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Top 12 Books On Mentoring To Make You A Better Coach or Mentor

  • Omer Usanmaz
  • September 5 2023

To do effective coaching or to mentor at the highest levels, you need an enormous amount of intel. One of the ways to tap into this intel is through books from the masters who are experts in the area of coaching, mentoring, and leadership. It can present its enormity of challenge as there are many books on these topics. And reading everything you can find on the coaching and mentoring relationships can be a good idea. But if you are not blessed with the luxury of time and therefore would like to separate the weed from the chaff, this article is for you. We hope these will be beneficial for the participants and administrators of mentoring programs in the workplace and enterprise to make it impactful for employee development and mentoring skills.

There are scholars/life coaches around the globe with two varying schools of thought. The first are the ones who attained and solely believed their credentials through theoretical knowledge, and the other are ones who acquired it through real-life experience and career success. However, both books and real-life experiences are not two roads that never converge. Books are nothing but the written experience of specialists who have already been there and done that. So with their valuable lesson, you will be empowered with educated opinions to make your own choices when similar circumstances arrive. With that being said, if you are tight on time and want a narrowed-down list of comprehensive guide books to get all your coaching questions answered, continue reading. These are the top 12 books on mentoring to make you a better coach or mentor.

Disclaimer: The following mentoring books are not listed in any particular order. They all add something unique to your arsenal for becoming a well-rounded, effective coach.

1- Identity Leadership: To Lead Others, You Must First Lead Yourself by Stedman Graham

"To lead others, one should initially lead himself," which is the philosophy by which Graham has written his book "Identity Leadership." It is a highly prescriptive and personal guide that will compel you to investigate yourself. You should know your passion, talent, and skill to have the authority of yourself. It is the path to become the best version of ourselves quotes Graham. Through this book, he answers a wide range of questions like how leaders lead, why self-awareness matters, the vitality of communication, etc. This excellent book, in its application, creates self-leaders who are successful in personal, professional, and every area of life.

2- The Soul of a Team: A Modern-Day Fable for Winning Teamwork by Tony Dungy

After you attain self-mastery from Graham's book, you are graduated to be responsible for your team development. This is what you get from "The Soul of a Team" by the New York bestselling author Tony Dungy. Successful business owners on the top hierarchy of society would tell you that to succeed in life, one must have the proficiency of the team because a team can achieve more than that of an individual. Tony Dungy's coaching methods tackle questions like what a truly effective team would look like and how to create such a team if it is not already present. As a prior super bowl winning coach, Dungy is exceptional in bringing out the best of a team.

3- Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days by Jonathan Alpert

Jonathan Alpert is a Psychotherapist, which increases the credibility of the content in this book. Through the pages of this book, he offers co-active coaching (the experience of professional and personal kind of coaching) for the readers, providing five life-changing principles/rules that will help the readers overcome their fears, irrespective of how big or small it is. And like it says in the title, he promises a quick mastery of the concerns by co-active coaching definitively. This book is an elixir towards impediments like procrastination, perfectionism, panic, rejection, worry, failure excuses, etc.

4- Mentors: how to help and be helped by Russell Brand

You will learn after reading this excellently written piece of work that Russell Brand can not only make you laugh; he can make you think. Brand is not one of them business coaches, but he is greatly informed on the topic nevertheless. In "Mentors," Brand explains in great detail why one should be a mentor in all areas of life so that they can benefit from the masterful coaching of a veteran (in life and career development). Throughout this book, he gives a wide range of experiences as analogies, including his struggle with personal demons and how having experienced coaches or mentors helped him.

5- When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink

Now that you have mastered self, team, fear, and even had a redemption story with the previous entries, the next topic you owe your attention to is the time, and Daniel H Pink is the right man for the job with his book "When." He breaks down timing as a science rather than the popular perception of art. This laser-focused coaching of Pink is a rich trove of research from economics, biology, and psychology. From morning exercise to quitting your job, Pink lets you in on the perfect timing of all aspects of life along with the best effective techniques to do them.

6- Mastering Mentoring and Coaching with Emotional Intelligence: Increase Your Job EQ by Patrick E. Merlevede, Denis Bridoux

The content of the book was compiled after many years of work done by Patrick E. Merlevede and Denis Bridoux. The duo identified the prime components of coaching and behaviors of mentoring with years of a qualitative survey. They also clarify the differences and similarities between them. Emotional intelligence is brought in to address these two career coaching practices. What makes this book exceptional is its practicality. It is a workbook filled with questionnaires, intervention tips, and even exercises for both a coach and mentor, no matter their coaching style. This is one of those coaching books about successful mentoring or about coaching relationships that you need to have on your bookshelf.

7- Clone Yourself: Build a Team that Understands Your Vision, Shares Your Passion, and Runs Your Business For You by Jeff Hilderman

Clone yourself is another one of the coaching books that emphasize the importance of having the right team. Hilderman advises having a team of people that shares your motivation to have the best results. The book is essentially a step-by-step guide from a master coach to build your dream team. Citing clone yourself as your manual, you can figure out different coaching strategies for yourself or your client's professional development. It is one book about coaching and team building that all mentors and coaches need to read at least once.

8- HBR Guide to Getting the Mentoring You Need by Harvard Business Review

HBR guide stresses the importance of finding yourself some professional coaches. It states extensively that waiting for a senior manager to help you is probably improbable. A mentoring process is the right tool for moving up in your career and personal life if done correctly. Much like Business Coaching & Mentoring For Dummies, HBR guide is an excellent book on mentoring for beginner-level but also has some in-depth business-led strategies for more advanced readers. HBR Guide teaches you a wide range of coaching techniques to set up goals and later evaluate them. HBR guide is among the coaching books that will let you find the right person to mentor you for your goal realization.

9- Coaching Questions: A Coach's Guide to Powerful Asking Skills by Tony Stoltzfus

Tony Stoltzfus speaks of the single most vital skill in coaching through his book, asking the questions. Every coaching conversation should involve active listening and observation of the clients' difficulties. It should be followed by enlightening your clients with the right question to come up with a solution. In this book, the leadership team coaching expert Stoltzfus joins 12 other coaches to present dozens of crucial models, tools, and exercises for asking the right questions to improve your coaching process. The success of a meaningful relationship relies on the success of the client or their development. And the best way to enable development is through empowering your client with powerful questions.

10- Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women by W. Brad Johnson, David Smith

Athena Rising is another gem that explores the nuances of mentoring. It is a book for men to mentor women effectively and deliberately. Women face more challenges than men in securing a mentorship than men. Therefore, Smith and Johnson made a well-written no-nonsense book on contemporary and traditional coaching strategies for men to establish a great coaching relationship with women. All in all, this book resources coaching to help women through their mentoring journey as much as men do.

11- The Mentor's Guide: Facilitating Effective Learning Relationships by Lois J. Zachary

Lois J. Zachary packs this book with thoughtful ideas and is rich in advice. So it is no wonder how this garnered so many customer reviews for being an invaluable resource for mentors to hone their craft. This book facilitates the reader with a complete pack of mentoring experiences and mentoring practices from beginning to finish. To be a good mentor, one should know how to assess their clients, help them set goals and warn them of the potential pitfalls. This book, therefore, allows the readers to build these skills to improve their coaching process.

12- Everyone Needs a Mentor: Fostering Talent at Work by David Clutterbuck

In his seminal work on mentoring programs, David Clutterbuck gives a serious account of why every organization should have one. It may sound basic, but it drives this idea home. He presents the difference between mentoring programs and coaching programs and explains why the practice of mentoring creates a horde of successful people. David Clutterbuck teaches everything you need to know about mentoring, starting from matching up mentees and mentors to the eventual measurement of its success.

A Sea of More Books Still Remains

Even though this list has covered all the most important books to give yourselves a holistic upskilling of mentoring on all sides, there are still more books that can be explored once these are completed. Books like "Learning to Lead by Ron Williams" and "Connect First by Melanie A. Katzman" are honorable mentions that almost made a list. So, keep reading and keep upskilling.

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