8 Coaching Books to Help You  Build a Solid Foundation

8 Coaching Books to Help You Build a Solid Foundation
August 24, 2022
Table of Contents

A newly-certified coach is encouraged to get to coaching as soon as his/her coach training ends – whether it’s peer coaching or pro-bono. The idea is to get as much on-ground practice as possible while all that new information from the training is still fresh. And there’s a lot of merit in that – our team of coaches at Simply.Coach will attest to it! 

But another thing we recommend is to continue learning. While your coach training may be over, the real learning actually begins once you go into the real world and work with real clients. In this process, what can help immensely is supplementing these sessions and your coach training material with books that will add value and knowledge to your journey as a new coach.  

Here are 8 coaching books recommended by Simply.Coach team to help you build a strong foundation: 

1. Co-Active Coaching: The Proven Framework for Transformative Conversations at Work and In Life 

Written by the founders of the Coaches Training Institute – Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl, and Laura Whitworth – Co-Active Coaching was referred to as the ‘bible of coaching guides’ by Stephen R. Covey – the author of the book ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. A great resource for beginners, it breaks down the fundamentals of coaching and provides models to hold constructive discussions and build strong inter-personal relationships.  

The book contains ethical guidelines to follow, coaching frameworks, in-depth coaching philosophies as well as many practice exercises, examples, and advice to support you in understanding the core of coaching. You can expect to get tips on active listening, people-reading, and deepening engagement as well as how to apply the principles of good coaching in practice.  

Note: The latest two editions, according to the authors, have been ‘extensively revised’ to include aspects of coaching and leadership. If you’re headed in the same direction with regards to your niche, then get the latest edition; if you’re a life coach then we suggest you pick up the second edition. 

You can buy ‘Co-Active Coaching’ here

2. Transformational Life Coaching: Creating Limitless Opportunities for Yourself and Others 

Written by Cherie Carter-Scott, who’s been a veteran in the coaching industry since 1974, Transformational Life Coaching contains several strategies that Dr. Carter-Scott uses in her own practice with her clients along with specific tools used by her to train coaches. These strategies cover aspects such as: marketing yourself and creating a supportive community, creating a pro-client coaching environment, bringing solid positive change to clients’ lives, empowering clients to face individual challenges, mapping an actioned plan to realize objectives, and much more. 

An aspect that makes this book unique is its exploration of the coaching process both from the perspective of the coach and the client – thus providing varying insights into the coaching relationship

You can buy ‘Transformational Life Coaching’ here.

If you’re looking to build a strong relationship with your client, you’ll find this blog very useful! 

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

Coaching Questions addresses a major component of coaching: the importance and art of asking the right questions. For this book, author Tony Stoltzfus partnered up with twelve other successful coaches to compile a range of exercises that help aspiring coaches get better at this very skill. The book expands on what questions to ask, how to ask them, and when to ask them to get the best answers from the client. 

To top it all off, you will find a repository of almost 1,200 different varieties of questions you can ask in real coaching scenarios! 

You can buy ‘Coaching Questions’ here

4. Becoming a Professional Life Coach: Lessons from the Institute of Life Coach Training 

Written by Patrick Williams (a long-serving life coach and founder of the Institute of Life Coaching) and Diane S. Menendez, this book utilizes the lessons and teachings from Patrick’s courses, training, and workshops at ILCT to provide a seamless path to understand the fundamentals of life coaching. It touches upon and explores everything from communication & listening skills to language, effective questioning, and preparing for a successful coaching session. 

You can buy ‘Becoming a Professional Life Coach’ here

5. The Life Coaching Handbook: Everything You Need to be an Effective Life Coach 

The Life Coaching Handbook, written by Curly Martin (who has been a life coach, author and NLP Master Practitioner for over 20 years), is considered to be an essential guide for life coaches. 

This handbook reveals what life coaching truly is, how to coach oneself and others effectively, and how create & sustain a successful coaching practice. It is a great resource for anyone new to the profession of life coaching (as well as HR managers, NLP practitioners, training professionals, counsellors, and therapists) and contains walk-through scenarios, questioning techniques, resources, and activities to help one become an effective life coach. 

You can buy ‘The Life Coaching Handbook’ here

6. The Ultimate Guide to Coaching: A Comprehensive Guide to Effective Coaching for Novice & Seasoned Coaches 

Co-written by award-winning Leadership Coach & NLP Trainer Vikram Dhar and personal mastery coach Rashmi T.K, The Ultimate Coaching Guide is a must-have for every newly-certified coach as a convenient go-to for all things coaching.  

The book covers a wide range of topics from different types of coaching, ethics & challenges of coaching, latest developments in the areas of neuroscience, emotional intelligence, and positive psychology and how they play out in coaching, different coaching frameworks, models and tools, case studies, the business of coaching, coaching essentials (contracts and checklists), coaching in post-pandemic times, and much more.  

The book is easy to read and well-structured, so you can pick and choose which specific section you want to learn more about and start from there or read it in a regular chronological manner – anything goes.  

You can buy ‘The Ultimate Coaching Handbook’ here

7. Life Coaching for Dummies 

A book often recommended to newly-certified coaches to pick up as a supplement to their coach training, Life Coaching for Dummies by Jeni Purdie is a go-to for many newbies in the coaching world. The idea behind the ‘for dummies’ series is to break down complex subjects into easy-to-digest and engaging pieces of information, and this one on coaching does exactly that.  

Certified not too long ago, Anxiety Coach Prachi Kansara says “I often refer to this book due to its simple language and easy-to-understand concepts. The elaborate explanations in the book help one understand different aspects of coaching easily.” 

You can expect to find many tips, techniques, resources, and guidance to improve personal performance, find balance, set priorities, and achieve goals in this book. 

You can buy ‘Life Coaching for Dummies’ here

8. Coaching Skills: A Handbook 

Written by Jenny Rogers, Coaching Skills presents a very straight-forward and easy-to-understand approach to providing insights into coaching as well as a glimpse at the learning that occurs for both the coach and the client. 

The book touches upon must-have skills for every coach, being present in front of the client, how to manage your own anxieties as a coach, learning to create trust with the client, and encouraging them to learn. For life and executive coaches alike, Coaching Skills is full of many coaching examples that one can draw from and apply to their own independent practices.  

You can buy ‘Coaching Skills’ here


1. What are some of the most popular coaching books? 

Some of the most popular books on coaching include: Co-Active Coaching (by Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl, and Laura Whitworth), Life Coaching for Dummies (by Jeni Purdie), Coaching Questions (by Tony Stoltzfus), The Life Coaching Handbook (by Curly Martin), The Prosperous Coach (by Steve Chandler, Rich Litvin, and Maurice Bassett), The Coaching Habit (by Michael Bungay Stanier), Coach the Person Not the Problem (by Dr Marcia Reynolds), and the list goes on! 

About Simply.Coach

Simply.Coach is an enterprise-grade coaching software designed to be used by individual coaches and coaching businesses. Trusted by ICF-accredited and EMCC-credentialed coaches worldwide, Simply.Coach is on a mission to elevate the experience and process of coaching with technology-led tools and solutions.  

About the author
Content Marketing Manager @Simply.Coach

Ipsita Nayak is a full-time writer-editor-content strategist and a part-time NLP coach & yoga teacher. She believes conventions are overrated, has a disproportionate need for solo time over social time, and loves a good mix of sci-fi and trashy TV in her free time!

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