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Top 25+ Best Books for Life Coaches

Last updated on February 16, 2024

Growth knows no boundaries, so no matter where you stand as a life coach, there is always room for expanding your knowledge and broadening your horizons. 

When it comes to seeking guidance and inspiration, life coach books serve as invaluable resources. They can provide a wealth of insights on various topics such as personal well-being, coaching skills, business strategies, career development, and more.

If you’re looking for new books to add to your nightstand, dive into our broad collection of best books for life coaches. From unlocking happiness to evidence-based strategies for goal attainment, this reading list offers something for every curious mind. 

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Best Life Coaching Books

1. The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay-Stanier

Even though this book is written for managers and leaders who wish to adopt a coaching approach in their roles, it’s brimming with ideas and helpful reminders about effective coaching techniques.

The Coaching Habit is a concise and easily digestible book, and the author covers seven essential coaching questions, diving into each one in dedicated chapters. Each chapter concludes with a section on developing a new habit centered around the core purpose of the question. 

Besides being an excellent read that you can finish in one sitting, The Coaching Habit reveals some powerful methods for managing and shaping interactions with clients.

2. The Life Coaching Handbook by Curly Martin

This book is a comprehensive guide to the fundamentals of life coaching. It provides explanations and a wealth of tips and techniques for enhancing coaching skills. Topics include language patterns, reframing, the basics of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and much more. 

It also briefly touches upon building a coaching business, but be warned, this information is basic, contains UK references, and may be somewhat outdated. However, the true value lies in the book’s ability to offer new ideas, inspiration, an overview of lesser-known coaching techniques, and a collection of coaching questions to explore. It is highly recommended for aspiring life coaches looking for fresh insights and inspiration.

3. Coaching For Performance by John Whitmore

Coaching For Performance: Growing People, Performance and Purpose is the ultimate guidebook for high-performance coaches, talent managers, performance consultants, and other professionals. It features the well-known GROW model which revolutionized the coaching industry. 

The focus is on the importance of empowering individuals to reach their full potential, which will consequently have an impact on increased productivity, growth, and engagement. What we like about this book are the real-life examples, coaching dialogues, and practical exercises.

4. The Clarity Method by Tim Brownson

The Clarity Method is a vital coaching tool for individuals seeking clear goals, better decision-making, and success based on their inner beliefs. This method leads to identifying barriers to success, getting a deeper understanding of others, accelerating breakthroughs, building rapport, making wiser decisions, and becoming an inspiring coach. Tim Brownson gets bonus points for including extra resources like videos, worksheets, and example values lists. 

5. Coach the Person, Not the Problem by Dr. Marcia Reynolds

In her book, Coach the Person, Not the Problem, Dr. Marcia Reynolds addresses the issue of coaches relying on checklists and searching for the perfect question, which limits their ability to be present and responsive to clients. The purpose of the book is to teach you how to be more present, and thus, more effective. 

The book is divided into three parts. The first part explores the power of coaching, then it goes into debunking unhelpful coaching beliefs, and the last part introduces you to Reynolds’s five essential practices like Active Replay and Goaltending. The author also shares important mental habits for coaches to adopt and how to embrace the art of being in the moment.

6. Co-Active Coaching by Kimsey-House, Sandahl, Whitworth

The first edition of this book, authored by Laura Whitworth and her collaborators, played a pivotal role in shaping the coaching industry into a cultural and commercial phenomenon.

Co-Active Coaching can be the ideal book for those looking to learn about different coaching styles. It also teaches you how to embrace the popular Co-Active Coaching method based on five key skills: listening, curiosity, intuition, self-management, and deepening. 

If you want to enrich your coaching toolbox with another useful tool, you won’t regret throwing Co-Active Coaching in your shopping cart. 

7. The Evidence-Based Coaching edited by Stober and Grant 

If you’re looking for a data-driven reference that combines coaching tools with empirical studies, Evidence-Based Coaching is a must-read. It provides a comprehensive and evidence-based exploration of coaching, combining frameworks and case studies to showcase the science behind effective coaching. 

The Evidence-Based Coaching can serve as a helpful resource for coaches as it introduces practical methods to integrate personal expertise with coaching tools and frameworks tailored to meet each client’s unique needs. 

8. Effective Group Coaching by Jennifer Britton

Jennifer Britton is a renowned expert in team, group, and virtual coaching. Her book is a must-read guide for anyone working with groups, whether in the form of group sessions, webinars, or workshops. 

Be prepared to dive deep into various aspects of group coaching, including group dynamics, core skills, designing your own group program, and so on. You’ll also get access to practical examples, checklists, and exercises, so the book is highly engaging as well. 

9. The Prosperous Coach by Steve Chandler & Rich Litvin

The Prosperous Coach is a bestseller and our top selection for a practical and valuable handbook for building a successful coaching business. Authors Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin share unconventional and thought-provoking ideas on how to attract and serve high-paying clients while staying true to your coaching philosophy. 

This book delivers essential tips and strategies to craft personalized proposals, overcome self-limiting beliefs, and successfully market your coaching services. It highlights the importance of relationship marketing, leveraging referrals and word-of-mouth to grow your business. Additionally, The Prosperous Coach delves into how to become a transformational coach, which can be an additional bonus for coaches specializing in that field. 

10. Creating Your Best Life by Caroline Miller

Creating Your Best Life is a groundbreaking book that combines positive psychology, coaching, and goal-setting theory to reveal the path toward greater happiness and life satisfaction. 

This practical guide includes exercises and worksheets to help set and achieve goals in key areas of life. This engaging and highly useful book is particularly valuable for coaches interested in the power of positive psychology and self-development.

11. Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins is among the most renowned life coaches today, and his literary work carries a lot of insightful tips for growth. Awaken The Giant Within is designed to help you take control of your life and achieve personal and professional success. 

Robbins shares strategies, practical techniques, and mindset shifts to unlock one’s full potential and overcome limiting beliefs. He also introduces NLP concepts that are easy to apply but have great potential to transform lives. If you want to learn some new tricks while also experiencing personal growth and self-mastery, this can be the book for you. 

12. The HeART of Laser-Focused Coaching by Marion Franklin

The HeART of Laser-Focused Coaching is potentially the best book for coaches looking to enhance their skills and improve their results. It is filled with ideas that prompt reflection and provide practical techniques for working with clients. 

The Laser Coaching Method is explained through examples that demonstrate its impact on coaching focus and outcomes. We also like that there are questions that inspire self-reflection, so instead of just passively reading, this book motivates you to do some active thinking.

Marion Franklin’s book is valuable for coaches at any stage, but it is particularly beneficial for experienced coaches seeking fresh perspectives and approaches. 

13. The Portable Coach by Thomas J. Leonard

The Portable Coach is a fun book with a treasure trove of ideas and activities for both coaching and personal development. It is broken up into 28 principle-based chapters, each providing 10 practical ways to implement the concepts. 

With quotes, distinctions, and progress indicators in every chapter, it’s an inspiring resource that can be easily picked up for random insights and inspiration. If you appreciate positive thinking, wish to recognize the influence of beliefs on your life, and seek to make the most out of life, this book should be on your TBR list.

14. The Discomfort Zone by Dr. Marcia Reynolds

The Discomfort Zone is jam-packed with examples, tips, and techniques for going beyond results-focused coaching and achieving breakthrough coaching. It will teach you how to cultivate full-body presence and listen not just with the head but also with the heart and gut. 

The book provides guidance on helping clients uncover blind spots, embracing discomfort for transformation, and using “discomfort zone” opportunities to foster growth. If you want to adopt new practical ways of guiding clients to transformation, you can find the desired solution in this book. 

15. Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

When it comes to fundamental skills for successful coaching, communication occupies the pinnacle of must-have abilities. That’s why Never Split the Difference has a deserving spot on our list. This is a highly practical and insightful book on communication that offers effective tools for achieving results in negotiations and everyday conversations. 

Author Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator, presents techniques like mirroring, labeling, tactical empathy, and calibrated questions, and supports them with real-world examples. Voss provides specific insights that can be immediately applied to enhance communication with individual clients, groups, collaborators, family, friends, or anyone else.

And More…

For further reading, we suggest exploring these additional titles:

  1. Coaching Questions: A Coach’s Guide to Powerful Asking Skills by Tony Stoltzfus 
  2. Coach to Coach by Martin Rooney
  3. Making Habits, Breaking Habits By Jeremy Dean
  4. Conscious Coaching by Brett Bartholomew
  5. The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
  6. Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success by Carol S. Dweck
  7. The Gifts Of Imperfection by Brene Brown 
  8. Your Brain At Work by David Rock
  9. The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Shwartz
  10. Methods of Persuasion by Nick Kolenda
  11. Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hansen
  12. How To Be Brilliant by Michael Heppell

You’ll find even more recommendations in our interviews with Featured Coaches.

Conclusion

These top books on how to be a life coach can not only enhance your coaching abilities but also facilitate growth for both you and those you work closely with. 

The belief that learning never ceases holds true, no matter your level of expertise. So, grab your reading glasses and get ready for an extraordinary literary journey that will leave you motivated, inspired, and equipped with new perspectives. 

Also, don’t forget to share your personal favorites in the comments if you have any recommendations that didn’t make it to our list.

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