As a pragmatist who likes to read a business book and apply the knowledge immediately, I found that The Five Minute Coach delivers what it promises: a rapid way to increase performance. I'm also a fan of de-mystifying the art of coaching to spread the benefits far and wide through society.
While already familiar with Clean Language coaching, the unexpected bonus came in seeing how the book makes the concepts of Clean Language accessible to the newcomer to coaching as well as experienced coaches. By comparison, many books on the topic leave the reader feeling that Clean Language is complex and academic and not appropriate with every client. My copy is bookmarked at the one page -˜crib sheet.'
This book is valuable for the keen manager to learn some basics of Clean Language coaching and get started very quickly with willing participants. As an experienced coach, I have found it useful to play with the framework for some speedy coaching with willing participants.
It offers a crystal clear five stage coaching framework in the first chapter and then unpacks this framework in more detail through the subsequent chapters. The explanations are supported by tips, stories and troubleshooting guidance. In particular, the authors offer step by step guidance on how to set up the session (what coaches refer to as contracting) so that the client knows what to expect with the particular style of questioning.
In the Coaching in Action chapter, the authors give a transcript of the coaching process together with a running commentary of what might be happening -˜inside the coach's head.' In this way they give extra insight into the split second decisions the coach makes as she frames the next Clean Language question.
Sometimes the simplest tips remain with you after reading a book of this kind. Back in Chapter 1, we are reminded of the power of the two little words -˜and' and -˜when' with examples of how starting a response with these two words will have a very different impact to beginning a response with the words -˜if' or -˜so'. The lesson is that opening a question with the words -˜And when' is a much more supportive start to keep the coachees' thoughts flowing without any implied judgement on the part of the coach.
For example when I say to a coachee: -˜And when you find the job of your dreams, then what happens?' will evoke a different and more empowering reaction to -˜So if you find the job of your dreams, then what happens?'
This book is definitely a welcome addition to my coaching library that earns its place on the overcrowded shelves.