Top 10 Books to Improve Team Collaboration at Work

October 14, 2022 4 min read

Blair Williamson

Blair Williamson

read these books to improve team collaboration

Although not as easy as it sounds, team collaboration can provide outcomes like effectively meeting deadlines, saving money, and creating more nuanced work. And the commonly held belief is that all of this can be accomplished by just hiring a team of intelligent individuals. 

But that’s not always how goals are met. It makes no difference how smart or skillful someone is if they cannot collaborate with others without disputes cropping up time and time again.

Team productivity is more important than ever to get right, whether your team is working from home or navigating the difficulties of digital transformation.

Here’s our list of the top 10 books to improve team collaboration.

  1. Fast Times: How Digital Winners Set Direction, Learn and Adapt by Arun Arora, Peter Dahlstrom, Klemens Hjartar, and Florian Wunderlich

Beyond the issues with change management and technology that arise, attempts at digital transformation necessarily alter how people do their jobs, including how they interact with customers, collaborate in cross-functional teams, learn, etc. This book contains strategies for many of the interpersonal problems you’ll encounter during your digital transformation journey.

  1. Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict by Donna Hicks

In this book, Hicks proves that treating one another with respect motivates people to connect more and makes them more capable of developing collaborative and meaningful relationships. 

She discusses the components of dignity and how transgressing them causes defensiveness, using her vast expertise in international conflict resolution and insights from psychology, evolutionary biology, and neuroscience. In any circumstance, being defensive makes collaboration and teamwork improbable, often resulting in resistance, aggressiveness, sabotage, and even violence.

  1. Collaboration Explained: Facilitation Skills for Software Project Leaders by Jean Tabaka

The goal of Jean Tabaka in this book, Collaboration Explained, is to offer practical strategies for fostering a collaborative atmosphere within development teams.

Tabaka often uses anecdotes to demonstrate important points. Here, she does so by using examples of what collaboration is not to highlight effective working practices. She also uses the US Navy and the NBA as instances of collaborative leadership approaches that are successful.

This book contains lots of practical tips, and even if you feel like you know nothing, it will make you feel like you’ve got a complete toolbox to assist your team in operating together.

  1. Reimagining Collaboration: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and the Post-COVID World of Work by Phil Simon

In Reimagining Collaboration, Simon discusses how to use technology to improve teamwork. The book offers a paradigm for fostering collaboration through the smart utilization of remote work platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Slack.

The author re-envisions teamwork for a workplace that is becoming more remote or hybrid by offering suggestions on how to utilize communication hubs.

  1. The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player: Becoming the Kind of Person Every Team Wants by John C. Maxwell

In this book, the author, John C. Maxwell, addresses the topic of teamwork. The book lists characteristics including dependability, adaptability, and persistence that make employees great collaborators and coworkers.

Maxwell suggests techniques for identifying and encouraging these qualities in team members. The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player is one of the best books on collaboration because of its clear writing style and detailed exploration of the subject.

  1. The Best Team Wins: The New Science of High Performance by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

The Best Team Wins is a practical guide for inspiring people toward harmony and team success through research insights and relevant examples.

In The Best Team Wins, Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton provide a ground-breaking, game-changing guide for creating today’s most collaborative teams – enabling any organization to function at its best. They share the tried-and-true techniques managers can utilize to create cohesive, productive teams irrespective of the obstacles and distractions that every company faces.

  1. Herding Tigers: Be The Leader Creative People Need by Todd Henry

Anyone looking to learn how to master the juggling act of innovative leadership with grace must read Herding Tigers by Todd Henry. With the help of the author’s wisdom, you are sure to bring out your team’s best work. Even a 30-year veteran can become a more effective leader with the help of the powerful ideas in Herding Tigers.

Todd Henry, a consultant to creative companies, knows personally of the obstacles creative leaders face in leading their teams to success and offers a bold new roadmap to help you become the leader your team needs in this book.

  1. Debugging Teams: Better Productivity through Collaboration by Brian Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman

In this book, Brian Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman give their knowledge on managing an organization, leading a team effectively, and establishing a positive rapport with your software’s users.

This book aims to assist programmers in becoming more productive and efficient in developing software by enhancing their capacity for understanding, collaboration, and communication with others.

  1. Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World by Stanley McChrystal

Team of Teams contains an excellent explanation of complex systems and the importance of trust and collaboration in high-performing teams.

In this book, McChrystal and his coauthors cite the SEAL teams as their model of a great team. McChrystal and his colleagues emphasize that the main goal of SEAL training is to establish the interdependence and trust necessary to work collaboratively as an elite team in a volatile, ambiguous, complex, and uncertain world rather than to create super-fit warriors.

  1. Leading Through Collaboration: Guiding Groups to Productive Solutions by John Glaser

This book contains a deeply personal look at strategies, perspectives, and tools for developing collaborative leaders and more cooperative organizations. John Glaser strikes a balance between theory and practical advice drawn from his significant experience as both an external consultant and an internal leader.

This user-friendly resource, which includes practitioner-friendly resources like diagrams, sidebars, charts, tools, tactics, and real-world examples, provides leaders dealing with conflict in their businesses with practical guidance.

Final Note

Not all employees are inherently good at working in a team. But even individuals with good soft skills can benefit from reading books on this subject since they are likely to work with coworkers with whom they do not get along at some point in their careers.

If you’re ready to really invest in team collaboration, Nextiva has the tools to get you there. Nextiva’s team collaboration tool gives you access to all your team chats, video meetings, and file sharing in the same window where you communicate with customers. 

Talk to an expert to see how Nextiva can help you succeed. 

Blair Williamson


Blair Williamson

Blair Williamson was a Content Marketing Manager at Nextiva. Her background is marketing in higher education and tech. She geeks out on WordPress, kettlebells, and whatever book she's currently reading.

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