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The Best Books on Coaching

The Best Books on Coaching

Regardless if you are an experienced coach, or a trainer tapping into exploring and developing coaching skills, this are great books to check out

​​Best books on coaching

Many trainers make a wise decision of complementing their training skills with coaching techniques.
There is a lot of value in such an approach: developing coaching skills means one will become proficient at asking great questions, facilitating thought processes, developing a strong structure of the conversation and practicing really powerful listening skills, and these are all very valuable skills for trainers.
Coaching can also be an impactful way of following up on a training, ensuring that participants really practice the skill that was the topic of the training and deal effectively with any obstacles that might come up on their path of learning.If you are one of those trainers eager to sharpen their coaching skills, keep on reading – here are some great books that might help you do exactly that.
The complete handbook of coaching
1. The Complete Handbook of Coaching by Cox, Bachkirova and Clutterbuck
The name says it all – we can absolutely recommend this book as the most comprehensive book on coaching that is out there. It covers diverse coaching styles and diverse contextual niches. Different chapters cover many narrowly-focused subtopics, from cross-cultural coaching to wellness coaching and many more. Balancing theory and practice, the book contains many questions for reflection as well as concrete examples. It also leaves the reader with a long list of references to check out, in case one would like to dig deeper into any of the topics.

The 7 steps of Effective Executive Coaching
2. The 7 steps of Effective Executive Coaching by Dembkowski, Eldridge and Hunter
The main value of this book is in the very useful ACHIEVE structure for coaching sessions that the book presents. It is an upgraded, broader version of the basic GROW structure that many coaches are using. As such, the framework might be a bit too comprehensive for fresh coaches, for whom it might be better to start with the more simple GROW until they become more comfortable with that type of structure. However, for experienced coaches who wish to upgrade their structure or for anyone who wishes to gain a better understanding of the coaching process in its fullness, it is a great book.

The Coaching Manual
3. The Coaching Manual: The definitive guide to the process, principles and skills of personal coaching: The Definitive Guide to the Process and Skills of Personal Coaching by Julie Starr
A very good book with an overview of the complete coaching process for anyone new to coaching. For experienced coaches, it provides value in presenting a list of really good coaching questions.

Co-active coaching
4. Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives by Kimsey-House, Kimsey-House, Sandahl and Whitworth
The co-active coaching approach is based on a strong partnership and collaboration between the coach and the client. This book goes deep into how to create such a partnership and build a coaching process on top of it. The authors broaden this approach from coaching and apply it to different relationships within organizations, through teaching the reader to build a transformative communication process based on the principles of co-active coaching.

NLP workbook
5. Nlp Workbook: A Practical Guide To Achieving The Results You Want by Joseph O’Connor
Although not directly focused on coaching, this book is packed with many great NLP tools and techniques that are priceless for every coach. Highly recommended!

Practicing-Positive Psychology Coaching6. Practicing Positive Psychology Coaching: Assessment, Activities and Strategies for Success by Robert Biswas-Diener
​In full honesty, this book lags a bit in comparison to other books on this list, in terms of developing coaching skills in general. However, its big advantage is that it provides a long list of tools from positive psychology that can be used in coaching. As positive psychology is the evidence-based side of coaching, it is definitely worth checking it out and trying out many of the presented tools.

344 Questions: The Creative Person’s Do-It-Yourself Guide to Insight, Survival, and Artistic Fulfillment
7. 344 Questions: The Creative Person’s Do-It-Yourself Guide to Insight, Survival, and Artistic Fulfillment by Stefan G. Buche
This book won’t teach you much new about coaching itself, but it is a wonderful source of inspiration, full of creative ideas and original questions. Check it out when you’re looking for some fresh thinking, searching for an original approach and wanting to step out of the routine.

What are your favorites? Let us know, we would love to hear your thoughts in comments!
Action time
Don’t forget: as with any book, these books are a great first step in developing and growing own skills. But the key to learning (as all of us trainers know ;)) is in implementation and gaining experience!
Take a moment to reflect: how can you start practicing and exploring these techniques in your everyday world?
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