Book review: Learn to Coach: The skills you need to coach for personal and professional development

Author: Nicola Stevens
Price: 9.99
Pages: 224
Publisher: How To Books
ISBN: 184 528 0059

The cover of this book indicates it will give you “the skills you need to coach for personal and professional development”. This is probably true if you can cut through the jargon and irritating grammatical errors, which serve to obliterate the message the author is trying to convey.
Aimed at giving the reader the tools needed to build coaching relationships, it states it is written as a ‘straightforward’ guide. Unfortunately it fails to deliver on this. This is disappointing, as there are areas of real value in it for any would-be coach.
It tantalisingly refers to ‘red’ and ‘green’ words, which will get the coachee to open up, or not, but then fails to look at what they are. This is a great pity as the information is surely critical to a successful coaching session.
However, try not to let this put you
off persevering with the book. It is well structured and contains excellent exercises aimed at getting you to practise what you have learnt.
If you are planning to work as a coach and are seeking a toolkit which offers guidance on what to do – and how to do it – this book, especially chapter five, will be of value to you. If, on the other hand, you are new to the coaching arena it could serve to confuse in its attempts to cover every detail of the coaching role.
This book aims to encompass the coaching topic in an in-depth manner, making it interesting, insightful and useful. It’s only failing is that it tries too hard.

Useful?  5*
Well-written? 4*
Practical? 5*
Inspirational? 3* 
Value for money? 5* 

Reviewed by Fiona West, training and development adviser at the MCPS-PRS Alliance

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