7 Best Coaching Books All New Coaches Should Read

 Sai Blackbyrn/ 12th April 2022

Well, to begin with, a coach needs a source of inspiration and direction. He/She could be at the beginning of their journey or might have reached a point of saturation. There are questions that need answering and the mind needs guidance, along with clarity. Life coaching books help you get there.

Coaches generally have a defined philosophy or belief-system that has worked for them and are happy to share it with everyone. Life coaching books are one such medium, a knowledge house at your service. Reading is a good source of research and as every coach will know, constant learning which equals consistent growth in your business.

Good life coaching books leave you with a positive impact and so, here are 7 coaching books that every coach must keep close.

From real-life stories to business models based on research, these life coaching books are must-reads if you need a fresh perspective on your business, leaving you with a rewarding experience.

So go ahead and get your reading on!

Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity by David Whyte

7 Best Coaching Books All New Coaches Should Read life coaching books

“You know that the antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily to rest? … The antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness.”

In a form of writing close to gentle wonder and imaginative prose, David Whyte has spoken to thousands in this book. Whyte talks about dealing with our daily chores with a spark of imagination. Practical approaches to life with a whimsical nature of poetry are the doors to reflect into one’s soul. It is a life coaching book you should get behind.

The reflections mentioned in this coaching book are crucial in helping a coach understand the path they want to take and accepting its comforts, potentials, and fears.

What do you want to do with your career? How would want it to reflect on your choice of career? How would it help create a deep connection to you? A coach who can understand and find answers to these questions will be able to handle his coaching business well.

“To have even the lead notion of what we want to do in life is an enormous step in and of itself, and it is silver, gold, the moon, and the stars to those who struggle for the merest glimmer of what they want or what they are suited to.”

Whyte lets coaches’ realise that many of the crises and questions can lead to turning points with references from poets like Whitman, Blake, Dickinson, and Wordsworth as resources for a coach to gain their insights on.

If a coach realizes that his/her work is an avenue for personal growth then that is an opportunity that he/she can use as a story for their success, to be shared amongst those they mentor.

Crossing the sea is a book that makes coaches look at their work as a part of their spiritual nature. Creative and evocative writing that helps explore your own self, this book is a keeper.

Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less by Robert I. Sutton, Hayagreeva Rao

7 Best Coaching Books All New Coaches Should Read life coaching books

Any coach, while setting up their coaching business will have a vision of their business scaling up in time, keeping in mind that he/she will need to scale up as an organization eventually.

It’s not only the individual, the coach who started it all but the team supporting the coach that needs to be in tune with the performance. Scaling up Excellence hits this note.

Sutton (from the Good Boss, Bad Boss fame) with Huggy Rao (Well-known amongst leadership authors) put their minds together to figure the key requirements for scalability and this is easily applicable in a coaching business. This life coaching book helps not only your clients but also your business.

Sutton and Rao speak about the importance of flexibility and the need to “strike the right balance between replication and customization”, sounds right up a coach’s alley.

A 7-year long research on case studies from start-ups, retail, financial services, education, non-profit, industry giants like pharmaceuticals, etc.. This helped Sutton and Rao talk about the challenges faced by an individual vs. an organization and how it can be tackled to generate strength required for teamwork.

How can a coach not benefit from such a plethora of information? This coaching book is another for the shelf, especially if you are at a point where spreading out is your next step.

A coach can learn from the scaling challenges faced by some of the top leaders and their teams in leading sectors.

The principles mentioned in this book will help coaches attain excellence and remove negativity, and have the right mindset, this being a very important tool for any coaching business.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves

7 Best Coaching Books All New Coaches Should Read life coaching books “Emotional Intelligence 2.0 succinctly explains how to deal with emotions creatively and employ our intelligence in a beneficial way.”


A good coach is the one who considers that emotions are a very important part of decision-making. Emotional intelligence, with its roots in psychology and neurology, aims to help any business. Empathy and judiciousness are important in maintaining healthy business relationships, even more so in the coaching sector. Life coaching books aim to manage your wisdom with your clients and also give you an insight into yourself.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 helps readers understand the workings of our brain, thus helping us to improve our rational and emotional mindset. When a coach is faced with a client emotionally weak, his/her understanding of emotional strategies will help not only the client but also secure their coaching business and build good reputations and relationships.

This coaching book consists of 66 strategies which look at self and social awareness, self and relationship management, with practices of mindfulness: a Buddhist philosophy that is helping millions overcome the stress of a fast-paced lifestyle.

It did receive an endorsement from the Dalai Lama after all.

Any coach with the aim of scaling their coaching business will know that Emotional Intelligence is critical and effective a tool for success.  A book that is easy to read containing simple tasks to hone your skills giving readers a sense of humility, that’s the indicator of emotional intelligence 2.0 working its magic on you and your coaching future.

Implement the power of Emotional Intelligence and watch your coaching business stabilize from within, helping achieve the fullest potential.

If you want to learn more about how to grow your coaching business by learning the right coaching techniques, build a six-figure coaching business and learn how to get better results for clients in less than half the time, come join my free webinar here!

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

7 Best Coaching Books All New Coaches Should Read life coaching books

You want to be a coach and a really good one at that. This is the life coaching book for you! Michael Bungay Stanier’s book is an experience packed resource that helps you turn your coaching business into a regular and informal habit.

This way the teams that support a coach can work smartly without the additional stress. Bungay Stanier’s own coaching skills have helped him come up with an outstanding book that helps coaching businesses.

In an age where people hesitate to ask questions, Bungay Stanier’s 7 question method aims at helping a coaching business provide outstanding performance by unearthing hidden potentials.  This book has been designed to empower the reader and that feeling is what trickles down into the coaching business.

The sense of humility in this easy read is what coaches need to bank on. When a business is that of coaching, communication and humility is key says Bungay Stanier. Creating such an environment helps you gain trust, an effective way to find stability in your coaching business.

The humble person’s confidence is crucial is receiving and asking questions, a foundation rule that every coaching business must aim at.

A conversational book that has helped teachers, counsellors, and even great leaders, you must sleep with this book under your pillow.

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam M. Grant

7 Best Coaching Books All New Coaches Should Read life coaching books

How we interact with others is what shapes our life. In this age of social media, maintaining connections and persona is important for your business, especially in the world of coaching. As the title suggests, Give and Take walks you through the need for collaboration and negotiation, effectively.

Adam Grant has some ground-breaking ideas to share and you should be noting these points down. Grant’s life coaching book has the world divided amongst 3 types i.e., givers, takers, and matchers.

If you aim to be a certain type, it would be a matcher but a giver can gain equally doing better than all three. Coaching involves a lot of giving, so how can you score higher than the matchers and takers?

A good source of motivation is storytelling, personal stories and that’s what a lot of writers do. Grant shares stories that could boost the morale of a coach, understanding his/her nature and those of their clients. A survey will figure out what your type is and you can inculcate the joy of giving into your core ethics.

Networking is everything in today’s business scenario and being a giver in your coaching business makes a coach an epitome in his field.

Add Give and Take to your library and watch the good it spreads around to you and your clients, strengthening all your relationships, making you a coaching leader everybody would look up to.

Give and take has received rave reviews for its method of approach towards required transformations in organizations and communities.

Read about some of the best self-help books of all time

Never Eat Alone, Expanded and Updated: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi

7 Best Coaching Books All New Coaches Should Read life coaching books

Keith Ferrazzi’s coaching book stresses the importance of creating and nurturing a network, with people you can help become successful. These are the connections that will help any coach or coaching business feel meaningful. How would you ever eat alone if you achieved this?

The power of relationships keeps popping up each time you mention business and indeed they are symbiotic. But maintaining them to climb the ladder of personal success and get ahead in your coaching business is something you need to crack.

Ferrazzi speaks about the steps he takes and an inner mindset he applies to connect and maintain his network with thousands of friends, colleagues, and associates.

Coaching business requires intense collaboration, but if we maintain genuine networks then you are in for a successful business model.

Understanding how to accept rejection and failure will give yourself a positive influence, these are factors that need prime attention and application, and eventually, everyone wins. You, being a coach, will make that happen.

Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart: A Systems Approach to Engaging Leaders with Their Challenges by Mary Beth O’Neill

7 Best Coaching Books All New Coaches Should Read life coaching books

Coaches who have their business at a novice level: this book will give you the path you need to walk on to become a more effective coach. Seasoned Coaches will realise if their practices need tweaking or if they’re on the right track. Mary Beth O’Neill’s coaching book concentrates on the importance of partners helping a coach become a better leader.

Executive coaching needs a structure, without which this business will not pass beyond the novice stage. Your core principles need the strength that will help you be honest with your clients if such a time comes.

This coaching book will help your effectiveness in bringing this value from within.

An individual, before embarking on his coaching journey, will need to understand what their problems are and how they can be solved. Mary Beth’s no-nonsense approach to the principles that are crucial to effective coaching is: contracting, planning, live-action intervening and debriefing.

Imbibe these as your core principles and you will be the kind of executive coach you wanted to be, a leader who can balance results and networks that yield great results.

With charts, examples, and techniques with a step-by-step approach, Mary Beth speaks about the requirements of a good decision-maker, the backbone of a coach: courage, compassion, and initiative. From coaches to those being coached, this book will help you by leaps and bounds.




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