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on 23 December 2005
This book, now in its third edition, is the grandfather of coaching books and approaches. Much of what has come to be known as professional business coaching came from Timothy Gallway and Whitmore's sports training techniques. As such, the book provides a simple foundation for coaching based on the context of awareness and responsibility through asking questions and listening. He presents the G R O W model of coaching - Goal, Reality, Option, Will - as a format for coaching sessions.

The book begins with a few foundational beliefs of coaches. Unlike old models of management that work from the "carrot and stick" approach, a coach believes in the potential of the client. Whitmore believes that people are only able to change only that which they are aware. Responsibility must stay with the client if they are to perform. Questions raise awareness and yet maintain the client's responsibility. If the coach tells the coachee something, awareness may increase slightly, but responsibility in now in the hands of the coach, the source of the information. Questions cause the client to pay attention to their actions, think at higher levels, and provide feedback for the coach to work from.

The G R O W model provides a sequence of questioning and for the coaching session. A coach starts with the client's goal. Either an end goal, like "retire at age 45," or a performance goal, such as "write a new training manual by December." After further clarifying the goal the coach can move on to the current reality of the situation. Asking such questions as: What have you done on the manual up to now? What are the needs that you think a manual might help? What has kept you from finishing the manual these past two years? Options are then generated from the client as to how they can achieve their goal. Finally, What will you do? Whitmore builds several checks and balances into this last step to ensure performance.

The final section of the book is new territory in this 3rd edition. Coaching used to be about performance - doing, acheivement. In the past few years coaching has moved to underlaying motivations of personal fulfillment: the "why" underneath the desire to achieve performance goals. Whitmore includes new chapters on coaching for purpose, getting to life's meaning.

Of the dozen books on coaching that I own, this one has consistently been the book I refer back to as I try to explain to someone what is coaching: Believe in the potential of people; raise awareness and maintain responsibility through questions and listening; and follow the GROW model. All are the essence of good coaching.
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on 22 June 2004
A first class guide to coaching in business. This is an updated version and is very highly recommended. Sir John worked with Timothy Gallwey to develop the Inner Game approach which is, after all, the bedrock of current coaching training and thinking. This book is therefore authoritiative yet highly readable and has been the basis for many other writers books on coaching. So read it straight from the horse's mouth!
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on 27 December 2000
Sir John definitely knows the power of coaching for performance. He systematically shows how coaching is the preferred tool of choice for those that realise change is here to stay.
I'm not too sure who would benefit from reading this book. New coaches - I doubt it. Those aspiring to coaching - not really. Managers in corporations - definitely.
This is definitely not a self development book but therin lies its power. This book is for those who truly desire to be more effective in their work, their relationships and with their teams.
Sir John gives practical guidance and a model which really does work. I read the book, put it into practice and saw results.
A little too theoretical and academic at times but well worth perservering. Worth the read. Come on Sir john how about a sequel.
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on 13 January 2007
Clear and with a straight forward layout, this book makes some relatively complex ideas very simple. I train drivers and instructors, and have made this one of my recommended texts due to the success I have had following Whitmore's approach. I use many of the techniques in the book as part of my training course. Enjoyable and inspiring to read, if you are stuck wondering which of the bewildering array of coaching books will give you a comprehensive yet understandable introduction to the subject - this is the one.
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on 24 February 2009
In 1994 I attended a coaching skills training course run by Sir John and his colleagues; this book was included as part of the course materials.

I was a young inexperienced manager at the time, and I was a bit puzzled by the whole management thing. How could you yell and people and then expect them to be motivated and keen? What was the point of trying to teach tacit abilities like confidence and assertiveness as if you were teaching I.T?

This book provided answers and - finally - a workable antidote to 'command and control'

It is one of the few business books I have read time and again; finding new delights each time I do.

The misgivings that others have posted are understandable but, in my view, misguided. This has to be required reading for any new or aspiring coach.
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on 25 August 2008
In this highly influential book, Sir John Whitmore describes what he believes coaching is, how it can be used, and the skills required for coaching. Whitmore also outlines his GROW model which can be used both in a personal, corporate and team context.

Chapters 1 to 4
explore what coaching is

Chapters 5 and 6
look at the skills of questioning

Chapters 7 to 10
introduce Whitmore's GROW model - Goals, Reality,Options and Will

Subsequent chapters discuss a range of topics - including motivation, coaching the corporation, feedback and assessment and coaching teams. Whitmore also includes chapters on emotional intelligence and spirtual intelligence and their relation to coaching.

This book is underpinned by Whitmore's belief in the values and potential of coaching and his emphasis on the performance-related, psychological principles on which he believes coaching is based. In this third edition, Whitmore explains more fully the principles of coaching and illustrates them with simple analogies both from business and sport.

This is an accessible and clearly written book which gives an invaluable introduction to the principles of coaching and the widely used GROW model. Each of the elements of the GROW model are carefully delineated with supporting coaching questions. This book is useful for all new coaches and managers using coaching skills in performance management - particularly, if they would like a model to complement outcomes based coaching models they may be aready be using in business or corporate coaching.
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on 23 July 2014
Fantastic book, and a fantastic author. This book really is outstanding for study or reference! The seller of this product does not let you down, books are sent with a good spine and cover, the pages are crisp white, and what for value for money? Absolutely great value for money!
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on 9 October 2015
Very good book which gives an insight into the benefits of coaching without going over the top..I have been using these techniques to bring an old style boss around to a way of new thinking without him knowing it!!
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on 31 August 2008
Simply the best. Its meant to be 5 stars but I made an error! Oops

You don't need to say more than that. The GROW model is simple, powerful, and works! The number of issues and topics related to coaching these days can begin to overcomplicate the issue. At its heart is a process for raising awareness and generating responsibility. End of story.

If you read this book, try it out and make a difference by helping someone else - it will be worthwhile.
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on 12 January 2016
Very extreme views on coaching. I was told to read this for a course (client centred learning for driver development) but this has no place in teaching in a safety critical environment. In fact coaching has very limited application in a safety critical environment.
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