Grow Your Business: 30+ Top Coaching Books By Category

30 Top Books for Coaches

Learning is never done for coaches. There are coaching skills, new scientific developments, and methodologies. Whether you work as a coach within a corporation, are new to coaching, or build your own coaching practice, we have compiled a list of bestselling books to cover a broad range of popular categories. Some of the top coaching books on our reading list have been around for decades!

If you are looking to catch up on your reading, we have some suggestions. In this article, you’ll find the most-read coaching books by category. Find out how each book can help you, and don’t forget to recommend a top read of your own!

The Ultimate Reading List For Coaches

Click on the table of contents to jump to a segment or scroll down to read through the entire article.

Coaching Skills

1. The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever

Do you know how to start a meaningful conversation with your client? In this book, Michael Bungay Stanier shows you how to use a proven “seven-question formula” to begin a conversation easily for effective coaching. The title has been recommended by many renowned authors in the industry, as it offers a solution that can’t go wrong.

2. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

How much do you think you know about motivation? What if rewards aren’t enough? In this compelling title, Daniel H. Pink shows you how to help your client find direction for a more satisfying home, work, and school life. More importantly, it reveals the discrepancies between science-proven human functioning and the way workplaces are designed, which will help you understand why so many motivation strategies don’t work.

3. A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas

Do you avoid asking the one question that can help your client make groundbreaking changes? Are you afraid to be out of line by questioning their drive and motives? Warren Berger shows you how to overcome this boundary by learning how to question in order to identify and resolve problems and help your clients seize opportunities.

4. Systemic Coaching and Constellations

Are you struggling to understand systemic coaching? John Whittington demonstrates it to you in a simple, easy to understand fashion. Get ready to learn everything you need about sustain system principles, and get to see what real-life systemic coaching looks like.

5. Creative Visualization

Is your client aspiring to greatness, but they’re held back by insecurities? Shakti Gawain teaches you how to use visualization techniques to make any dream believable!

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

This all-time classic has been a widely referred book in coaching circles and renowned coaching schools and will help you upgrade your coaching, relationship, and communication skills. This title has been used in numerous professional and academic coaching programs worldwide!

7. Coach the Person Not the Problem: A Simple Guide to Coaching for Transformation

Are you facilitating wholesome changes in your clients’ lives, or helping them solve temporary problems that are bound to come back? This title by Chad Hall gives you the knowledge you’ll need for transformational coaching that will have a true, lifelong impact.

8. Coaching Questions: A Coach’s Guide to Powerful Asking Skills

Do you know how to reach your client? Do you know what to ask to help them truly “connect the dots” between different issues that bother them? This book by Tony Stoltzfus gives you the experience of 12 different professionals when it comes to knowing how to ask the right coaching questions.

9. Time to Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind

Do you know how to listen? Effective listening isn’t only important for your client. It’s important to you as a coach, and Nancy Kline shows you how to be more productive with strategizing, problem-solving, and maintaining strong relationships.

10. Becoming a Professional Life Coach: Lessons from the Institute of Life Coach Training

Authored by bestselling therapists Patrick Williams and Diane Menendez, this title covers the core strategies and principles for professional coaching. The book also covers the different aspects of the industry, from neuroscience to wellness, ethics, and positive psychology. It will help you gain the fundamental skills to help your clients overcome obstacles, align their values, and truly live their life’s purpose. This has become one of the most thorough foundational books in professional life coaching.

Corporate / Workplace Coaching

1. The Trillion Dollar Coach

This classic by Eric Schmidt shows you how to build successful business relationships and foster growth within your organization, led by the lessons and examples of prominent executives.

2. Coaching for Performance

In this international bestseller by John Whitmore, you’ll get to learn how to get your staff to use their best qualities and abilities for transformative relationships within your organization and with others in the industry. A great coaching book to add to your list even if you’re not coaching inside organizations as the insights are relevant for career and leadership coaching as well.

3. The Inner Game Of Work: Focus, Learning, Pleasure, And Mobility In The Workplace

Have you ever wondered who is holding you back? Timothy Gallwey helps you see how inner obstacles and self-sabotage hurt you more than any other situation or a circumstance. More importantly, this title shows you how to overcome self-imposed obstacles.

Leadership

1. Senior Leadership Teams

Do you want to know more about effective management? In this manual to becoming a killer business exec, Ruth Wageman et al. show you how to navigate teams and communities, how to make your way in the industry, and be a successful leader through contemporary leadership lessons.

2. High Conflict

What’s the one thing modern societies can’t resolve? Philosophical/political conflicts of the highest level. In High Conflict, Amanda Ripley talks about how to turn toxic division into opportunities for healthy, constructive discussions.

This piece of reading will help you and your clients deal with discord in their communities and within themselves.

3. The Culture Code

Daniel Coyle, the author of the best-selling “The Talent Code,” shows you how to tap into every organization’s culture, build one on your own, and generate success through cooperation, diversity, and cohesion.

The book further gives you the tools and guidance to overcome toxicity and establish trust in an organization as you head toward positive changes.

4. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team uses the power of story to engage readers as the author, Patrick M. Lencioni, reveals the five dysfunctions that lead even the best teams to struggle. The author outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that you can use to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team.

Coaching Specialties / Niches

1. Christian Coaching, Second Edition: Helping Others Turn Potential into Reality

In this title, Gary Collins, Ph.D. gives you the tools and knowledge that are based on Biblical coaching. The book was made to help people achieve a more meaningful life through practicing active listening, healthy boundaries, and other recommendations to achieve healthy work relationships, family relationships, and friendships.

2. Coaching For Performance: GROWing Human Potential And Purpose

Another industry classic by John Whitmore gives you a deep look into coaching in adversity. Whether it’s financial or other types of crisis, coaching and different therapeutic models help provide support. Learn how to pivot and adjust!

3. The Life Coaching Handbook: Everything You Need to be an Effective Life Coach

Follow Curly Martin as she reveals what a coaching career and life truly look like. This advanced coaching program will serve as an essential guide and a go-to source for everyone looking to become a successful life coach.

Entrepreneurship

1. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

As the title suggests, this book reveals some hard truths about the 21st century market.

Whether you’re starting your own organization or helping a client find business success, this journey must start with a realistic picture of the sort of success that you can expect, plus intel on how to avoid typical errors. Michael Gerber helps you and your clients set right expectations for successful business-running.

2. How to Start an Online Coaching Business: A Simple, Hands-on Guide

Learn everything you need to start your coaching business with a smooth introduction into the terminology, vetted education options, industry trends, and hands-on steps with guides, checklists and planning exercises.

In this book, Coachilly Magazine shares in-depth information to make key decisions for your business early on (like selecting a profitable coaching niche, etc.), together with coaching templates, worksheets, and checklists to set up your business, step-by-step.

3. Law and Ethics in Coaching: How to Solve and Avoid Difficult Problems in Your Practice

No matter how much experience you have, you can always find yourself in ethical conflicts. Here, Patrick Williams and Sharon Anderson give you essential, case-based information to help you become a well-rounded professional.

Other Books for Coaches

1. Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ

How much do feelings influence success through thinking and decision making? Daniel Goleman helps you find answers to that question. Get this book and help clients build self-awareness, empathy, impulse control, persistence, and motivation, which are all essential for success!

2. Man’s Search for Meaning

If you were looking for a book that helps cope with trauma, this title by Viktor Frankl, a concentration camp survivor and an expert in logotherapy is for you! Learn about the search for meaning amid emotional and physical hardships, revealing what played a crucial role in surviving the atrocities of Nazi death camps.

3. You Coach You

Do you “practice what you preach?”

In this coaching book, Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis show you how to forest become your best version and find success before starting teaching your clients the same lessons. This book shows you how to become resilient, build the right mindset, and use tools for managing time and skills with a purpose of finding meaning and motivation.

4. On Becoming A Person: A Therapist’s View Of Psychotherapy

The founder of humanistic psychology, Carl Rogers, shares his model for psychotherapy and assisting personal growth. Letting the client ‘lead’ allows for them to process difficult concepts. This method can apply to coaching as well.

5. Connect

Are you looking to build healthy, fulfilling relationships with family, friends, coworkers and partners?

David Bradford and Carole Robin show you how to use both your intellect and emotional intelligence to advance in a strong relationship. Even better, this book helps you develop valuable people skills that you can later teach your clients.

6. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful

Do you feel like you’ve exhausted all of your potential? Don’t give up just yet! Marshall Goldsmith helps you understand how upper levels work, and why the strategies you used before no longer apply.

7. Atomic Habits

The impact of habits on success and productivity is well-known, but the path toward changing them remains somewhat of a mystery. In this habit-adoption piece, James Clear helps create those habits that will have the most beneficial impact on your life within a reasonable time frame.

8. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

This isn’t the typical coaching book, but well suited to expand your horizon. Malcolm Gladwell gives you a classic read, showing you (and your clients) how to power through adversity.

The author takes you through understanding how power, advantage, and disadvantage work. With in-depth knowledge on human behavior, you’ll help clients overcome the adversity of  being at any kind of disadvantage, from disability to discrimination.

Coaching Books – Conclusion

We’ve carefully selected books that cover a wide range of topics for coaches – from coaching skills to workplace topics. Above all, these books represent the challenges a coach faces when building a coaching business. With these titles, you’re always on your best coaching game.

Which of these coaching books have you read and enjoyed the most? Do you feel an important title is missing? What are your top reading recommendations?

Lastly, please share your feedback with us on LinkedIn or Twitter so your fellow coaches can benefit, too!