An Exclusive Guide into the Best Coaching Books

Written by
Maria Grigore
May 6, 2022

Coaches, mentors, and teachers all have a lot on their plates: helping others grow and develop can be extremely rewarding, but it can also be incredibly stressful. While taking care of all of the technical aspects of the business is important, large proportion of your value as a coach comes from your ability to effectively provide clients with lasting advice and strategies. We selected a number of outstanding books that will help you become a much better coach:

1. The Coaching Habit: Change How You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier is a master at distilling complex ideas into practical and actionable steps. In this book, he outlines seven essential questions that you can ask yourself and your clients to help them unlock their inner potential. It’s short and funny, and teaches you how to stay curious as a coach.

2. Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives

Co-active coaching is one of the key coaching books in the space and a great primer on key competencies, concepts, and practices in coaching. It’s a collaborative approach to coaching that draws on self-discovery, intuition, and listening skills to help clients find their own solutions to the problems they face. This book is one of the most popular volumes on the topic and is often referred to as The Bible of coaching.

3. The Inner Game of Tennis

It’s a book about tennis, that is not about tennis at all. It’s a book about the battle within ourselves trying to win against self-doubt, fear, and anxiety. This book offers practical advice for coaches who want to use inner game techniques with their clients on how to trust yourself, maintain clarity in stressful situations, and break bad habits.

4. The Discomfort Zone - How Leaders turn Difficult Conversations into Breakthroughs by Dr Marcia Reynolds

If you are interested in more advanced development as a coach and being able to help your clients beyond just the most transactional quick wins to actual breakthroughs, this book is a great place to start.

Just as the title says, this book encourages the coaches to help their clients to step out of the comfort zone and provides great strategies on how to manage that delicate process. It’s an extremely important tool for any coach, as this is where the real change happens.

It’s important to remember though, that this book should not be the guide for every coaching session, but only used when the timing for the breakthrough is right.

5. Coaching Questions: The Coach's Guide by Tony Stoltzfus

This book is one of our favourites and among the best coaching books out there with a very practical guide for running coaching sessions. The exercises are specifically designed for coaches, mentors, and other professionals who want to deepen their client-coach relationship and become better listeners.

The book presents dozens of great question asking tools and exercises illustrated with over a thousand questions you can ask to better help your clients. The book doesn’t just present you with a list of questions but presents them together with specific examples and situation on where they are appropriate, and common mistakes coaches make. Pick up this book to quickly become much better at asking great questions that help build connections with your clients.

6. The Success Principles

In this book, coaches Jack Canfield (who is also the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series) and D.A. Benton lay out a set of directives that will help you improve your life both professionally and personally. The book's "10 steps" are divided into two categories: self-leadership skills and personal mastery skills.

The authors also suggest that readers use the guidelines in one of the best coaching books as a base from which to develop their own unique coaching approaches, rather than as an inflexible set of rules.

7. Effective Group Coaching by Jennifer J. Britton

If you coach or plan to coach in groups, this book is one of the best tools you can find. Ranging from definitions of what group coaching is and group program design, to diving deeper into group dynamics and group psychology, this book will give you a good background on the best practices and core skills needed to run successful group coaching programs.

The book also has practical tools you can use for effective group sessions, like checklists, tables, and actionable tips. It will suit both beginner coaches that are just setting up their group coaching programs, and also more experienced coaches that want to level up their coaching practices.

Enjoy the list!

P.S. We've just launched our podcast "The Coach Tribe"  🎉. Click here to listen to the first episode!

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