Being an instructional coach involves a wide variety of skills and knowledge. Over the years at ICG, we have always found inspiration in the work of others, and we’d like to share some of our favorite books on education, coaching, communication, and beyond. Check out the titles below for some of our favorite, helpful books for coaches!
Block discusses the power of partnership and illustrates the benefits of listening to others and empowering them to be thinkers. The concept of partnership is a foundation for all of ICG’s work, and this book was an important inspiration in the development of our coaching philosophy.
Csikszentmihalyi was a consultant at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning and a tremendous influence on Jim Knight and ICG. He promoted the idea that the decisions in our lives shouldn’t be made for money or prestige, but rather what engages you in life.
An enduring classic in the philosophy of education, Freire’s book has remained the biggest influence in Jim’s thinking and work since he first read it while just beginning his studies. Among countless valuable points, Freire stresses the importance creating a dialogue that respects people’s humanity instead of objectifying them.
Fullan has written many books that are helpful for coaches, but Six Secrets of Change offers an accessible summary of his ideas. He is extremely sharp, well-read, and uniquely able to synthesize concepts in a way that has proven to be profoundly influential.
Gawande writes about the importance of precision and clarity in a masterful style that is truly a pleasure to read. He explores why it is essential to not only talk about specificity, but to ensure that it is reflected in practice. This book is based on his widely acclaimed New Yorker article, “The Checklist.”
While all of Heath and Heath’s books present important ideas, this book examining the elements of change is especially relevant to coaches. They use stories and research to provides examples of how to bring about transformative change. In many ways, the ideas of how to set PEERS goals were influenced by Heath and Heath’s work.
If you are looking for one book to give to a new teacher, The Courage to Teach would be an excellent choice. Palmer communicates a deep compassion for teachers and students, and writes about how to teach with remarkable clarity and purpose.
This book has been one of the most influential books in the last few decades on the subjects of business and organizational behavior, and Jim and ICG owe much of their concept of dialogue to Senge.
Stanier has written a funny, accessible, book that exudes his generosity of spirit, and it has become the most popular coaching book of all time. The coaching questions used by ICG experts are heavily influenced by this work, and it is full of essential wisdom on coaching.
Wheatley’s book delves into the importance of communication and relationships, and it has been one of Jim’s biggest influences. She provides a hopeful exploration of the impact a powerful conversation can have, and almost every page is filled with critical insights that will stick in your head long after you put it down.
Join the Conversation
Join the conversation
We love hearing how instructional coaching is impacting the life, work, and relationships of people all over the world. Share your story with us today.