Coaching is … “a process that enables learning and development to occur and thus performance to improve. To be a successful a Coach requires a knowledge and understanding of process as well as the variety of styles, skills and techniques that are appropriate to the context in which the coaching takes place

Eric Parsloe

A review on the book “Best Practice in Performance Coaching”, by Carol Wilson

Carol Wilson’s book “Best practice in Performance Coaching” is both an introduction to the coaching profession as well as a reference guide.

The first part of the book covers the history of the coaching profession, the main principles of coaching, explains the contrasts between coaching and related fields and shows, how some of the coaching principles can facilitate a coaching culture within a company. It gives detailed guidance on coaching techniques, models and tools as well as advice on how to train as a coach, how to run a coaching practice and how to structure coaching sessions.

The second part includes best known and emerging models and tools for advanced coaching, international case histories, worksheets, exercises and evaluations.

How the book contributes to the Coaching Profession

The book contributes to the Coaching Profession in two ways – as a starter kit for beginner coaches and as a reference guide for experienced coaches.

The beginner coach gets started with practical advice and clear examples as well as detailed instructions.

For the experienced coach it acts as a reference guide including new models and tools with international case studies.

Best tips

The authors emphasize that coaching is a process to facilitate self-directed learning and not an advice-giving profession.

The suggested structures for the first, second, continuing and final sessions are particularly helpful.

If in doubt one can reflect back the other’s words.

To use “and” and “so” (clean language) is effective to create rapport and produce a good flow of thought.

If you ask for permission, it makes the other person stop and think and helps to feel safer and in control.

The author’s view on “Giving and receiving feedback” is helpful. They suggest to use “self-directed” feedback. It means to ask the other person to come up with feedback for himself and use clarifying and reflecting to affirm what he says. You may discover, afterwards the other person automatically gives feedback on the coaching itself.