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Effective Coaching – review

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Title: Effective Coaching
Author: Myles Downey
Publisher: Texere Publishing
ISBN: 1-58799-120-9
Price: £7.99

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The importance of coaching in management is now widely accepted and as a result there is a proliferation of literature telling us how to do it and how to do it more effectively. This is true to such an extent that you could be forgiven for wondering whether another volume on the subject is needed and what it could possibly add to sum of knowledge. On the other hand Myles Downey, as the director of studies at The School of Coaching within the Industrial Society could be expected to bring something to the table if anyone could.

So does Downey’s slim (132 pages) volume add to considerable literature concerning coaching? I fear the answer is yes and no. In one sense there is little or nothing in terms of content that cannot be found in other places. The content includes definitions of coaching, key skills, managing the coaching session, applications and implementing coaching. A welcome bonus is the inclusion of a chapter on team coaching.

The story doesn’t end there however. The writing style is clear and accessible. Clear real life examples, from the author's wide-ranging experience are used throughout to emphasise the points made. Where applicable clear diagrams are used to re-enforce and clarify the points made. Downey makes the point that this book will not make you into a coach or even a better coach. True to coaching principles it is what you do with the information that will allow you to develop as a coach. Reflecting this idea is the inclusion of a number of exercises throughout the book to encourage you to reflect on your own beliefs and situation. These exercise as much as the information between them are the essence of this book.

In brief a well written and accessible book that reiterates the essentials of coaching. In particular it encourages the reader to develop their own personal skills rather than providing simplistic and misguided solutions.

Patric Devitt
Psynergy Consulting
[email protected]

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