This post is the second in an ongoing blog series, inspired by the Community Book Club, that explores the positive impacts of reading and joining a peer community.
When did you last read a book? The Community Book Club is here to show you the benefits of unwinding with a good book and how it can impact every area of your life.
Reading goes further than just enjoying a book and cup of tea, it has profound effects on how you learn, your sense of purpose and your mindset. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, reading boosts your mood and relaxes your brain, making it easier to come up with solutions and make decisions.
We’ve all heard how our best ideas come to us in the shower. This highlights, as cognitive scientist Scott Barry Kaufman explains, “the importance of relaxation for creative thinking”. Reading has the same relaxation effect and can help inspire ideas, even if they aren’t directly related to the book itself.
A gym for your brain
Reading improves your memory and powers of concentration, as well as expanding your vocabulary.
MRI scans have shown that reading involves a complex network of circuits and signals, and that exercising these actually strengthens your brain. Think of it as a gateway to new possibilities!
While reading provides a great workout for your brain, a study by the Reading Agency found that it also benefits your personal relationships, making it easier to relate to others’ experiences. This can inform how you support your colleagues and wider business.
Can you read too much?
Yes and no, depending on what and how you read.
If you fixate on the 24-hour news cycle, you could become obsessed with the present and fail to plan for the future. Or if you read endless blog posts about the benefits of a digital detox, then you’ll never be able to achieve the detox.
Reading physical books and listening to podcasts gives you a break from looking at a screen and choosing a wide range of literature can help you develop stronger analytical skills. That’s why our Community Book Club features a mixture of books and podcasts from a wide variety of business leaders.
Reading to lead
The right kind of reading can have a direct impact on your ability to do your job well and achieve your goals. It also demonstrates to your employees that you are developing your skills, encouraging them to do the same.
Continuous learning through reading will improve your confidence and communication skills, while reading widely around your specialism will make you an expert in your field with a wide knowledge base. You’ll also stay up to date with changing trends, technologies, and new ideas.
We’ve built a reading list around such important topics as team building, time management, and diversity in business, all tailored towards helping you find new ways of excelling, both in business and your personal life. So, if you haven’t already, explore the list by downloading the Community Book Club brochure below.
Look out for our next blog post, where we will be exploring the mental health and general wellbeing benefits that reading can deliver.
If you haven’t already, sign up for the inaugural Community Book Club discussion below. As mentioned in our previous blog, this will involve a discussion of the classic leadership manual Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek.
Feel free to forward the Community Book Club invitation to any colleagues – the shared experience is a great way to build employee engagement.
Finally, just a reminder that if you don’t have time to read all of Start With Why before the discussion, don’t worry. You can gain all the insights you need to join the conversation by listening to this podcast interview with the author.