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Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching

The process of becoming a coach requires extensive training, introspection, and guidance. While completing a professional certification program is required, coaches at all phases of their careers may benefit from a wealth of fantastic materials that will aid in their growth and development. Here are our top picks for coaching books that any aspiring or established leader in leadership development should read.

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books

For coaches, learning is never complete. There are approaches, coaching techniques, and fresh scientific discoveries.

In this article, we will discuss best-selling Performance Coaching Books.

Let’s Start!

In Brief : Top 10 Must Read Books On Performance Coaching
  • Executive Coaching With Backbone And Heart – Priced at $57, this book provides a structured approach to executive coaching, offering tools and insights for both novices and seasoned practitioners.
  • Changing On The Job – Available for $35, this book explores adult growth theories, helping readers become intelligent leaders capable of navigating complex challenges.
  • Man’s Search For Meaning – This classic, available for $35, delves into Frankl’s experiences in Nazi concentration camps, emphasizing the human pursuit of meaning in the face of adversity.
  • High Output Management – Priced at $35, this practical guide by Grove, a former tech executive, offers insights for CEOs, startup founders, and managers on creating highly productive teams.
  • Coaching Questions – Available for $15, this book, essential for coaches, provides a wealth of questioning techniques, models, and exercises.
  • Simple Habits For Complex Times – Priced at $22, this book offers three crucial behaviors to help leaders navigate complex challenges in a constantly changing business environment.
  • Thinking, Fast & Slow – A modern classic available for $11, Kahneman explores the two systems that govern human thinking, providing insights into decision-making in both personal and professional contexts.
  • The Coaching Habit – Priced at $13, this book offers practical coaching techniques for managers, drawing on neuroscience and behavioral economics.
  • Black Box Thinking – Available for $60, Syed explores the concept of marginal gains and the importance of learning from failures for high performance.
  • Mindset – Priced at $8, Dweck’s book explores the impact of mindset on success and offers insights on fostering a growth mentality for personal and professional development.

How performance Coaching Books Help a Coach

Performance coaching is a technique that assists individuals or groups in identifying their areas of strength and development in order to attain their objectives. These are the four steps that it takes.

  • Assessment
  • goal-setting
  • action planning
  • implementation 

These books will help performance coaches to implement these four steps in actual coaching.

The science of human motivation and behavior serves as the foundation for performance coaching. People are driven by a variety of things, including the desire for autonomy, power, affiliation, and success. A performance coaching book will take into account these underlying motivations to make performance coaches successful in their lives.

10 Books for Every Performance Coach

Reading books on performance coaching published by performance coaches or authentic writers that explain everlasting concepts is one of the easiest ways to learn or teach proper coaching. 

Below is the list of the top 10 books worth reading for every performance coach. Reading these books will assist every performance coach to enhance their skills and get more success in their practical life.

1. Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books

Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart was written by Mary Beth O’Neill and first published on March 20, 2000. Praise for Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart In this book, O’Neill brings form and structure to the art of executive coaching. Novices are provided a path while seasoned practitioners will find affirmation.

Mary Beth O’Neill’s executive coaching gave the tools and clarity to become a far more effective leader and change agent. The bottom line was succeeded with a monumental organizational turnaround that had seemed impossible to accomplish. O’Neill writes in a way that allows you to see this experienced coach in action.

Mary Beth brings a keen business focus to coaching by not just contributing insights but by helping the team gain the insights that we need to solve problems. She can see through the sometimes chaotic dialogue and personalities in order to help a team focus on the real issues and dynamics that can impede organizations from achieving their goals.

Effective leaders require courage, compassion, and initiative. O’Neill’s systems-based coaching serves as a guide for both coaches and executives to better enable good decisions and good decision-makers.

The original edition of Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart is available on Amazon for $57.

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books

2. Changing on the Job: Developing Leaders for a Complex World

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books

Changing on the Job Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart was written by Jennifer Garvey Berger and first published on November 30, 2011. People from all walks of life are calling for leaders who are more sophisticated and capable of tackling challenges that are more complicated than anything the human race has ever had to face. But we must nurture and promote these leaders as soon as it is humanly possible since they won’t just appear on the scene. A way to do this is via changing on the job.

Changing on the Job focuses on theories of adult growth and development to assist readers in becoming more intelligent people who are capable of leading in any situation, as opposed to merely providing readers with “paint by numbers” instructions on how to fulfill the position of a leader. 

Author Jennifer Garvey Berger presents a set of building blocks to assist in developing an agile workforce while enhancing performance by moving from the theoretical to the practical and utilizing real-world examples.

This book is an essential tool for building both the capacities of the talent they assist and their own. It is written for coaches, HR specialists, smart leaders, and anybody who wants to succeed at work.

The original edition of  Changing on the Job is available on Amazon for $35.

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books

3. Man’s Search for Meaning

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books

Man’s Search for Meaning was written by Viktor Frankl and first published in 1946. Since it was originally published in 1946, Viktor Frankl’s gripping narrative of his time spent in Nazi concentration camps and his profound investigation of the human desire to create meaning in the face of the darkest hardship have provided comfort and direction to generations of readers. 

Frankl believed that, contrary to what Freud said, the essential human motivation is not pleasure but rather the pursuit of what one finds significant. This belief is at the core of his logotherapy theory, which derives its name from the Greek word for “meaning.” Frankl’s famous work continues to encourage us all to find purpose in the mere act of existing, despite all barriers, as new generations encounter new difficulties and a world that is becoming more complicated and unpredictable.

A brand-new, never-before-published book by Frankl titled Yes to Life: Despite Everything is now available in English and is a must-read complement to this classic work.

There were two covers used in the publication of this book. One of the various covers will be included when books are sent to customers.

The original edition of  Man’s Search for Meaning is available on Amazon for $35.

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books

4. High Output Management

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books

High Output Management was written by Andrew Grove and first published in 1983. One term may encapsulate the crucial ability to start and run new businesses—the art of the entrepreneur. 

High Output Management, which Grove developed as a result of his experiences working at one of America’s top technological firms, is ideal for CEOs, startup founders, sales managers, accountants, consultants, and teachers alike. 

High Output Management is a practical guide for navigating real-life business scenarios and a potent management manifesto with the potential to revolutionize the way we work. Grove covers techniques for creating highly productive teams, demonstrating methods of motivation that lead to peak performance.

The original edition of  High Output Management is available on Amazon for $35.

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books

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

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books

Coaching Questions was written by Tony Stolzfus and first published on April 24, 2008. The most crucial coaching skill is the ability to ask insightful questions. In this book, master coach trainer Tony Stoltzfus collaborates with 12 other expert coaches to give a wealth of useful questioning techniques, models, and exercises. 

He then uses more than 1,000 actual instances of probing inquiries to demonstrate these coaching techniques. Coaching Questions is a book that will find a place on every coach’s short list of useful resources since it covers the full spectrum from fundamental tactics like options and actions to complex concepts like challenge and reframing. 

A coach’s guide to effective questioning techniques, coaching questions tells us:

1. Hundreds of questioning tools, models, and tactics.

2. The top 10 asking errors that coaches make, along with advice on how to avoid them.

3. Almost 1200 examples of effective questions drawn from actual coaching contexts.

4. A life-purpose model with four parts organizes the instruments for discovering your destiny.

5. Overviews of 15 well-liked coaching specialties, each with a tool and examples.

6. A training regimen to assist you in becoming a “Master of Asking.”

The original edition of  Coaching Questions is available on Amazon for $15.

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books

6. Simple Habits for Complex Times: Powerful Practices for Leaders

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books

Simple Habits for Complex Times was written by Jennifer Garvey Berger and Keith Johnston and first published on February 25, 2015. Simple Habits for Complex Times offers three crucial behaviors that help executives navigate the uncharted rather than generic advice gleaned from the world of business as usual. 

Leaders are better able to comprehend themselves, their responsibilities, and the environment around them by adopting numerous views, posing various questions, and seeing more of their system. They may learn to be more flexible, react quickly, and lead their companies to prosper in a constantly changing business environment. 

The more often leaders practice these straightforward behaviors, the more their performance improves, and the more shrewdly and often they can resolve complex business problems.

Leaders will use this book as a guide to develop into their best selves whether they work in big or small companies, the public or private sector, in the United States, or abroad.

The original edition of  Simple Habits for Complex Times is available on Amazon for $22.

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books

7. Thinking, Fast & Slow

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books

Thinking, Fast & Slow was written by Daniel Kahneman and first published on October 25, 2011. Daniel Kahneman, a world-renowned psychologist and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a revolutionary tour of the mind and explains the two systems that govern the way we think in his blockbuster hit Thinking, Fast and Slow.

While System 2 is slower, more deliberate, and more rational, System 1 is quick, intuitive, and emotive. Only by understanding how the two systems influence our judgments and decisions can we comprehend the effects of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the challenges of predicting what will make us happy in the future, and the profound impact of cognitive biases on everything from trading stocks to organizing our next vacation.

In a vibrant discussion of how we think, Kahneman draws the reader in and explains when and how we should trust our intuitions as well as how to take advantage of sluggish thinking. He provides helpful and informative insights on how decisions are formed in both our professional and personal lives, as well as how we may utilize a variety of strategies to avoid the mental lapses that frequently lead to problems. 

Thinking, Fast and Slow is a modern classic and an essential book that has altered the lives of millions of readers. It has topped bestseller lists for nearly 10 years.

The original edition of  Thinking, Fast & Slow is available on Amazon for $11.

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books

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

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books

The Coaching Habit was written by Michael Bungay Stanier and first published in 2016. The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier suggests making coaching a regular, unstructured part of your day so that managers and their teams may work less hard and accomplish more.

Bungay Stanier explains how to maximize the potential of your workforce by drawing on years of experience teaching more than 10,000 busy managers from across the world practical, everyday coaching techniques. 

He breaks down crucial coaching questions to show how you may create coaching techniques by talking less and asking more.

  • Deliver excellent outcomes.
  • The Kickstart Question can help you get right to the point in any conversation.
  • When interacting with The Awe Question, stay on task.
  • With The Lazy Question and The Strategic Question, you can both save hours of time for yourself and others.
  • The Focus Question and The Foundation Question will help you get to the heart of any interpersonal or external difficulty.
  • Finally, make sure that others benefit from your mentoring in the same way that you do. The Learning Problem

The book offers a new, creative spin on the typical how-to manual by fusing insider knowledge with research from the fields of neuroscience and behavioral economics, as well as interactive training tools to help readers transform practical advice into habits. 

The Coaching Habit transforms your work—and your workplace—from good to exceptional with its wit and conversational style.

The original edition of  The Coaching Habit is available on Amazon for $13.

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books

9. Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High Performance

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books

Black Box Thinking was written by Matthew Syed and first published on September 8, 2015. Matthew Syed explains how success actually occurs, drawing on a bewildering variety of case studies and real-world examples, as well as cutting-edge research on marginal gains, creativity, and grit. He also explains how we cannot develop unless we are willing to fail, even catastrophically, and learn from our mistakes.

Black Box Thinking is a novel high-performance strategy that can provide you an advantage in a challenging and rapidly evolving environment. It is not only about sports; it also has significant financial and political ramifications, as well as repercussions for parents and kids, and all of us.

The original edition of  Black Box Thinking is available on Amazon for $60.

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books

10. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books

 The mindset was written by Carol Dweck and first published on February 28, 2006. The power of attitude is a straightforward yet revolutionary concept that world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. found after decades of research. In this outstanding book, she demonstrates how our perceptions of our skills and talents may have a significant impact on our chances of success in virtually every aspect of human effort, including job, school, sports, the arts, and the arts. 

People with a growth mentality—those who think that talents can be developed—are more likely to succeed than those with a fixed mindset, which holds that abilities are fixed. Mindset explains how excellent parents, teachers, managers, and athletes may apply this concept to promote exceptional achievement.

In this revision, Dweck gives fresh perspectives on her now-famous and widely accepted theory. She describes a problem she refers to as the false development mentality and offers advice on how to develop a deeper, more genuine growth mindset. 

She also applies the mentality notion to the cultures of groups and organizations, extending it beyond the individual. You may inspire others you lead, educate, and love to alter their life as well as your own if you have the correct attitude.
The original edition of Mindset is available on Amazon for $8.

Top 10 Must Read Books on Performance Coaching Performance Coaching Books


Reading books on performance coaching authored by performance coaches and mentoring authorities that explain timeless concepts is one of the simplest ways to learn or teach better coaching. Attending one of CMOE’s coaching seminars or working one-on-one with an experienced executive coach are two other fantastic ways to master the techniques of high-performance coaching. 

Pick one of the books we’ve chosen for an intriguing read in the interim. Each one offers tips on how to identify company issues more accurately and develop strategies to help your employees perform at their very best.

Frequently asked questions

Q1. What is performance coaching?

Performance coaching is a continuous activity that aids in establishing and preserving strong working relationships between employees and managers. Performance coaching may assist in planning and developing new abilities for employees as well as identifying areas of progress.

Q2. How to set up a performance coaching business?

To launch your performance coaching business, follow these steps.

1. Clarify Your Skills, Not Your Experience.
2. Begin coaching right now.
3. Create a niche for coaching.
4. Pick a name for your coaching business.
5. Organize Your Coaching Company.
6. Recognize Your Expenses & Finances.
7. Take coaching certification courses.
8. Get commercial insurance.
9. Promote your business.

Q3. Does reading books really help in coaching?

Yes, without a doubt, according to science. Reading has long-lasting positive effects on your physical and mental health. It also helps you stay knowledgeable and increases your level of competence as a coach which gives you better results with clients.

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