Are you a new coach or a professional one? Whatever your answer, life coaching requires neverending learning, deep knowledge, and skills to make a profound impact. 

Going through my ICF coaching practice, I’ve created a list of the best books on life coaching that took my coaching journey to new heights. These best life coaching books highlight foundational principles and advanced coaching methodologies. Each book offers a unique perspective and practical wisdom to improve your coaching practice and build a successful coaching business.

Are you ready to get inspiration, guidance, and tools to become a catalyst for positive change? Let’s go through the list of the best books for coaching to unlock the potential within ourselves and others, one page at a time.

12 Best Books For Coaches

1. Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives

by Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl, and Laura Whitworth

co-active listening

It is the coaching bible and the best book for life coaching! Stephen R. Covey, the mastermind behind “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” described this book as the ultimate coaching guide. Now, in its extensively revised 4th edition, “Co-Active Coaching” empowers leaders, managers, and professionals in all fields to embrace coaching as an essential skill for driving workplace engagement to new heights.

What this book is all about:

  • Co-active coaching model and how to implement it in coaching sessions;
  • Transformative conversations;
  • Coaching techniques;
  • Professional and personal coaching
  • Coaching skills and competencies
  • Cultural competency and inclusion
  • Leadership development
  • Case studies and examples
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2. The Life Coaching Handbook

by Curly Martin

the coaching handbook

“The Life Coaching Handbook” is an indispensable resource for coaches, NLP practitioners, human resources managers, training professionals, counselors, and anyone curious about life coaching. 

What this book is all about:

  • Understanding life coaching;
  • Effective coaching techniques;
  • Coaching yourself and others;
  • How to establish a successful coaching practice;
  • Integration of NLP;
  • Real-world examples 
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3. Coaching for Performance, 5th Edition: The Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership

by Sir John Whitmore, John McFarlane

coaching for performance

One of the best books for coaching! I love how this book explores the measurement of coaching benefits as a return on investment. It shows the secrets behind driving productivity, growth, and engagement. At the heart of this edition lies the influential GROW model that has revolutionized the coaching landscape. It empowers coaches, leaders, and organizations to achieve unprecedented success.

What this book is all about:

  • Engaging exercises
  • Real-world corporate examples
  • Coaching dialogues 
  • Practical tools for coaches 
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4. The Prosperous Coach: Increase Income and Impact for You and Your Clients

by Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin

The prosperous coach

If you are starting or growing a coaching business, this book is must read. With over 100,000 copies sold, this bestselling guide is a game-changer for coaches and consultants seeking to attract high-performing, high-paying clients through invitation and referral only. I recommend reading this book to anyone who builds a six-figure coaching business.

What this book is all about:

  • How to create new clients;
  • How to develop a repeatable referral system; 
  • Bold proposals and how to create them;
  • How to overcome limiting beliefs;
  • How to provide powerful service and become a world-class coach. 
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5. Coaching Questions: A Coach’s Guide to Powerful Asking Skills

by Tony Stoltzfus

coaching questions

It is one of the best books on life coaching and pure gold for coaches! The power of asking powerful questions helps foster deep self-reflection, unlock potential, and facilitate transformative change. Tony Stoltzfus, with 12 seasoned professional coaches, created a comprehensive toolkit of valuable asking tools, models, and exercises. The book contains over 1,000 examples of penetrating questions. This book is a go-to resource for coaches at all levels of expertise.

What this book is all about:

  • Asking strategies;
  • The top ten asking mistakes commonly made by coaches;
  • Real-life question examples;
  • A four-part life-purpose model to run impactful coaching conversations;
  • 15 coaching niches overview; 
  • Training exercises to become a “Master of Asking.”
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6. The Power of TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic): 10th Anniversary Edition

by David Emerald

the power of TED

The author explains how the way you lead your life impacts all other areas. This book is a powerful tool for executive and life coaches to help clients to enhance communication, foster better relationships, and embrace growth-oriented solutions.

The book tells the story of David, who initially feels victimized by life’s circumstances, and his journey through a transformative path from the Victim role to becoming a Creator of his life. 

What this book is all about:

  • The power of self-leadership;
  • The roles we have in life;
  • How to create a life filled with joy and fulfillment;
  • The tools and insights to transform your life and create the desired relationships.
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7. Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart: A Systems Approach to Engaging Leaders with Their Challenges

by Mary Beth A. O’Neill

executive coaching

Add this book to your coaching must-read list if you are an executive coach or work with leaders. It brings structure and clarity to how executive coaching works and provides a roadmap for coaches to engage leaders effectively and support them in overcoming their most pressing challenges.

What this book is all about:

  1. Practical guidance and tools 
  2. Real-life examples
  3. The role of results-oriented coaching
  4. A systems-based approach to coaching
  5. How to empower self-reflection to gain insights and self-awareness.
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8. The Coaching Mindset: 8 Ways to Think Like a Coach

by Chad Hall

the coach mindset book

I love this book because it is a quick and straight-to-the-point read. Chad Hall, an experienced coach, and trainer, identified a common barrier that hinders new coaches from becoming exceptional coaches. The key lies not in what they do but in how they think. This book outlines eight specific ways coaches need to cultivate their thinking. 

What this book is all about:

  • Eight essential ways of thinking like a coach;
  • Valuable insights and practical strategies for coaches;
  • The mindset necessary to navigate coaching conversations with ease, intuition, and impactful outcomes;
  • The crucial aspects of thinking that set exceptional coaches apart. 
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9. Who The F*ck Am I To Be A Coach?!: A Warrior’s Guide to Building a Wildly Successful Coaching Business From the Inside Out

by Megan Jo Wilson

best book for coaches

This a great book for building a successful coaching business! It is not just another business guide. It’s a powerful resource that can help you turn your calling into a thriving and profitable coaching business. 

Megan Jo Wilson, who has guided hundreds of warrior coaches, shares invaluable insights on how to serve clients, make a difference, and build a profitable business without sacrificing your authenticity. 

What this book is all about:

  • How to find and enroll clients who are eager to work with you;
  • How to price your coaching services;
  • The inside-out approach to transform your mindset and guide you to success.
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10. Coach the Person, Not the Problem: A Guide to Using Reflective Inquiry

by Marcia Reynolds

coach book

This book goes beyond traditional open-ended questions and delves into the transformative power of reflecting on clients’ words and expressions. Marcia Reynolds explains how by hearing their thoughts, opinions, and beliefs spoken by someone else, clients gain fresh perspectives and gain deeper insights into how their thinking impacts their goals.

What this book is all about:

  • Reflective inquiry as a powerful tool for coaching transformation
  • How to create a safe and supportive space for your clients
  • Five essential practices of reflective inquiry
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11. Stop Overthinking: 23 Techniques to Relieve Stress, Stop Negative Spirals, Declutter Your Mind, and Focus on the Present 

by Nick Trenton 

stop overthinking book

As a coach, you frequently work with clients trapped in a never-ending cycle of overthinking. This book will help you understand how to break free from self-imposed mental prison and embrace a calmer existence.

This book guides you through a journey of rewiring your brain, gaining control over your thoughts, and transforming your mental habits. 

What this book is all about:

  • Proven coaching techniques to embrace a more positive mindset;
  • Powerful ways to stop ruminating and dwelling on negative thoughts;
  • How to identify triggers that lead to negative spirals;
  • How to overcome stress attacks;
  • How to become more productive and achieve goals faster.
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12. The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever

by Michael Bungay Stanier

the coaching habit book

Bungay Stanier shares practical coaching skills that unlock the full potential of people. His transformative approach to coaching integrates seamlessly into modern daily routines, allowing anyone to achieve better impact with less effort. If you are in business coaching, this book will help you work with clients more effectively. It unveils seven essential coaching questions that revolutionize a leadership style.

What this book is all about:

  1. How to cut to the core of any conversation;
  2. How to stay focused and on track during interactions;
  3. How to help others save time by providing them with the tools to solve their challenges;
  4. How to dive deep into interpersonal or external obstacles and find effective solutions.
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Sum Up

Remember, your journey as a life coach is a continuous process of growth and learning. Embrace the insights read in the best books on life coaching and let them fuel your passion for helping others unlock their full potential. Stay curious, open-minded, and committed to your own personal and professional development.

Let these books be your guiding lights, illuminating the path toward becoming the best life coach you can be. And your dedication to coaching and empowering others will undoubtedly shape a bright and fulfilling future. Your journey starts now!



Tetiana is a business coach and owner of IStartHub, a business media for ambitious female entrepreneurs and small business owners.