A woman stares at a library full of books.

 

Written by Jacob Terranova

 

If your New Year’s Resolution was to learn something new this year, you’re not alone. A lot of funeral directors we spoke with last year at NFDA said one of their biggest goals for 2018 was to learn new skills.

 

Studies show that learning is key to both happiness and success. Aaron Skonnard, CEO of Pluralsight, wrote in Entrepreneur that leaders who prioritize learning “results in a workforce focused on continuous improvement. When you’re an active learner on the job, you see challenges more clearly, get more creative and strategic in your problem solving and ultimately work smarter.”

 

So whether you’re looking to learn new business practices, some leadership skills, or even some grief resources to help your families, we’ve got a great list of books to help you out.

 

Leadership

  1. Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results by Judith Glaser. Successful funeral homes are the result of well-working teams. To help your team perform at their highest level, you’ll need to gain their trust. Glaser’s book is filled with practical tips on how great leaders can build trust and develop their leadership through the art of conversation.
  2. Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy. Funeral directors are faced with stressful situations on an almost daily basis. Cuddy’s book offers lessons on how you can not only survive the stress, but use it to succeed, lead, and gain confidence.
  3. Switch: How To Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath. The funeral profession is evolving. And some funeral homes are struggling to meet the changing trends. Inside you’ll find the strategies needed make the hardest changes a whole lot easier.

Business and Technology

  1. What Clients Love: A Field Guide to Growing Your Business by Harry Beckwith. What Clients Love will help you improve relationships with client families. It also offers strategies for building up your funeral home’s brand. Filled with insightful stories of both success and failure, this guide will ultimately help your funeral home develop a more successful marketing strategy.
  2. PPC Advertisements for Your Funeral Home by Frazer Consultants. Paid search is a proven way to help make sure your funeral home gets found online. By employing a successful paid search strategy, you can drive more traffic to your site, convert more leads, and establish a dominant online presence. The best part? You can download this handy eBook for free.
  3. Transformation Funeral Service: A Funeral Directors Guide by Frank C. Dawson. A book for funeral directors written by a funeral director with over 60 years of experience. Frank Dawson covers both the bigger picture of funeral service, as well as the importance of the little details. Inside you’ll find subjects about gaining a competitive edge, how to organize your daily routines more efficiently, and the art of practicing life-long learning habits.

Embalming

  1. Embalming: History, Theory and Practice by Robert G. Mayer. The book serves as a practical reference for both apprentice and experienced embalmers. It addresses the history of embalming, as well as up-to-date guides on embalming, restorative art, and mortuary cosmetology.
  2. Embalming Standards of Care by Jzyk S. Ennis. The book shows that embalming is still very much needed and that many families, no matter what, still desire traditional funeral services. The author calls the book his guide “to inspire the next generation of embalmers to be the best they can be.”

Grief

  1. What Grieving People Wish You Knew about What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts) by Nancie Guthrie. Using her own experience with grief, combined with that of hundreds of others who’ve been through their own grief journey, Guthrie shares straightforward advice on how to talk to those who are mourning.
  2. The Good Funeral: Death, Grief and the Community of Care by Thomas G. Long and Thomas Lynch. A preacher (Long) and funeral director (Lynch) come together to share their insight on the significance of funerals and the importance of rituals for the grieving.
  3. Healing Your Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas by Alan D. Wolfelt. Wolfelt shares suggestions for healthy healing activities that will help the bereaved express their grief in a natural way. A great resource for funeral directors who aim to enhance their aftercare programs this year!

What funeral profession books are on your reading list this year? Share with us in the comments below!

 

Download our free eBook for other ways funeral directors can continue their education in 2018!