Monday, March 7, 2011

What Could Happen If You Do Nothing: A Manager's Handbook for Coaching Conversations

There are a number of different books on coaching.  Some are fad de jour books, froth attempting to be at the top of what may be a new fad bubble.  Other books are solid lumps, making up in mass what they lack in anything to say.

Then there are a few useful books that are clear and detailed.  Or should I say, there appears to be one book that is concise, clear and that goes forward to show one how to coach, step by step, example by example.

How useful, how clear?  Enough I can add it to the short list of books stolen from me within a month of my getting it.

I tend to categorize books by whether they are useful or not and whether they are capable of pragmatic application by real people or not.  Some are good enough that I buy copies for friends and family.  A very few are good enough that they walk out the door in the hands of the sort of person who can evaluate value quickly.

That is the category this book fits.  Not to mention, good enough I paid my own money to replace the missing copy.

I would note that the book is divided into 4 sections:
  1. Listening - This section covers the different ways to listen to employees in order to save time and money, and to ensure better alignment between performance and business goals.
  2. Asking - This chapter includes the process, tactics, and themes in the ways managers ask questions to produce motivating responses
  3. Suggesting - Discusses the “when,” “what,” and “how” of suggesting
  4. Conversation Maps – The book concludes with a discussion of the organic growth of a conversation, and how different conversations can lead to different outcomes.
But the sections do not capture that the book is filled with useful material that can be applied, not just read. It really does answer the question about what could happen if you do nothing -- as well as the question about what you should and can do instead of nothing.  Worth buying.  And to the house guest who stole a copy from me, read the parts that suggest better ethical behavior.

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