I’d like to now share some of the books that I’ve gone through in the process. So in case you can’t go through a similar process, you can always grab the books and be just as well. I’m not going to go into much detail on each one at all, but will try to give a few sentences of what the book is about.
The first is the book “Coactive Coaching: New Skills For Coaching People Toward Success in Work and Life.”
This books teaches you some of the basic coaching skills of listening, curiosity, how to use intuition, etc. The most valuable part of this book is the resources that it comes with. Each chapter has lots of live coaching excerpts, and the last third of the book is filled with a “Coach’s Toolkit.” The toolkit includes various forms, other examples, a cd with live coaching conversations, and outlines for various coaching processes.
The second book is “Coaching for Performance.” What I like the most about this book is that he clearly makes the case that a coach is not one who is an expert in the field of his coachee. A good coach can step into any field and help the coachee move further along in his professional development.
He gives the example of coaching in tennis. Many professional sports coaches ask ineffective questions or issue ineffective commands such as “keep your eye on the ball.” Instead, a curious coach who has no expertise in the field can ask questions that will prove to be more helpful such as “Which way is the ball spinning as it comes towards you? How highly is it this time as it crosses the net? Does it spin faster or slower after it bounces, this time-each time?”
Of particular usefulness is the acrostic the author developed to provide a framework for a coaching conversation: GROW
Goals: “What would you like to get out of this session? I have half an hour for this, where would you like to have got to by then?” (p. 56). In essence, it’s asking the client what goal they’d like to arrive to by the end of the time together. They may want to develop an outline, have a clear idea of an action step, or know which way to go in a decision.
Reality: This stage helps the client to focus on their current reality and what their situation is like right now.
Options: In this stage, the coach is helping the coachee to review as many possible options as possible for their current situation.
Will: In this stage you’re helping the coachee to make a commitment to when and how they’ll resolve the matter. The author delineates some possible questions to use in this section: “What are you going to do? When are you going to do it? Will this action meet your goal? What obstacles might you meet along the way?” (p. 90).
The last book I’ll mention in this post is Fierce Conversations. The crux of the book is that as leaders and coaches, we all have fierce conversations that we need to have. Whether it be with our coachees or with the people that we work with. It’s much easier to pretend that things are ok. But true growth comes when we are willing to have those “fierce conversations.” In the book she presents her own process for coaching. She describes it as going on a “mining expedition” to find the core issue.
Here are her seven steps
1. Identify your most pressing issue
2. Clarify the issue
3. Determine the current impact
4. Determine the future implications
5. Examine your personal contribution to this issue
6. Describe the ideal outcome
7. Commit to action
As you can see, there are little variations between the different frameworks involved. They’re all fairly similar.
I believe there was actually a fourth book that I also went through in my first year in this process, but I can’t remember which one it is.
In the next post I’ll share concerning the books read in the second year. To go directly to it click here.