• Toby Sinclair

What Coaching Book? | A Guide To Help You Coach Better

Updated: Feb 10

What Coaching Book Decision Tree to help Leaders find their perfect coaching book

What Coaching Book?

Over the past decade, I've read many books that have helped improve my coaching practice. This visual is designed to help busy managers, executives, coaches, and anyone exploring how to coach better.

I've read every book listed. There are another 50 or so that didn't make the list. I feel this is the best collection of books to explain the foundations, coaching organisations and personal coaching.

My three personal favourites are:

You can find a short description and link to each book below.

If you'd like to improve your coaching then I created Switch for you. It's a free 5-day self-led program to build a coaching habit. You can find out more and join here

The Foundations

What is coaching?


Coaching for Performance by John Whitmore

The first book most coaches read. It explains the famous GROW model of coaching. It's a great introduction to the theory and practice of coaching.


Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey

Instead of concentrating on how to improve your technique, it starts from the understanding that 'every game is composed of two parts, an outer game and an inner game. A perfect book to explain the principles of coaching.


The Coach's Casebook by Kim Morgan, Geoff Watts

Practical examples of how coaching can help people overcome common traps. For example how coaching can help overcome impost syndrome. Includes real coaching case studies and tools you can use.

Coaching Skills

Active Listening

Time to Think by Nancy Kline

A favourite for many Professional Coaches. The power of effective listening is recognised as an essential tool for good management. In this book, Nancy Kline describes how we can achieve this, and presents a step-by-step guide that can be used in any situation.

Asking Questions

The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stainer

A book to help busy manager learn coaching skills they can use in 10 minutes of less. There are 7 coaching questions shared in the book. These cover most of the situations a manager might find themselves in.

Read my Book Summary

Coaching in Organisations


Senior Teams

Senior Leadership Teams by Ruth Wageman et al.

many CEOs stumble when creating a leadership team. One major challenge is that senior executives often focus more on their individual roles than on the top team's shared work. Without the CEO's careful attention to setting the team up correctly, these high-powered managers often have difficulty pulling together to move their organisation forward.

Read my Book Summary

Coaching Leaders

The Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg

Leaders at Google for over a decade, Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle experienced firsthand how the man fondly known as Coach Bill built trusting relationships, fostered personal growth - even in those at the pinnacle of their careers - inspired courage, and identified and resolved simmering tensions that inevitably arise in fast-moving environments


Giving Advice

Humble Inquiry by Edgar Schein

Communication is essential in a healthy organization. But all too often when we interact with people especially those who report to us we simply tell them what we think they need to know. This shuts them down. To generate bold new ideas, to avoid disastrous mistakes, to develop agility and flexibility, we need to practice Humble Inquiry.

Giving Feedback

Radical Candor by Kim Scott

Radical Candor is the sweet spot between managers who are obnoxiously aggressive on the one side and ruinously empathetic on the other. It is about providing guidance, which involves a mix of praise as well as criticism – delivered to produce better results and help your employees develop their skills and increase success.



Leading Teams by Richard Hackman

Based on extensive research and using compelling examples ranging from orchestras to airline cockpit crews, Leading Teams identifies five essential conditions—a stable team, a clear and engaging direction, an enabling team structure, a supportive organizational context, and the availability of competent coaching—that greatly enhance the likelihood of team success.


Systemic Coaching and Constellations by John Whittington

An introduction to the principles that sustain systems, real-world descriptions of what systemic coaching is and how it can be useful as well as a step-by-step guide to integrating the principles and practices into coaching. Highly practical, Systemic Coaching and Constellations includes a wide range of exercises for application with individuals and teams.

Personal Coaching

The Body

Atomic Habits by James Clear

People think that when you want to change your life, you need to think big. But world-renowned habits expert James Clear has discovered another way. He knows that real change comes from the compound effect of hundreds of small decisions: doing two push-ups a day, waking up five minutes early, or holding a single short phone call.

Read my Book Summary

The Mind

The Chimp Paradox by Prof. Steve Peters

The Chimp Mind Management Model is based on scientific facts and principles, which have been simplified into a workable model for easy use. It will help you to develop yourself and give you the skills, for example, to remove anxiety, have confidence and choose your emotions.

The Spirit

Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl

A prominent Viennese psychiatrist before the war, Viktor Frankl was uniquely able to observe the way that both he and others in Auschwitz coped (or didn't) with the experience. He noticed that it was the men who comforted others and who gave away their last piece of bread who survived the longest - and who offered proof that everything can be taken away from us except the ability to choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances