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Review: Performance Coach

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Performance Coach
Author(s):Tony Dixon and Hazel Valentine
Publisher:Gower/Middlesex University
Reviewer:Angela Busby, CMP, ICPD (Fellow) mailto:[email protected]
ISBN:0566085135
Price:£325.00

General Comments and Observations:
Layout of materials is very good. Timetables and presentation plans very useful components. I was happy to see white space – this is often not the case in binder formatted materials that I have seen lately – I like to be able to jot down notes/comments as I work through or with materials. This also applies to the participant materials section, the workbook is very well laid out and presented.

The content is excellent. I particularly liked the amount of detail in the Facilitator’s Handbook for Action Support Groups and in the Facilitator’s Guide. The FAQ section at the beginning of the Participant Material provides a good opportunity for “setting the stage” for those involved. The questions presented and answered provided an insight into the program content without being overwhelming of off-putting.

CD resources provide good companion materials. However, I found that moving through the pdf’s a little cumbersome – there was no quick and/or easy way to jump to a specific page or between pages. This might have the affect of limiting their usefulness (especially when wanting to preview a page before printing).

Strengths:
Overall the material design is very good, easy to navigate within the binder itself. A particular strength of the materials (as noted previously) is the amount of detail provided. I found that the most effective training materials are those that support the individual presenting as much as possible and across all aspects of the topic and materials themselves. I feel that the authors have accomplished this in their work. The language used is concise and direct. Little or no opportunity or misunderstanding and/or representation is present.

The participant materials section is very well done. Individuals participating in this program will be able to go away with a resource that will continue to be useful and relevant to them well after the sessions are over.

A very important aspect of the materials is the consistency of the message being imparted. It is apparent that the authors are experts in this subject area. The information is sound and very applicable to today’s work environments. I was particularly impressed to see the section on Action Support Group – the materials due state early on that this is not a step to skip – but one that is very necessary to the successful application of the information in the “real world? They have also stated quite clearly the consequence of skipping this aspect of the coaching. Other materials/resources that I have reviewed and/or used for performance coaching rarely if ever touch upon the “what happens after the coach is trained and out there” aspect of performance coaching in any great detail.

Another significant strength of the materials is that they are directly linked to an accreditation program/process. Not only does this demand that they be of a high quality – but it also provides credibility and tangible endorsement of the content. Given this I would be more likely to select this material over others for this reason alone.

Opportunities for Improvement:
In addition to the notation above regarding the CD resources – the following are also noted:

Page 5 (diagram) – the first text box indicates that a pre-work shop briefing with manager is to occur. There are no details as to what should occur during this briefing and I can see the facilitator being asked as to what to include and/or cover in this meeting. What occurs here has an enormous potential for either having a positive or negative impact of the three-day workshop itself. Making sure that a participant understands not only what is going to be presented – but also why they are attending a workshop/training session is vitally important to that person getting as much as possible out of the experience.

Overall Rating:
Overall I feel that this is an excellent resource/program and would be happy to see it used in my workplace. As no rating scale was provided for measure – on a scale from 1 – 10 I would rate this on review a very strong nine (9). I believe that if I were to use the materials in an actual workshop setting that this would be easily substantiated.

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