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The 25 Best Coaching Books of All Time (2023)

What are the top coaching books of all time?

Today, you’ll get the 25 top books in coaching to become a great coach. You’ll also learn what books to read to build your own, successful coaching business.

Want to learn more? Let’s dive in! 

We’ll cover: 

Best coaching books of all time

Business books for coaches

Books for life coaches 

The best coaching books of all time

Want to become a great coach? 

These books help you develop your skills as a coach. Note: They’re the best books of all time based on different rankings – I haven’t personally read them all.

If you’re looking to coach better, then these books give you everything from coaching theories, methods, and concepts to coaching questions and group facilitation guides. 

They include the best leadership coaching books, as well as books that teach more general coaching skills. 

Read on!

The Prosperous Coach: Increase Income and Impact for You and Your Clients by Steve Chandler, Rich Litvin, and Maurice Bassett


“The Prosperous Coach” is one of the bestselling books on coaching worldwide. This is a practical handbook packed with tips on building a coaching business. 

You’ll learn how to create personalized proposals, bust through self-limiting beliefs, and market your coaching business well.

“The Prosperous Coach” also covers how to be a great and transformational coach. The focus is on relationship marketing to grow your business – that is, referrals or word of mouth. 

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6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

Coaching Questions: A Coach’s Guide to Powerful Asking Skills by Tony Stoltzfus 


One of the top skills you can have as a coach is to know how to ask the right questions during coaching sessions.

“Coaching Questions” is the ultimate guide to asking thought-provoking coaching questions. This book covers all the most common coaching models such as GROW. 

The author, Tony Stoltzfus, who is a Master Coach Trainer, gathered 12 other expert coaches to share exercises, models, and theories to help you ask better questions.

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


If you’re new to coaching and still in a nine-to-five job, “The Coaching Habit” is a great place to start. Michael Bungay Stanier shares how anyone can be more impactful as a leader by learning coaching principles. The book talks about how to motivate and inspire others through insightful questions and positive psychology.

Coach to Coach: An Empowering Story About How to Be a Great Leader by Martin Rooney


“Coach to Coach” is an easy-to-read parable of an older coach and a younger coach who mutually benefit one another. The principles in this book work well for new coaches because it covers the basics of mentoring in a unique way.

Even if you’ve been coaching for years, this is a quick reference book for inspiration and techniques on how to coach your clients to achieve their goals. 

Conscious Coaching: The Art and Science of Building Buy-In by Brett Bartholomew


“Conscious Coaching” helps you become a better leader and coach in the corporate and business world. It approaches the art of coaching from a completely different perspective than the other books on this list by focusing on trust.

Co-Active Coaching: The Proven Framework for Transformative Conversations at Work and in Life by Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl, and Laura Whitworth


An all-time top coaching book? 

“Co-Active Coaching” is known as “the coaching bible” by many. The book follows the popular Co-Active Coaching method, which consists of five key skills:

  1. Listening
  2. Curiosity
  3. Intuition
  4. Self-management
  5. Deepening 

The focus is on the relationship you have with your student.  Personally, I use my own coaching methodology (more on that below). However, the Co-Active method is an established methodology and if you’re curious about different coaching styles, then you can benefit from reading this book. 

The Secrets of Facilitation by Michael Wilkinson


As a facilitator, a skill that’s essential for effective group coaching sessions, you know how to work with a group by developing your communication and interpersonal skills. That’s what “The Secrets of Facilitation” is all about. Consider this a manual on how to motivate, inspire, and guide people in a group setting. 

Michael Wilkinson is an expert facilitator who pours his knowledge into easily digestible chunks. You’ll learn how to manage the energy of a group, delegate tasks, spark conversations, and facilitate groups of all sizes. 

Unlocking Potential by Michael K. Simpson, Dr. Marshall Goldsmith


Michael K. Simpson has helped leaders and managers become excellent coaches for over 25 years. In “Unlocking Potential”, he summarizes his best secrets into seven key coaching skills. Those skills are: 

  1. Building trust
  2. Challenging paradigms
  3. Strategic clarity
  4. Flawless execution
  5. Giving effective feedback
  6. Tapping into talent
  7. Moving the middle

That’s it – those are the top coaching books. And if you’re curious about my methodology for coaching, I show you how to become a great coach here:

Next, let’s take a look at the top books for building your coaching business. 

Best business books for coaches

What are the best books for building your coaching business? I’ve listed my favorites below.

I also summarize them here: 

Let’s dig in. 

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill


“Think and Grow Rich” is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of book. The concept that you can pick a goal and think your way to success feels like BS. And I’ll be honest, I completely misunderstood it when I read it the first time. 

But here’s why I think this book is one of the best books for coaches: It teaches you about the power of autosuggestion. As soon as you can reframe your thoughts to positive (but believable) thoughts, you can unlock wild success.  

But people tend to make some BIG mistakes when implementing these ideas. Here’s what I mean: 

Profit First by Mike Michalowicz


“Profit First” is THE book for learning how to manage your finances as a business. So many people run their businesses on a paycheck-to-paycheck basis. Using Mike Michalowicz’s process, you can make your business profitable from the beginning.

If you want to have a business that makes a lot of money and KEEPS a lot of money, you need this book. 

Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxfield Maltz


This is one of the first books I read that made a massive difference in my confidence as an entrepreneur. “Psycho-Cybernetics” teaches you how to change your self-image.

For example, if you think you’re smart, you’ll do better in school than if you don’t believe in your intelligence. And the steps you get in the book help you reprogram your self-image into someone who succeeds in business. 

The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg


Do you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur? That’s the burning question behind this book. The way it answers this question changed my worldview on building a business forever. 

Michael Ellsberg takes you through the seven skills you need to become a successful entrepreneur. His wife is a health coach, so many of the principles in this book have already been tried and tested to create a successful coaching business. 

I love this book so much, I made a video on it! Check it out: 

SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham


Did you grow up thinking selling sleazy? Me too. 

So when I started my entrepreneurial journey, selling was my biggest struggle. This book changed everything. It gives practical advice on how to sell. 

But the best part is the mindset behind selling. SPIN stands for: Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-Payoff. Once I understood selling in these terms, it was a game-changer.

“SPIN Selling” will teach you to be confident and comfortable selling your services to those who need them most. 

Tapping into Wealth by Margeret Lynch


“Tapping into Wealth” is the best book on money I’ve ever read. It breaks down the different subconscious blocks we have around money and how to break through them.

Sounds a little woo-woo? Stay with me.

Your money stories shape the way you manage money and put yourself out there. If you have a subconscious belief that you’re unworthy of money, will never make enough, or are bad with money, guess what? You’re not going to make very much of it! 

That’s why “Tapping into Wealth” is so powerful for your money mindset – you learn how to bust your limiting beliefs around money.

The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday


“The Obstacle is the Way” is about building resilience – something every business owner needs. Because however “easy” someone else’s business might look like, the truth is that it almost never is.

The biggest difference between coaches who succeed in building businesses and those who don’t is the ability to overcome failures along the way.

And that’s what this book helps you master. 

Get the Ultimate Guide

for building a
6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth by T. Harv Eker


Remember what I said about your money mindset? This book teaches you how to think like a wealthy person and change your beliefs around money.

“Secrets to a Millionaire Mind” is a book I believe all coaches who want to build successful businesses should read. 

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber 


“The E-Myth Revisited” is one of my all-time favorites for new business owners. So if you’re just starting to build your coaching business, read this book. Heck, if you’ve been building your business for a while and can’t seem to grow, read it.

You’ll learn what it truly takes to build a business – not one that creates another job for you, but one that affords you freedom and flexibility.

And that’s a wrap. Those are my top coaching business books.

Next, I’ve listed life coaching books. 

Best books for life coaches

These books are all about psychological concepts that will help your clients succeed. Written by academics and psychologists, they help you unlock the science of behavior change and catapult your clients to success. 

Read on!

The Life Coaching Handbook: Everything You Need to Become an Effective Life Coach by Curly Martin


Many life coaching schools recommend “The Life Coaching Handbook,” which teaches you how to become an effective coach. 

The book is divided into three parts. The first part covers the basics of life coaching, from theory to practical techniques.

The second part is about NLP (natural language processing) and how to use it effectively.

The third part is about the Spiral Dynamics model of coaching. NLP and Spiral Dynamics aren’t for everyone, but reading about them can help you develop your personal coaching style. 

Think Big: Take Small Steps and Build the Future You Want by Professor Grace Lordan


If you want to help your clients unlock a realistic vision for the future, this is a great book to study. Instead of selling you on a process that will change your life in a year, Grace Lordan emphasizes realistic achievements within the next five years and mapping out a trajectory to get there.

“Think Big” details the principles of behavioral science that can make you and your clients more successful in changing your lives.  

Burnout by Emily Nagowski and Amelia Nagowski


“Burnout” is a book that helps you as a life coach or mindset coach to change the way your clients think about stress. Written by sisters Emily Nagowski PhD and Amelia Nagowski D.M.A, this book reveals what we’re missing when we talk about burnout and actionable ways to solve it. 

The Sweet Spot by Christine Carter Ph.D


“The Sweet Spot” talk about stress and overwhelm. Christine Carter covers her personal journey to finding balance and happiness in life using evidence-based methods. You’ll learn about positive reinforcement and self-control in a fresh way. 

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth


Angela Duckworth is a popular performance psychologist and academic, especially known for her TED talk on the same topic as this book. “Grit” is all about how people go from good to great with the power of grit. 

With a unique formula, she quantifies exactly how much grit you have right now and how to build more grit in the future. This is a great book for understanding where passion comes from and what keeps people on track to achieve their wildest dreams. 

Get the Ultimate Guide

for building a
6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey


What can a business book from 1989 teach you about modern-day entrepreneurship? More than you think! “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is a classic and it’s all about using interpersonal effectiveness and relationships to succeed in life.

Learn these seven habits to train your clients to become proactive, dynamic, and attractive people in whatever area of life you’re helping them to conquer. 

Over to you!

Now you know the best coaching books to read right now. These books cover everything from developing your coaching skills to building a successful coaching business.

Did I miss any?

Let me know your favorite books in the comments below.

Learn more: 

The Top Coaching Podcasts 

Coaching Business Checklist

What is Coaching?

About Luisa Zhou

Luisa Zhou has helped thousands of students build and scale their own profitable online Freedom Business. Fun Fact: She used to work as an engineer for the Space Station and holds a B.S.E. from Princeton. Click here to learn more about Luisa.

Hope you enjoy this blog post.

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