Staying in Control

In my 10 years as an entrepreneur and business owner, I have never been in a position where a bank/investor owned my business and could thus dicate my decisions. In my opinion this is the most important factor for running a successful life and business.

This also means the responsibilty for every action taken, or not taken, lays with me. I can’t blame anyone else for the mistakes I make or the success I have  and it offers a powerful tool for improvement.

Gautama Buddha

Be a lamp unto your own feet; do not seek outside yourself.

It may sound harsh, especially in a time of economic crisis, but here lies the chance. Try to not blame anyone, neither the economy, nor your clients or family. Try to see the chance in a crisis and a lesson in a failure. Always look for the solution instead of focusing on the problem.

A review on the book “Coaching for Performance”, by John Whitmore

Overview

With his book „Coaching for Performance, GROWing People, Performance and Purpose“, John Whitmore gives a sound foundation for coaching, based on the context of awareness and responsibility aligned to the GROW model.
Based on  Timothy Gallwey’s techniques for sports training (as described in his book „The Inner Game of Tennis“), John Whitmore extracts the coaching essentials and describes them in a comprehensive way.
Through the use of the sports-examples, the author explains how asking the right questions raises awareness while the coachee maintains the responsibility. 

How the book contributes to the Coaching Profession

The book, entitled as the „Grandfather of Coaching books“, offers the cornerstones of the coaching process and explains in great details the „how“ and „why“ of the GROW model.

Best tips

Especially through the detailed comparison with „The Inner Game“ the book shows how the GROW model can shift thinking and how the right questions can lead to behavioral changes.
The chapter „Overcoming the Barriers“ explains some of the causes can be that lead to the none-acceptance of coaching and how to circumvent them.

The chapter „Coaching for Purpose“ offers great questions and insights. Feedforward not only generates motivation and stimulation but also generates ownership and responsibility.
The GROW model can be used for self-assessment, in setting up a matrix that not only consists of the Reality, but also include the Goals to develop yourself further.

A review on the book “Coaching Skills”, by Jenny Rogers

Overview

Jenny Rogers, a pioneer of executive coaching in the UK, shares her 18 years of coaching experience in an illustrative way that makes this book an essential and enjoyable reading for beginning executive and life coaches. 
The author covers the core skills using comprehensive examples, highlighting the foundation values for coaching like creating a trustful relationship and how to use the language of coaching skillfully. The reader is guided through different coaching situations, beginning with getting to know the client through the use of questionnaires and tools like the 360° feedback. For each situation powerful questions are listed.
In the goal-setting part different client situations are displayed with possible solutions. The author also shows how to identify a person who is not coachable. The author explains the different phases of change and gives examples how to handle those situations. She especially highlights that the coach needs to be curious, honest and unafraid when coaching clients through change. Different tools and tips are offered to bring pace and interest to a session. The author emphasises the need for supervision when professional practising, explains the use and value of reflective practice, gives ethical guidelines and tips on training and accreditation. The last part of the book focuses on the coach-client relationship and its borders.

How the book contributes to the Coaching Profession

Through the vast use of examples it gives the beginner coach an extensive introduction while also acting as a guide for the own personal development through displaying different tools and techniques. It shows how to handle different situations and displays the boundaries of the relationship and the coaching itself. 

Best tips

Interrupting the client, with discretion, can be useful to get to the heart of things.
Being aware of the boundaries of my coaching skills. 
Learn how to identify people’s “coachability”. 
Learn the use of powerful questions and the value of using them.
It is not about the client liking you it is about the progress he makes. A successful coach has to challenge the client and not be afraid.
The future postcard exercise from the book works for me really well and helps the coachee to look at his problem solved from a different perspective. 
 
In reflective practice on what went well/bad and how to improve it, make sure to also to write down the feelings you had and observed during the session and how you managed to stay centered.

A review on the book “Techniques for Coaching and Mentoring”, by David Megginson & David Clutterbuck

Overview

In their book „Techniques for Coaching and Mentoring“, the authors David Megginson and David Clutterbuck, sum up coaching and mentoring approaches/techniques and describe how they are applied, based on their extensive experience.
The book is split into 3 parts. It has an introduction, the techniques and the last part „Where to from Here?“. The main part „Techniques“ is divided into different subjects and guides the reader through each technique with according case studies and exercises.

How the book contributes to the Coaching Profession

The book can help the beginner coach to get an introduction to the use of techniques and how they can be applied in specific situations.
It can support coaches with a wide selection of tools for particular clients.
It serves as a reference book for exercises and techniques to experienced mentors and coaches.
The last part contains brief listings of organizations, references, qualifications and it contributes as an overview of educational options for coaches and mentors.

Best tips

  • circles of disclosure as a method to talk about the boundaries
  • lists several interesting books
  • how to apply the „Conversation ladder“ within the coaching context
  • „values and beliefs“ exercise to stimulate creative thinking
  • reframing examples
  • „logic tree“ for changing a habit
  • „Three step model for using metaphors“ for behavioural change