Product reviews for Performance Coaching

David Megginson, Sheffield Hallam University
I am not a fan of NLP, so I approached this book as “yet another about NLP approaches to coaching” and with a certain trepidation. No doubt a skilled NLP coach could have done something about my state: anchoring different emotional states, challenging limiting beliefs, and so on. Not surprisingly, in this book Angus McLoed outlines and demonstrates these techniques and others in the standard panoply of NLP. What endeared me to this work in preference to the others that I have read from the same stable are three things.

Firstly, the author displays convincingly that he has been there and done it. The book has rather full descriptions of coaching conversations that he has participated in, so the reader gains a clear impression of the use of the technique as it is experienced by the coachee.

Secondly, he organises much of the book around the issues as seen by the coachee, rather than the more frequent and less helpful practice of organising round a series of coach interventions. So, he talks about communication, interpersonal conflict, stuck in a corner, influencing and so on. Then within these client issues he weaves in the techniques and models that he uses, triggered by a phrase he employs in the reported dialogue, that is then expanded upon as a -˜linguistic tip'.

Thirdly, he is critically aware of the limitations of the techniques he is describing - not just limitations of practice but limitations of principal as well.

An example of this third point is his note on eye cues (p177). I find this one of the most implausible, exasperating and manipulative models employed by NLP practitioners. McLeod acknowledges this and says, -˜...the statistics for eyecues, even for skilled practitioners, do not provide a great deal of confidence.' Later, in the same piece he describes eye cues as, -˜.....a technique that is seen by many as intrusive and manipulative'. You can't ask for more candid disclaimers than that!

There are other aspects of this book that I particularly valued. One was the wise observation the author makes about finding purpose, using journeying into the future (pp131-5). Another was the visualisation model exploring desire, belief and acceptance (pp140-1). A third was the STEPPA model (pp189-92), which offers a fuller alternative to GROW. STEPPA stands for Subject; Target objective; Emotional context to subject and target; Perception and target re-evaluation; Plan; Pace; Adapt or Act. He also has some interesting things to say about what he calls -˜Context-free questioning'. which is similar to the process called -˜Goal-free coaching', which David Clutterbuck and I use. He neatly illustrates how long questions can import the coach's own agenda into coaching, in a fundamentally unhelpful way (pp220-3). Finally there are several helpful Appendices offering guidance for setting up -e-mentoring schemes and processes.

In all, this is a book of wisdom and experience, informed (but not dominated) by a deep and thoughtful understanding of NLP frameworks and practices.
Guest | 14/09/2004 01:00
Was this review helpful? Yes No (0/0)