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Executive Coaching: Practices and Perspectives Hardcover – February 11, 2002
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One of the central tenets of the book is that psychological training is central to the in-depth coaching process. The publisher, Davies-Black, is an imprint of Consulting Psychologists Press (the developers of the famous Myers-Briggs personality-type instrument) and thus there is the requisite focus on understanding the complexities of various "type interactions" in the workplace as part of the coaching process. Nevertheless, the text is solid and understandable, with some sophisticated, challenging, and often provocative arguments. For example, the book examines the collaboration between coaches and organization development experts and suggests that an executive's problems may stem not from poor interpersonal skills but from poor organizational structure, inadequate ground rules, or unclear decision-making processes.
Though it can sometimes seem academic in its approach, this beautifully packaged book is complemented by highly practical conversations, exercises, and checkpoints to determine the depth of learning. Human resources professionals, trainers, and consultants looking for guidance on the skills required to implement a topnotch executive coaching program will find this compendium by some of the top professionals in the field absolutely invaluable and well worth its price tag. --Charles Decker
Explores coaching models and perspectives, best practices, managing coaching in organization, and special issues and situations. -- The Midwest Book Review, April 2002
Rich insights, diverse ideas. Diverse knowledge here can serve as a roadmap through the complex universe of the leader's mind. -- Soundview Executive Book Summaries, June 2002
Something of interest and use for almost anyone, including HR executives. -- Peer Resources Top Coaching Books, July 2004
You may find this very practical in understanding what coaches do and in being sure you select a good one. -- GetAbstract, March 2003
- Publisher : UNKNO; 1st edition (February 11, 2002)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 392 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0891061614
- ISBN-13 : 978-0891061618
- Item Weight : 1.8 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.3 x 1.18 x 9.29 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,424,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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This book provided that "in spades" ... an excellent overview with practical information from a wide range of experts who were effectively shared their experiences in responding to challenges faces in a variety of business environments.
A wonderful reference!
Those wishing to develop their coaching skills will find the book fascinating and enlightening. I believe that this is one of the most important coaching related books on the market.
The book is excellent reading for coaches, executives, human resource professionals, trainers, consultants and others with an interest in executive coaching.
Although titled Executive Coaching, it indirectly explores the diversity of individual and organizational learning and change with a keen appreciation for the complexities of the human mind. For executive coaching, as in organizational development consulting, one size does not fit all. The diversity of approaches from the respective authors reflects the strength of belief in their own methods when dealing with the complexity and diversity of the human mind; and reveals the many barriers to individual learning and ultimately organizational learning. In many ways the book is about organizational development and organizational learning brought to an individual level.
Most of the contributors have psychology backgrounds; however, the editors have made a good attempt to look at executive coaching from a variety of lenses, with a noticeable influence of Carl Jung and Robert Kegan. As an organizational development consultant and executive coach, I find some bias toward the need for a psychology or psychotherapy background in some of the chapters. Does one need a degree in psychology to have an understanding of a variety of perceptual views through intentional, behavioral, cultural, and social dimensions, for example? I don't believe so.
There are many issues that emerge when we have conversations at personal and sometimes intimate levels. Do we dare go where no non-psychotherapist has gone before? I believe the human psyche is much less fragile than most psychotherapists, and even psychologists, might have us believe. And as organizational change consultants, how much damage have we inflicted because we dared not to tread, or even look, in those heretofore-protected domains?
Where is the line drawn between learning and repair, or between personal growth and cure? The authors have drawn their lines and they are in different places. I do believe, when coaching Executives, it is essential to have a greater depth of knowledge and abilities as an observer and guide.
I believe executive coaching can increase the potential for profound change. Peter Senge, in his book The Dance of Change, describes profound change as "organizational change that combines inner shifts in people's values, aspirations, and behaviors with 'outer' shifts in processes, strategies, practices, and systems ... In profound change there is learning." (p 15) W. Edwards Deming said, "Nothing changes without personal transformation."
Executive coaching allows us to further shift the learning paradigms of our clients. We are beginning to apply to individuals what we have applied to organizations. Coaching appears to be the natural progression to double-loop learning at a personal level, in addition to the organizational level, and further progression to triple-loop learning. Double-loop learning is a concept developed by Chris Argyris and Donald Schon based upon the work of Gregory Bateson. The term "triple loop learning" was used by William N. Isaacs, in Taking Flight: Dialogue, Collective Thinking, and Organizational Learning. "Double-loop learning encourages learning for increasing effectiveness. Triple-loop learning is the learning that opens inquiry into underlying 'why's.' It is the learning that permits insight into the nature of paradigm itself, not merely an assessment of which paradigm is superior." Effective coaching includes the practice of Dialogue at a one-to-one level. This "third" level of learning can be called transformational learning. As such, this book could be about transformational learning.
A noticeably missing piece was a chapter on distinguishing coaching from therapy, and addressing some of the boundaries to be considered and what resources the executive coach should have available in assessing and dealing with those boundaries.
Another missing piece was the role our body plays. Recent studies suggest a more holistic approach is needed in our learning - the integration of language, emotions and the body. I am referring to more than the traditional concept of "body language." Albert Einstein said, "My primary process of perceiving is muscular and visual." Richard Heckler, a psychologist and director of the Rancho-Strozzi Institute, says in his book The Anatomy of Change, "An education that connects us with our body would teach us the difference between what we are experiencing and what we are thinking and fantasizing about." (p 12)
Full awareness goes beyond what we are thinking. The body can reflect what we are thinking and feeling and the body can support what we desire to think and feel. Stuart Heller, mathematician, operations researcher, and psychologist, says in his book Retooling on the Run, "To make a change in any part of you, you have to change all of you." (p 10) "Your results are a function of the way you organize and use yourself. By studying your patterns of reaction, belief, tension, feelings, and posture, you learn how you both hinder and help yourself." (p 17)
I highly recommend this book to anyone involved with coaching and executive development. In addition, it offers many insights to any organizational change consultant wishing to search deeper in the psyche of an organization. Many organizations, and individuals, are struggling to find ways of breaking free of traditional thinking and modes of operation to enhance continuous learning. At a minimum, these insights may help forge better partnerships with clients and help facilitate greater awareness, reflection, and ultimately learning.