Charlton reviews…

Categorise the following challenge as:

a sure way to worsen the greenhouse effect;
a Third World driving test; or
an exercise in a book devoted to time creation.

“Set out in the car with no clear destination in mind. Let yourself go where impulse takes you. Afterwards ask yourself: Wasn’t that more enjoyable than a planned trip?” Yes, it’s the third option.

This shows that the time creation exercises contained in Headless Chickens, Laidback Bears by Gordon Wainwright aren’t always appropriate to classroom situations.

And don’t confuse time creation (TC) with time management (TM). TC is the science of chronemics, the study of how we use our time and how we can make it more effective. TM is not even an “ology”.

Even though I can’t see chronemics achieving A Level status this side of a democratic Iraq, this book should be read by time management trainers. It presents TC techniques in readable chunks.

It’s the exercises at the end of each chapter which may be a turn-off. Many require too much time and effort to make them effective.

This is not the case with Leverage Your Best, Ditch the Rest by Scott Blanchard and Madeline Homan, which claims to give “the coaching secrets top executives depend on”.

Maybe, but this book is also shot through with TM-type information: goal setting, getting rid of time wasters, setting boundaries etc.

On a positive note, the book illuminates the murky, nebulous world of coaching – even though the authors are guilty of some silly navel-gazing, viz: “coaching is an art of the soul and coaches are artists of the soul”.

Leverage Your Best, Ditch the Rest has the one thing all training managers love: clever and snappy self-assessment questionnaires.

Headless Chickens, Laidback Bears, published by Howtobooks, ISBN 1-85703-973-4 £9.99
Leverage Your Best, Ditch the Rest, published by William Morrow, ISBN 0-06-055978-0 £12.99

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