few reasons you should consider joining:
- HELPS YOU TO ENGAGE IN DIVERSE CONTENT
When you join a business book club, you will find yourself reading genres that you might not otherwise choose to read. And business book clubs often have a diverse group of colleagues with different perspectives, which can lead to interesting conversations. And because you know you will be discussing a book with your peers, you are more than likely going to read it more deeply than a typical neighborhood book club.
- TEAM BONDING
Most book clubs are about relationships. They provide an opportunity for friends to meet and discuss topics of mutual interest. Sometimes this is done over dinner and drinks, like my neighborhood club. And while corporate book club may not serve drinks, they do offer a way to build and deepen relationships through shared learning. It is a safe environment where you can build trust in your co-workers, share ideas, or even debate ideas.
- BOOST CONFIDENCE
Discussing content in a book club can help you feel more confident in professional conversations with colleagues, team meetings or boardroom presentations. And the best way to become a good conversationalist is to practice. Attending a regular book club meeting allows you a safe place to learn how to engage in discussion without feeling awkward.
- IMPROVES CONCENTRATION, INCREASES INNOVATION
Your brain needs exercise just like the rest of your body. With all the gadgets and electronics, we are always plugged in, so it is hard to concentrate on one thing. When you read, you are forced to concentrate, which then opens your mind to new ideas and fosters creativity.
Book clubs are good for minds. Good for leadership. Good for business. If you are looking to grow both professionally and personally, check WICT Southeast’s event calendar to see when the next book club is in your area. Not only will you become a better reader, you will also meet some great new friends.