5 Best Coaching Books To Help You Unleash The Best In Others

Coaching can be a rewarding career, but it requires deep introversion and dedication and a very good skill set such as interpersonal, psychological, and leadership skills.

One of the best ways to hone your coaching skills is to read books that focus on these skills and how you can improve them to understand your clients better. 

We have the five best coaching books listed in this article, from the laser-focused coaching scheme, NFL coach Mike Smith's practice on 7 C's, to discussing coaching habits and effects on leadership and the Co-Active Coaching approach by Karen Kimsey-House. 

How We Choose

Our team has looked through thousands of reviews and star ratings to find the best coaching books that will help you develop coaching skills such as asking practical questions, delivering good feedback, and motivating teams. 

These books will also help you provide better guidance to your clients and improve their leadership and management performance.

You Win The Locker Room First
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Why People Love This Book

People love this book because of the authors' coaching and leadership philosophies, which include being positive at all times, trusting the process, and always putting the team before yourself as an individual player.

This book attracts everyone who wants to lead a team and develop people. Succinct, with multiple examples and stories. 

It is a quick read that is easy to digest and will give you the essentials needed to develop a team that delivers results. 

The sports analogies brought the lessons into the real works, to lessons you could directly understand and even visualize.

Overall, the book has great insights on leadership, building a winning team, and establishing a winning culture. 

Each of the 7 C's provides excellent examples and highlights how to apply it to your team and/or organization.

What You Should Know About The Authors

NFL head coach Mike Smith lead one of the most remarkable turnarounds in NFL history. 

In the season before he arrived in 2008, the Atlanta Falcons had a 4–12 record, and the franchise had never before achieved back-to-back winning seasons. 

Smith won the AP Coach of the Year award in 2008 and was chosen as Coach of the Year by his peers in 2008, 2010, and 2012. Under Smith's direction, the Falcons finished his first season with an 11-5 record and went on to become consistent playoff and Super Bowl contenders, earning Smith those awards as well. 

Jon Gordon is a sought-after keynote speaker and an International Bestselling Author of multiple books, including The Energy Bus. His talks have inspired many readers and audiences around the world. 

He has worked with numerous athletic organizations, corporations, and academic institutions, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Heat, the University of Georgia's Bulldogs, San Francisco 49ers, and the Atlanta Falcons, to name a few. 

In 2016, Gordon launched Positive University, an ongoing online program that provides access to content focused on overcoming everyday challenges, bringing together a community of like-minded people.

The HeART of Laser-Focused Coaching
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Why People Love This Book

Readers love this book because it's packed with valuable insights, a coaching manual, and actionable advice. It's also incredibly well-written and easy to read.

This book shows an effective and impactful way of coaching. In addition, the author gives useful suggestions and insights into Laser-Focused Coaching. 

With great tools and examples, this book gives usable techniques to enhance the coaching experience for your client (and your skills as a coach).

People also appreciate this book's practical approach to the topic. There is no fluff and no jargon. Every point and example in this book is like a little gift-wrapped treasure. 

You will get a lot out of it immediately, but when you start applying what you learn in your coaching, you think you will discover even more value packed into each idea and technique. 

If you're looking for a book to help you laser-focus your coaching business, this is the one for you.

What You Should Know About The Author

Marion Franklin is a sought-after expert for her Laser-Focused technique and direct communication as a Master Certified Coach.

Her work includes developing and teaching her unique program, Laser Coach: Your Way to Sustainable Success – Intensive, which emphasizes masterful coaching skills. 

She published the audiobook "Life's Little Lessons: Improve Your Life One Lesson at a Time," facilitates ongoing "Coach with Confidence" group coaching, and provides individual mentoring and supervising.

To date, everyone Marion has taught and mentored for Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC), or Master Certified Coach (MCC) has passed (using the principles from this book). 

She serves as a supervisory coach and examiner for developing coaches in an executive coaching program. 

She has been interviewed on TV for her coaching expertise, coached executives at various corporations, presented at numerous coaching conferences and events and cited in The Journal News and The Wall Street Journal.

The Coaching Habit
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Why People Love This Book

People love this book because it provides simple techniques that can be used immediately to improve your coaching skills.

This book combines the key points with many other books that touch on the topic of coaching and manages to do so in a way that creates new insights. 

Throughout the book, Michael ties in concepts on developing the proper habits, so you can identify the cues that would send you astray and establish new ones that will help you become a better coach.

The objective of this book is to discuss the most important topics in a coaching session so that you may be less "helpful" and therefor, more helpful in the long run.

It highlights 7 questions and gives contexts and insight on how they work and why they are useful. 

The major takeaway from this book is that you are not required to provide remedies. It's your duty as a coach to ask the questions that will always lead to answers—that's coaching in a nutshell.

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in enhancing communication and coaching abilities, from the bookends of a coaching session to digging deeper to identify the true problem.

This is it if you want a book that will improve the way you think to coach, communicate, and lead forever.

What You Should Know About The Author

Michael Bungay Stanier is at the forefront of shaping how organizations see coaching as an essential leadership competency.

His book The Coaching Habit is the best-selling coaching book of this century, with over a million copies sold.

In 2019, he was named the #1 thought leader in coaching, and he has spoken on coaching from Brené Brown's podcast to the TEDx stage.

Michael founded Box of Crayons, a lifelong learning and development company that helps organizations transform from advice-driven to curiosity-led.

He currently leads MBS.works, a place where people find the clarity, confidence, and community to be a force for change.

Michael's work is changing how we think about leadership, and we are lucky to have him as a resource.

The Coaching Effect
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Why People Love This Book

Readers love this book because it covers a lot of ground regarding what coaching is and how it can be used to improve performance. The Coaching Effect has helped people in leadership positions at all levels, from small businesses to large corporations.

This book is one of those rare reads that give you insights on improving your leadership abilities in the workplace, improving your interactions with family and friends, and understanding how and why coaching makes all the difference in a team's success is an important first step.

All great coaches challenge others to stretch themselves to reach the best results and for the recipient to get to their full potential. This book teaches you how to do it in practical ways.

The Coaching Effect model proposed in the book is well-researched and illustrated with rich stories and examples.

While the focus is primarily on coaching sales teams, the Growth Rings theory applies to any organization or circumstance.

This powerful book will leave you with a greater understanding of yourself and others and equip you with the tools you need to be an effective coach in any situation.

The Coaching Effect is the best choice if you're looking for a book that will improve your coaching skills.

What You Should Know About The Authors

Sarah Wirth began her career as a talent analyst for an international human resources firm, assisting CEOs in organizations ranging from tiny not-for-profits to Fortune 500 companies.

With companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Estee Lauder, Ritz Carlton, Cheesecake Factory, and others, she has addressed executives from all corners of the globe.

Her expertise in coaching and leadership, combined with her fact-based and common-sense approach to their application, make her a sought-after presenter and podcaster.

Bill Eckstrom's primary passion is growth - especially how coaches and leaders impact the growth and performance of individuals and teams. 

Bill's love for selling led him to establish the EcSell Institute, a research-based organization that works with executives from all over the world to help them better understand, quantify, and maximize coaching's impact on performance.

He has presented to hundreds of groups and is a popular guest on podcasts and shows around the world. 

Bill was invited to the TEDx stage in 2017, and his talk entitled "Why Comfort Will Ruin Your Life" is the fastest-growing TEDx Talk in the event's history.

Co-Active Coaching, Fourth Edition.
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Why People Love This Book

People love this book because it is an excellent resource for new coaches. In addition, it provides a clear and concise framework for conducting transformative conversations.

The book also includes helpful tools and resources that new coaches can use to further develop their skills.

This book has a great overview of coaching with a valuable emphasis on the relationship between coach and coachee. 

This is a magnificent book on a subject that comes up frequently in the field of coaching. The author of this book does a great job at defining each stage and communicating how to use it, giving us an excellent overview of this topic.

The book's layout is ideal for helping you create a mental framework without being overly obscure.

Additionally, it doesn't read like a promotion for the coaching credentials. It deconstructs the co-active model in a way that makes it simple to use and understand.

No matter what other modalities you may work with, this will give you a solid and reliable foundation for your coaching.

It's a good book for those starting out in the coaching or management field. It goes over the different levels of listening, which are helpful to know. 

And the book comes with links to free download for coaching, which the readers thought would be useful for newbies.

What You Should Know About The Authors

With Laura Whitworth, Henry Kimsey-House, and other early figures in the coaching industry, Karen Kimsey-House established CTI in 1992.

Together, they created the Co-Active philosophy of relationship that informs CTI's world-renowned coaching and leadership programs. Karen is also a blogger for The Huffington Post. 

Committed to pioneering Co-Activity in challenging environments and troubled populations, Kimsey-House continues to lead CTI workshops and is a dynamic keynote speaker worldwide.

Henry Kimsey-House, a pioneering professional coach in the 1980s, is the co-founder and principal architect of CTI's innovative experiential learning programs.

Since he was nine years old, Kimsey-House has been acting. Through classical theatrical instruction and years of theater, television, and film experience, he has developed his understanding of human emotion and the storytelling process.

Coaching FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked questions about coaching.

What type of coaching is most effective?

There are different types of coaching, but somatic coaching and executive leadership coaching are two of the most effective. Somatic coaching helps people to understand and improve their physical performance, while executive leadership coaching supports leaders in developing their skills and abilities. 

What are the 5 coaching skills?

Executive leadership coaching is the most effective type of coaching. It helps individuals develop their skills as leaders and improve their ability to achieve results through other people. 

What are the 6 coaching steps?

The six coaching steps are:

1. Establishing the coaching relationship

2. Defining the issue or goal

3. Identifying resources and obstacles

4. Developing a plan of action

5. Implementing the plan of action

6. Evaluating the results and refining the process as necessary

What are the 3 main coaching styles?

There are three main coaching styles: authoritarian, laissez-faire, and democratic.

The authoritarian coaching style is very directive and requires its athletes to follow their instructions to the letter.

Laissez-faire coaches take a hands-off approach and allow their athletes to make their own decisions.

Democratic coaches balance the two extremes and give their athletes some freedom while providing guidance and direction.

What makes an excellent coach?

- An excellent coach is someone who can help you reach your full potential and motivate you to strive for success.

How do I get better at coaching?

Listen attentively and be patient. One of the most important things for a coach is to listen carefully to their athletes and not rush them through their workouts. Instead, make sure you take the time to understand what they're saying and help them troubleshoot any problems they're having.

What are the coaching techniques?

The coaching techniques are as follows:

1) Establish trust by creating a safe and respectful environment.

2) Offer unconditional positive regard.

3) Help the client to explore and define their goals.

4) Encourage the client to take action towards their goals.

5) Facilitate self-discovery and development.

6) Support the client in their journey of change.

What is the difference between coaching and mentoring?

The difference between coaching and mentoring is that coaching focuses on the present and future while mentoring focuses on the past. Coaching is about helping people improve their performance in the here and now, while mentoring is about sharing wisdom and experience from the past. 

What is a good coaching philosophy?

A good coaching philosophy focuses on the players' development rather than their results. As a coach, your job is to help players become the best versions of themselves on and off the court.

How do you coach a leader?

Some tips on how to coach a leader include focusing on their goals and helping them develop a plan of action to achieve them, providing support and feedback, and being encouraging while still being honest.

What behaviors should a coach have?

A coach should be patient, understanding, and able to work with various personality types. In addition, they should be someone who is organized and can keep track of their team's schedule and practices.

What knowledge do coaches need?

Coaches need to have a comprehensive understanding of the game they are coaching. This includes an intimate knowledge of the rules, strategies, and techniques involved.

What is effective coaching?

Coaching is effective when it creates a space for people to explore what they want and identify what might be getting in their way. It's also effective when it provides support and guidance as people take steps towards their goals.

What are the 7 coaching tools framework?

The coaching tools framework is a model that breaks down coaching interventions into seven categories:

1. Relationship building

2. Questioning and listening

3. Clarifying understanding

4. Supporting self-discovery

5. Facilitating change

6. Evaluating progress and outcomes

7. Closing the coaching intervention

What are the nine legal duties of a coach?

1. The coach must always act in the athlete's best interests.

2. The coach must provide accurate and appropriate information to the athlete. 

3. The coach should adhere to ethical principles. 

4. The coach should seek opportunities for their athletes to improve performance. 

5. The coach should ensure that athletes are healthy and safe. 

6. The coach should respect athlete autonomy, privacy, and dignity. 

7. The coach should communicate appropriately with parents or guardians of athletes under 18 years. 

8. The coach should respect the confidentiality of information shared by athletes and protect their rights.

9. The coach should promote sportsmanship and positive values​​in athletes."

What is pedagogy coaching?

Pedagogy coaching is a type of professional development for educators that focuses on the art and science of teaching. It's a way for teachers to learn new classroom strategies and techniques and reflect on their coaching practice and how they can continue to improve.

What is the golden rule of coaching?

The golden rule of coaching is always to keep your word. You made a commitment to help this person better themselves, sometimes by making tough decisions and saying things they may not want to hear.

How do I start my own coaching model?

If you are a life coach, the first step to starting your own coaching business is understanding what coaching is and how it can help people.

Which mistake do coaches often make in practices?

One mistake that coaches often make is spending too much time on skills your team has already mastered. For example, if your team is consistently nailing three-pointers, there's no need to spend another hour practicing shooting. 

Best Coaching Books For You?

Coaching is an art. It requires the right balance of emotions and knowledge to transmit information and influence people. 

After extensive research, we have presented what we believe are the 5 best coaching books that can be used to get ideas, inspiration, and an overview of some coaching techniques you may not have already been exposed to.

Pick the one that best suits your current situation that you are looking for help on, or read all 5 for a varied experience and overview of the coaching topic.

Our personal favorite is "The HeART of Laser-Focused Coaching," as it is jam-packed with concepts that will give you fresh and extremely practical ideas to try. Click here to check it out now on Amazon.

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