I did wonder how Performance Coaching could add anything to all the other coaching books I've read recently But the book's innovative and refreshing approach intersperses interesting and thought provoking case studies with useful tips and techniques.
One case which stands out involves Jon, an executive in an IT business. The coaching issue centres on whether he should go for promotion or not and the case details a coaching discussion between Jon and Angus. Summary boxes contain questioning techniques and observations regarding Jon and the coaching process.
A chapter on coaching contract and practice considers the advantages and disadvantages of internal versus external coaches. McLeod is quick to point out that external coaches provide objectivity and focus exclusively on coaching. They bring knowledge and experience from outside the organisation together with different methods and approaches. However, internal coaches by contrast may lack objectivity and offer mentoring rather than a true coaching service. McLeod argues that coaching has to be -˜sold' internally and seen as an investment and that if coaching is to be effective, coachees must be prepared. They must know in advance the number and length of sessions and their timing and purpose. This helps to reduce stress, making the sessions more effective.
Reading Performance Coaching also encourages self-coaching, which is all about questioning and challenging oneself, having a sense of openness and understanding one's own resistances to change. Performance Coaching achieves exactly what its title states - it provides a handbook for managers, HR professionals and coaches. For those who are inexperienced and new to coaching, it provides an understandable and comprehensive introduction. And for those who have some experience of coaching, it details some new techniques.