Title: Facilitating Reflective Learning through Mentoring and Coaching
Authors: Anne Brockbank & Ian McGill
Publisher: Kogan Page
The book examines the theory and practice of mentoring and coaching, and provides an interesting array of case studies and practical exercises aimed at developing the skills required for such activities.
While it doesn’t trip off the tongue with ease, the title in many ways reflects the content, which is comprehensive and a useful source of reference. It provides a depth of background information together with a helpful section on practice skills, which would be of assistance to both parties in a mentoring relationship. However, it may erroneously raise the expectations of a first-time ‘mentee’.
Arguably, the book is not inspirational in its nature, but it does, perhaps more importantly, guide the reader through a morass of issues that can determine the success or otherwise of a mentoring or coaching exercise. Equally important are the repeated warnings of what mentoring and coaching are not, and of the ethical issues that should act as the boundaries for such activities.
The authors cleverly sidestep the intrinsic difficulty of English being a language that often divides rather than unites its speakers by concentrating on the purpose, methodology and outcome of the terms ‘coaching’ and ‘mentoring’. The ready acknowledgement that the terms are often (wrongly) used interchangeably is refreshing.
On balance, the book provides a valuable insight into the benefits and difficulties of mentoring and coaching, along with practical guidance on how to achieve success. It would prove a useful resource for those engaged in or considering such activities.
Useful? 4 out of 5 stars
Well-written? 3 out of 5 stars
Practical? 4 out of 5 stars
Inspirational? 2 out of 5 stars
Value for money? 4 out of 5 stars
Overall 3 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by Keith Watson, consultant, Your Workplace