In a marketplace cluttered with self-help books and guides on how to approach almost everything in Life it is somewhat heartening, as a practicing HR professional, to come across such work as Performance Coaching. The book provides a holistic view of the subject with the real selling point being the plain, down-to-earth language used throughout.
There is a plethora of material available on the subject of coaching but this book challenges the command and control approach of the subject hitherto endemic in some areas of UK plc. By writing the book in the manner he has, Angus McLeod aptly and with subtlety conveys the message that coaching can be an effective and ethical instrument for change in any environment.
What struck me most when reading the book was that there was no jargon or management speak but rather a real focus on trying to help and educate the reader. There are a plethora of case studies throughout the book requiring coaching interventions which have come from Mcleod's own experiences as a coach. These range from dealing with work-life balance issues to people being bullied. The scenarios make for easy reading which will benefit those still developing their coaching skills to gain more of an insight into issues before having to deal with them in real Life. My only gripe about the book is in respect of the case studies which should be indexed or referenced clearer than they actually are. This would help readers easily identify with certain situations making it a regular source of information for aspiring coaches.
This book has the ingredients of what a successful coach is all about - silence, questions and challenge. Silence because of the feeling it Leaves the reader with - an element of contentment at a book dealing with the subject of coaching in a simple, uncomplicated manner. The reader is left asking questions of their own coaching style even though many are answered throughout the text. Challenge because stereotypical views of the subject are met head on simply by breaking down a difficult and complex subject by rational thinking and explanation.
Angus Mcleod, a well-known and respected coach in his own right through his work with individuals, teams and professional coaches writes enthusiastically and with expertise using a great deal of his own experiences as background material. The content of the book provides a valuable insight into an evolving subject still trying to gain credibility in some sectors of UK business.
While McLeod investigates a range of coaching methodologies and models, the way in which the book is written cleverly combines three core elements - case studies, theory an use full anecdotes termed by the author as -˜Linguistic tips'. As the reader navigates through the book, the concept of coaching becomes an achievable goal for even the most cynically minded of individuals.
One of the great benefits of the way Mcleod writes is that he breaks the subject down into bite-sized chunks. He walks the reader through a myriad of information and literally bulletpoints information to make it more understandable.
While the author spends time musing on various theories in the pursuit of effective coaching, there are also highly effective parts of the book dealing with the softer, humanistic elements These musings in no way detract from the accessible, comprehensible and usable way in which the book is compiled and actually makes the subject appear more plausible to the novice reader- who wants to know the basics and a Little more besides about the rudiments of coaching.
One of the things which strike's me about Performance Coaching is how wide an audience the book could appeal to. The book does what it says on the tin - -˜a handbook for managers, HR professionals and coaches' - and the content would certainly appeal to all Levels within these categories. The immense practicality of the book comes across in a number of ways from the detailed section on putting coaching into context in any type of situation to dealing with the range of soft behaviours required of a successful coaching partnership.
This is not a book to be read in one sitting but one which will be picked up time and again by those who want to Learn more about the art of helping develop others via the medium of coaching.