Written for The Bulletin of the Association for Coaching, by Andie Hemming, a performance coach and trainer
The book is packed with practical hints, tips and exercises. It could be used by anyone who wanted to work successfully with women and who wanted greater understanding of how to go about it -” you wouldn't need to be a qualified coach to follow the book's advice, techniques and recommendations straight away.

The book is easy to read and follow and contains a wealth of anecdotes to illustrate points and make the information come to life. There are good lists of questions and practical straightforward advice -” I particularly liked the section in Chapter 1 about -˜Laying down the Ground Rules for coaching' and in Chapter 2 -˜Coaching a woman's Many Faces.' There are good examples of possible scenarios for coaching a woman, for example, growing their own business, managing their health and relationships, busy mums, empty nesters, mid-life and retirement.

Lynette and Meg use Myles Downey's TGROW acronym extensively and when goal setting use two further acronyms - the rather hackneyed, but useful, SMART and FEMALE which stands for Focused, Empowered, Measured, Aligned and Linked to her Emotionally.

There is also a useful CD included with the book which contains PDF's of various resources -” e.g. sample coaching contracts, letters and exercises (setting goals, wheel of life, amongst others) - to get you started. This would be a valuable resource to anyone setting out as they have something very practical and easy to follow.

When I agreed to review this book I had my reservations about it -” I was not convinced that coaching a woman is very much different from coaching anyone -” and largely I am still of that opinion. However, now that I've read this book I see that it's a useful distinction when applied in the way that Lynette and Meg have.

For myself, I didn't love this book. I found the approach rather simplistic, sometimes overly so for my taste and especially at the price. For example, I disagree with some of the -˜Six Key Principles to coaching a woman' detailed in their introduction -” I find them to be sweeping generalisations and nothing that I would exclusively apply to women. For example, Key Principle Number 4 states that -˜Women are emotionally literate and so are willing to acknowledge, explore and express emotions'.

Really? As presuppositions these would work for me, but not as universal truths.

That said, I applaud the authors for doing exactly what they set out to do. It's not rocket science -” but in fairness it's not pretending to be and for people who are new to coaching the book will be a good place to start precisely because of this simplicity.
Guest | 13/08/2012 01:00
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