Read These 10 Best Coaching Books of All Time

best coaching books

Reading can be a fantastic way to improve your coaching skills, discover new strategies, and provide more support to those you help.

We’ve reviewed the 10 best coaching books for life, executive, career, health, business coaches, and more, so you can up your game and enhance your impact. Let’s dive in!

The Coaching Habit

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier

Coaching for development is about turning the focus from the issue to the person dealing with the issue, the person who’s managing the fire. This conversation is more rare and significantly more powerful.

blue and yellow cover of michael bungay stanier's coaching habit book

Michael Bungay Stanier’s The Coaching Habit is widely considered one of the best leadership coaching books of all time. Divided into seven key coaching questions designed to help leaders unearth their coachee’s potential, it introduces essential strategies and tips for asking powerful questions, having purposeful conversations, and building a culture of trust.

Among other things, this book will show you how to:

  • Ask powerful questions that stimulate thought and encourage your coachees to take accountability for their behaviors
  • Use active listening to better understand your coachees’ perspectives
  • Build trust in client relationships and nurture a psychologically safe culture in organizations, groups, or teams
  • Recognize and encourage potential development opportunities

Stanier is full of practical and inspiring advice on how to prepare for tough conversations and facilitate more meaningful conversations. You’ll find actionable tools here, too, making it one of the top coaching books to read for managers and those who coach every day.

Find it here on Amazon.

Coach the Person, Not the Problem

Coach the Person, Not the Problem: A Guide to Using Reflective Inquiry by Marcia Reynolds

People need to feel seen, heard, and valued to have the desire to grow.

navy blue cover of coach the person not the problem ebook

Coach the Person, Not The Problem is an in-depth guide to one of the most essential coaching skills: reflective inquiry. In this book, Marcia Reynolds draws on neuroscience and psychology to share techniques, advice, and structures that coaches can use to challenge clients’ perspectives on how their thinking can impact their goals.

This book will show you how to:

  • Thoughtfully summarize what your clients express, verbally and non-verbally
  • Identify their deeper assumptions and beliefs
  • Articulate your clients’ desired outcomes
  • Stimulate clients to think critically about their own thoughts

Coach the Person, Not the Problem offers a valuable guide for enhancing coaching skills through the use of reflective inquiry. This must-read coaching book provides practical insight for helping clients achieve their full potential and lead fulfilling lives.

Find it here on Amazon.

Coaching For Performance

Coaching For Performance: The Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership by Sir John Whitmore

Coaching is unlocking people’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.

Coaching for Performance, which features the GROW coaching model, is of the best-selling coaching books of all time. It covers all the essentials of impactful coaching—goal-setting, creating an ideal environment, delivering feedback, cultivating self-awareness, crafting an action, and beyond—to help practitioners empower others to realize their goals and potential.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Unleash the power of the coaching approach to leadership with various hands-on principles and practices
  • Master the art of active listening, powerful questioning, and goal setting to become an effective coach in the workplace
  • Transform your organization into a coaching culture, where individuals and teams can thrive
  • Unlock the full potential of individuals and teams to achieve greatness

This book provides a comprehensive and practical guide to coaching and leadership, grounded in the author’s extensive experience and expertise. Don’t hesitate; grab a copy today of Coaching for Performance and start taking your coaching and leadership skills to the next level!

Find it here on Amazon.

Ask Powerful Questions

Ask Powerful Questions: Create Conversations That Matter by Will Wise

Perhaps the most important lesson is that people want to be heard and understood. It may be the highest calling of our humanity.

Ask Powerful Questions: Create Conversations That Matter is a game-changer for anyone looking to up their communication game. Written by Will Wise, Ask Powerful Questions is considered to be among the best coaching books for anyone looking to create meaningful conversations that drive growth and change.

This book will teach you how to:

  • Craft powerful questions that get to the heart of the matter and drive real change
  • Facilitate conversations that matter and create a culture of open and honest communication in your workplace or personal life
  • Harness the power of powerful questions to drive personal growth, improve teamwork, and achieve your goals
  • Use different types of powerful questions and when and how to apply them for maximum impact

Ask Powerful Questions is a must-have for coaches looking to improve their communication skills and drive positive change in themselves, others, and their organization. This book will help you with building meaningful conversations that make a difference.

Find it here on Amazon.

Start with Your People

Start with Your People: The Daily Decision that Changes Everything by Brian Dixon

Living your purpose starts with showing up and serving. It’s not about you. It’s about helping them.

blue and white cover of start with your people coaching book

Start with Your People: The Daily Decision that Changes Everything by Brian Dixon is an essential read for those looking to transform their organization and cultivate a thriving work environment. As one of the best executive coaching books, it offers a straightforward and applicable approach to leadership that truly puts people first.

This book will teach you how to:

  • Consider people in every decision, and how this can result in better relationships and greater fulfillment in life
  • Build strong connections with your coachees and foster a culture of trust, collaboration, and responsibility
  • Apply the people-first leadership principles in your own workplace and see lasting results

You can use these principles to help your clients build stronger relationships and make more fulfilling life choices. So, if you’re ready to change the game and lead with a people-first mindset, Start with Your People is the book for you. It’s packed with valuable insights and practical coaching tools to help you take your skills to the next level.

Find it here on Amazon.

The Prosperous Coach

The Prosperous Coach: Increase Income and Impact for You and Your Clients by Steve Chandler

The Struggling coach has huge dreams that overwhelm them. The Pro coach has huge dreams, and takes tiny steps every day.

white cover of the prosperous coach ebook by steve chandler

The Prosperous Coach: Increase Income and Impact for You and Your Clients is regarded as one of the best books on business coaching, providing a powerful and inspiring guide for coaches who are looking to grow their business and make a positive impact on the lives of their clients.

The author, Steve Chandler, provides a wealth of practical advice and guidance on how to build a successful coaching practice.

This book will teach you how to:

  • Grow your coaching business and increase your income
  • Build meaningful relationships with clients and create a lasting impact
  • Implement strategies for overcoming common obstacles and challenges faced by coaches
  • Utilize valuable insights into the psychology of success and how to cultivate a winning mindset

This book is a must-read for any coach who is looking to increase their income, impact, and overall success. If you are wondering how to get coaching clients and take your business to the next level, this book offers practical and inspiring guidance for creating a prosperous and fulfilling life.

Find it here on Amazon.

Co-Active Coaching

Co-Active Coaching: The proven framework for transformative conversations at work and in life by Karen Kimsey-House

More than a lack of knowledge or skill, more than the lack of a clear strategy or action plan, the biggest obstacle in the way of progress for clients is the paralysis caused by the fear of failing.

white cover of co-active coaching fourth edition ebook with purple circles

Once dubbed “the bible of coaching guides” by author Steven Covey,

this book is a must-read for coaches looking to enhance their skills and make a positive impact on the lives of their clients. This book is a comprehensive guide to the proven framework, also termed the “Co-Active Model”, for transformative conversations in both personal settings and coaching in the workplace, which makes it one of the best life coaching books out there.

This book will teach you how to:

  • Apply a well-established framework for coaching that has been tested and refined over many years
  • Master the art of deep listening and building rapport with clients
  • Implement techniques for facilitating transformative conversations and how to unlock a person’s full potential
  • Use the Co-Active Model to support clients in making meaningful changes and reaching their goals, both in their personal and professional lives

This book will provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to facilitate transformative conversations and help people unlock their full potential.

Find it here on Amazon.

Coaching Questions

Coaching Questions: A Coach’s Guide to Powerful Asking Skills by Tony Stoltzfus

Asking moves us beyond passive acceptance of what others say, or staying stuck in present circumstances, to aggressively applying our creative ability to the problem.

black blue and white cover of tony stoltzfus coaching questions book

Coaching Questions: A Coach’s Guide to Powerful Asking Skills is the book you need if you’re looking to level up your coaching skills and create truly impactful conversations with your clients. Written by expert Tony Stoltzfus, this book is a comprehensive guide to the art of asking questions, and it’s packed full of insights and techniques to help you facilitate transformational conversations with your clients.

Here are four things you’ll learn from the book:

  • How to build rapport and create powerful conversations by mastering the art of asking questions
  • How to craft open-ended questions that encourage exploration and discovery
  • How to avoid common pitfalls like leading questions and closed-ended questions, and instead ask questions that really matter
  • Practical tips and exercises to help you improve your questioning skills in real-life situations

Coaching Questions is a comprehensive guide to one of the most important tools in a coach’s toolkit: asking effective questions. This book is an invaluable resource for coaches who are looking to improve their asking skills and enhance their coaching impact.

Find it here on Amazon.

The HeART of Laser-Focused Coaching

The HeART of Laser-Focused Coaching: A Revolutionary Approach to Masterful Coaching by Marion Franklin

We are not responsible for another person’s behavior and they are not responsible for our well-being. Clients who can’t say no usually feel overwhelmed because they have too much on their plate — or resentful because they do too much.

grey white and black cover of the heart of laser-focused coaching

The HeART of Laser-Focused Coaching by Marion Franklin is a groundbreaking guide for coaches looking to step up their game. Being among the best coaching books, this publication offers a fresh and exciting approach to coaching, fusing the power of art with laser-focused techniques to create amazing experiences for clients.

This book will teach you:

  • How art can be a powerful tool for coaching transformation
  • How to use laser-focused techniques to help clients achieve their goals with ease
  • How to build a strong connection with clients and create a supportive environment
  • How creative approaches can enhance coaching effectiveness and deepen client engagement

Laser-Focused Coaching is a valuable resource for coaches looking to elevate their practice. The book provides a unique approach to coaching, fusing art and laser-focused techniques to create powerful and transformative experiences for clients.

Find it here on Amazon.

The Life Coaching Handbook

The Life Coaching Handbook: Everything You Need To Be An Effective Life Coach by Curly Martin

It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.

cream colored cover preview of the life coaching handbook

The Life Coaching Handbook: Everything You Need To Be An Effective Life Coach by Curly Martin is among the best coaching books to read for coaches looking to start a life coaching business or improve their current practice. This book covers the essential principles and practices of life coaching, providing a solid foundation for anyone seeking to become a successful life coach.

This book will teach you:

  • Everything you need to know about coaching, from the history and theory of coaching to techniques for effectively working with clients
  • Key skills and competencies required to be an effective coach, including active listening, goal setting, and creating a supportive coaching environment
  • Tips and tricks to develop your own coaching style that connects with your clients and helps them achieve their goals
  • How to build and grow your client base, market yourself, and manage finances

If you’re looking to enter the life coaching profession or improve your current practice, Curly Martin’s handbook is a must-read. It is packed with the knowledge and guidance you need to become a master life coach.

Find it here on Amazon.

The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Coaching

Understanding and leveraging emotional intelligence (EI) is crucial for effective coaching. Emotional intelligence involves recognizing and managing your own emotions and those of others. Coaches with high EI can create a supportive environment that fosters trust and openness, essential for meaningful coaching interactions. They can better understand their clients’ perspectives, helping them navigate their emotions and challenges more effectively.

By being attuned to their clients’ emotional states, coaches can tailor their approach to meet individual needs, enhancing the overall coaching experience. Furthermore, emotional intelligence enables coaches to handle difficult conversations with empathy and tact, which can lead to more productive outcomes. As many of the recommended books highlight, integrating EI into coaching not only improves communication but also strengthens the coach-client relationship, ultimately leading to better results in achieving coaching goals.

The Impact of Coaching on Organizational Culture

Incorporating coaching into organizational culture can lead to significant positive changes. Coaching fosters an environment of continuous learning and development, which is beneficial for both employees and the organization as a whole. When leaders adopt coaching techniques, they empower their teams, encouraging innovation and problem-solving. This shift towards a coaching culture can enhance employee engagement and satisfaction, as individuals feel more valued and supported in their roles.

Moreover, organizations that prioritize coaching are often better equipped to adapt to change and overcome challenges. The books discussed in this blog provide various strategies and frameworks for implementing coaching practices within organizations, highlighting the long-term benefits of creating a coaching culture. These benefits include improved performance, higher retention rates, and a more collaborative and resilient workforce. By embracing coaching, organizations can unlock the full potential of their employees, driving success and growth.

Final Thoughts

A great book can be an indispensable way to improve your coaching skills, client relationships, and overall approach as a practitioner.

But what about the best way to implement your new knowledge? Our free coaching guide will show you how to grow your practice in a way that compounds, while turning your insights into more client successes: click here to download Coach, This Changes Everything. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are coaching books?

Coaching books are books written for the purpose of helping individuals improve their coaching skills. These books can cover various topics related to coaching, including communication, leadership, motivation, and goal setting.

What is the best book for coaching?

Some of the most highly recommended coaching books include “The Coaching Habit” by Michael Bungay Stanier, “Co-Active Coaching” by Laura Whitworth, Karen Kimsey-House, and Henry Kimsey-House, and “The Inner Game of Tennis” by W. Timothy Gallwey.

What are the 4 types of coaching?

Coaching comes in different forms, each targeting different aspects of life. Four common types are:
Life coaching helps individuals improve their personal lives, such as relationships, career, and self-improvement.
Business coaching helps business owners or executives improve their leadership skills and grow their companies.
Executive coaching develops leadership and management skills to enhance executives’ effectiveness in their roles.
Career coaching assists individuals in navigating their careers and achieving professional goals. Coaching aims to improve individuals or organizations, with different types of coaching tailored to specific areas of life.

About the author

Catherine specializes in Organizational and Positive Psychology, helping entrepreneurs, clinical psychologists and OD specialists grow their businesses by simplifying their digital journeys.


  1. AR Aracely Roque

    I am a psychologist and would love to learn more about coaching. I want to start my own business and change gears since I’ve been in the psychology field for over 22 years.

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