*This post is not complete, I have plenty to add, bookmark and check back for updates*
This is the ultimate book list for coaches of all types—transformative, life, personal, leadership, executive, spiritual—forgive me if I missed any.
All coaching niches have at least one commonality; the foundation of our practice begins with our being. Each of these books addresses that in one way or another.
As a coach, I’m always eager to learn how I can have a deeper impact on others. I’ve read numerous books directly and indirectly related to coaching—holding space, belief systems, questioning, transformation, coaching from source, presence, meditation, mindfulness, structure, agendas/no agendas, and the list goes on.
I’ll start off with the books I’ve read, in the order that they have impacted my coaching foundation.
I’ve listed the rest of the books in no particular order. Enjoy!
A Shift in Being
Author: Leon Vanderpol
Focus: Being a catalyst to influence and safe-guard deep change within another
My Thoughts: By far my favourite book on coaching! There’s so much wisdom within these pages. Leon has such an eloquent and simple way of writing about deep topics. He takes us on an inward journey with a balanced blend of psychology, healing and spirituality. I feel Leon does an amazing job helping us feel safe while exploring deep waters. What surprised me was how he was able to keep profound teachings so practical—a true gift inherited by few. The book is infused with many thought-provoking questions which Leon has thoughtfully created a 34-page workbook, for free. It can be accessed with the password you will find at the end of the book. If you’re looking to be a catalyst for deep profound change within your clients and yourself, this book is a must.
Author: Michael Neill
Focus: Coaching 10 areas of life from the inside-out
My Thoughts: Revised from the 2010 version—that I had already read—and just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Michael Neill did it again. This book is an easy read with a different approach than you’re likely used to. Michael introduces us to The Three Principles and how they create our inside-out experience of life. You likely haven’t heard of him as he doesn’t self-promote all that much, but once you read this book you’ll want to read more of his stuff. I’ve read every single one of his books—most of them twice! I’m forever grateful for Michael as he’s the one who introduced me to the Three Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought which has forever transformed my life.
Author: Oscar Trimboli
Focus: The art of deep listening, how to listen in a way that transforms conversations
My Thoughts: One review on Amazon said “A little light on substance, lots of claims but little to back them up. However, the general message is a clear one.” I agree, the message is crystal clear. As for backing up the claims, we mustn’t look any further than our own experience. The claims made in this book can be verified within all our interactions. These fluff-free 119 pages transformed the way I listen more than any books I’ve read combined.
The Holding Space Practice
Author: Carol Webster
Focus: How to hold space for oneself and another
My Thoughts: Short and powerful sums up this little book. Carol teaches us in a clear and concise way what holding space is and how to start practicing it in our own lives. She also sells a companion book that allows one to go through all the exercises outlined in the book. knowing this first would have saved me ample time—I typed up all the exercises and questions as I read before I found out about the companion book! If you are unfamiliar with what it means to hold space or struggle to hold space for others, this book is a must.
The Coaching Habit
Author: Michael Bungay Stanier
Focus: The art of asking questions
My Thoughts: It’s been a while since I read this one—probably a sign to dig into it again. What I do remember is this book is based around 7 core coaching questions. I never would have thought so much detail could go into a single question—never-mind 7—but Michael justifies his teaching and takes us on a journey to master each question. This book got me to re-evaluate how I approach coaching and even my communication within relationships. With coaching being synonymous with the art of questioning, this big is a must for any coach.
The Prosperous Coach
Author: Steve Chandler & Rich Litvin
Focus: Humanize the sales process, from lead generation, to the coaching conversation, to the paying client
My Thoughts: Steve and Rich bring to us a much-needed breath of fresh air within the coaching community. With all the ads now of social media promoting how their course will teach you how to leverage social media to gain clients—this book brings human back into client and lead generation. It will teach you the art of a coaching conversation. What’s that? It’s the conversation with a prospective client, the one you rely on to convert a lead into a paying client. Steve and Rich teach us how to humanize the sales process, starting from where to find leads all the way to the paying client.
Loving What Is
Author: Byron Katie
Focus: Transcend judgement and create new vision
My Thoughts: The teaching within this book is centred around 4 core questions and 4 turn-around questions. It can be easy to overlook the simplicity of ‘The Work’ as she calls it. I can attest to the life-changing practise of The Work as I applied it to my own life. No other book has challenged me to see things as differently as this one has. A must-read if you desire to see clearly and transcend judgement. I read the sequel to this book as well—A Mind At Home With Itself—but the core teaching is the same. My research from those who’ve read both suggests that ‘Loving What Is’ is where one should start their journey with Byron Katie’s teachings. ‘A Mind At Home With Itself’ is a deeper read than its counterpart.
Awaken The Giant Within
Author: Tony Robbins
Focus: Pragmatic and practical approach to change
My Thoughts: More of a self-coaching book than a book on coaching, but the teachings are applicable to all and can be easily integrated into a coaches work if it resonates. For those who don’t know, Tony comes from a NLP background, and this can be seen within his teachings if you’re familiar with NLP. He puts his own spin on it, which I like, and prefer his approach over standard NLP. Tony offers us a pragmatic way to approach to transformation with practical steps along the way. The one thing I don’t like about this book is the fluff. I feel this book could have the same impact in 150-200 pages less, but anyone who knows Tony knows he’s a storyteller.