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Keith E. Webb "Creator of The Coach Model™" (Seattle)

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Leading with Questions: How Leaders Find the Right Solutions by Knowing What to Ask (J-B US non-Franchise Leadership)
Leading with Questions: How Leaders Find the Right Solutions by Knowing What to Ask (J-B US non-Franchise Leadership)
by Michael J. Marquardt
Edition: Hardcover

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creating a Questioning Culture for Powerful Results, 3 July 2006
"Asking rather than telling, questions rather than answers, has become the key to leadership excellence and success in the twenty-first century." That, in a nutshell, is the premise of this book. Marquardt who has taught and written extensively on action learning shares the wisdom of leading with questions.

The book is divided into three sections: The Power of Questions; Asking Questions Effectively; and A Guide for Leaders of Using Questions. Throughout the book the author uses quotes from interviews of top business leaders about their use of questions.

The Power of Questions begins with examples of disasters such as the sinking of Titanic, the explosion of the Challenger spacecraft, and the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion. All disasters where the cause is attributed to a lack of questioning. Chapter 2 is a stirring recital of the benefits of questions. Questions open up perspectives, new learning, greater team work, create an empowering environment, help people gain a voice, increases listening, innovation, while reducing conflicts. It sounds like a miracle drug! Except that it's true. Questions are at the core of my business and I can attest to their transformational power!

The second part of the book is the strongest. It's the "how to" section on forming questions that will achieve all the benefits mentioned earlier. The author goes beyond simply giving lists of good questions (as some other books on questions do) and teaches you how to actually form a powerful question. Good questions he says are, "those that accomplish their purpose as well as build a positive relationship between the questioner and the questionee." He gives plenty of tips how to do this. He also addresses hinderances such as a judging or blame mentality.

The final section of the book puts questions into practice in various settings such as supervision, problem solving, and team building. Each chapter covers a different setting with 10-20 key questions and how to use them effectively.

Leading with questions is one of those skills where you think, "Yes, I want to be this way. Help me do it!" Leading with questions is a skill that requires breaking old habits and forming new more productive ones. Are you ready to increase your learning? Are you ready to tap into the potential of the people around you? Are you ready to make breakthroughs and create innovations? Then questions are for you!

What are you waiting for?

The Making of a Leader (Growing in Christ)
The Making of a Leader (Growing in Christ)
by J. Robert Clinton
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Leaders Develop and How You Can Too!, 3 July 2006
For 10 years I've used The Making of A Leader in my work developing leaders. First, the book has been instrumental in my own personal and leadership development. Second, I use the content in workshops and classes all over the world. The principles hold up well in a variety of cultural contexts. And never before have these principles and practices been more relevant than today!

In The Making of Leader, Dr. J. Robert Clinton documents his research of hundreds of leaders. Clinton discovered a generalized time-line consisting of six phases that represent the general flow of a leader's life. Development phases represent major segments of a leader's development. The six phases are:

1. Sovereign Foundations

2. Inner-life Growth

3. Ministry Maturity

4. Life Maturing

5. Convergence

6. Afterglow

Identifying phases gives a leader capacity to track progress in their development, and clarify insights and lessons. Armed with these patterns a leader has the ability to actually identify and develop leadership, character, vision, values, and relational skills. This is what separates Dr. Clinton's book from the rest of the leadership genre; he actually provides the tools to develop a leader, not just talk about what one is or does.

Each chapter covers roughly one development phase. Inside each phase we learn that there are Process Items that are specific types of challenges leaders typically will face during each phase. By identifying Process Items, leaders are armed with the means to see beyond their immediate circumstances to what the underlaying developmental lesson might be. I've been using these Process Items for years in my own life and in coaching other leaders to grow. They are tremendously helpful!

Just so you don't think this is just a how-to book, let me say that this book often invokes a deep spiritual response from leaders. It's as if leaders gain perspective on their circumstance and see patterns of development-or lack of development-with new eyes.

This book is written, of course, from a Christian perspective and for Christian leaders. But the appeal of the book goes far beyond just this segment of the population. Dr. Clinton offers a useful grid for recognizing the lessons and patterns of leadership development.

If you desire to be equipped with the tools to develop leaders, then this book is for you!

Coaching Across Cultures: New Tools for Leveraging National, Corporate and Professional Differences
Coaching Across Cultures: New Tools for Leveraging National, Corporate and Professional Differences
by Philippe Rosinski
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.99

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cross-Cultural Understanding for Coaches, 23 Dec. 2005
This is the first, and currently only, book on coaching cross-culturally. The author brings the multifaceted perspective of culture into the coaching equation. The book starts with an introduction to coaching and culture and then goes in depth in cultural perspectives. The author wraps up the book with a couple chapters integrating all this into coaching practice.

Coaching is defined as "the art of facilitating the unleashing of people's potential to reach meaningful, important objectives" (page 4). Surprisingly there is nothing distinctly cross-cultural in the definition. Such as "the art of facilitating in culturally relevant ways the unleashing of people's potential..." This definition could come from any book on coaching. Culture is defined broadly to include not just nations and peoples, but corporate culture as well.

The real meat of the book is the second section, nearly half the text. The author presents a series of Cultural Orientations each with tools for how to assess them through coaching. Orientations such as a sense of power and responsibility, time, identity and purpose, organization and communication each have a chapter devoted to them. The author begins each chapter with a presentation of the various cultural perspectives on the Orientation, for example, concerning time there are grids of scarce or plentiful; one activity at a time or multiple tasks; and past, present or future orientation. The author presents a tool for the coach to understand the client's orientation, and for the client (and teammates) to understand himself or herself. The final section is a synthesis of the theory into practice. The author illustrates how he uses his detailed Cultural Orientation grid during coaching sessions.

This book is helpful for those interested in the cross-cultural issues. The book gets a bit lost in trying to reach a wide audience by focusing on at least three audience needs: skills for coaching people of other cultures, cross-cultural team awareness, and personal cultural awareness. The niche this book best fits would be a multicultural team trying to understand each other and how a team leader might coach them through that process of understanding.

Masterful Coaching
Masterful Coaching
by Robert Hargrove
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coaching + Systems Thinking = Transformation!, 23 Dec. 2005
This review is from: Masterful Coaching (Hardcover)
The author integrates coaching with systems thinking and the learning organization popularized by Peter Senge's book "The Fifth Discipline". This revised edition shows the Hargrove's approach is still fresh and surprisingly unique, given all the recent books published on coaching.

One unique contribution is Hargrove's model of triple-loop learning. It is a model of reflection. The first loop is reflecting on the outcome of actions for incremental improvement. The second loop is reflecting on assumptions that led to the decisions about those actions. The third loop is self-reflection on the core identity of the decision maker. This acknowledges that who we are influences our assumptions about the world and thus our actions. This type of reflection has become the core of quality coaching.

Other particularly helpful sections are the chapters on stretch goals and breakthrough thinking. Pushing for breakthroughs, rather than incremental change, requires the use of stretch goals. Hargrove tells us how to coach through the process of setting stretch goals. He says you first must decide what would be a breakthrough, then dig inside for motivation by examining why it is important to achieve and what's in it for me? Finally, learning and acting differently is essential to reaching stretch goals.

Hargrove's combination of systems thinking and learning organization principles with coaching is a real winner. Other books might be more thorough on the "how to" of coaching but his theory and tools for transformational change are excellent and unique.

Coaching For Performance: Growing People, Performance and Purpose
Coaching For Performance: Growing People, Performance and Purpose
by Sir John Whitmore
Edition: Paperback

97 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "Grandfather" of Coaching Books - and Still One of the Best!, 23 Dec. 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.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 3, 2009 9:35 AM GMT

101 Ways to Make Training Active (Active Training Series)
101 Ways to Make Training Active (Active Training Series)
by Melvin L. Silberman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £42.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Increase Learning - Train Actively!, 23 Dec. 2005
As a professional trainer and coach I know my subjects well. That's my problem! It's too easy to stand up and lecture. The trick is to involve participants in meaningful ways. "101 Ways to Make Training Active" is just the ticket.
Silberman begins with 20 "top 10" lists of training tips. For example, "Ten assignments to give learning partners" and "Ten suggestions for activating a lecture" and "Ten options for role playing", etc. Each of the 200 tips are written in brief bullet-point style that stimulates creativity. Every list gave me ideas of how to improve my training - and that's the point!
The bulk of the book, 244 additional pages, are 101 ways to make training active. The activities are grouped together into 15 sections according the flow of a training program: How to Get Active Participation from the Start, How to Teach Information, Skills, and Attitudes Actively, and How to Make Training Unforgettable.
I love these ideas! These are some of my favorite.
Actively engage participants early on by handing out a "quiz" on the training topic. Have them work individually then compare answers with others. This allows participants to share information, build team work, and engage in the topic. Another idea with similar objectives is "Go to Your Post". Place 3 or 4 dichotomous choices around the room and ask participants to go the the post they most relate with. Groups at each post discuss why they relate to that choice, or characteristics of that choice, or how to use that choice, etc. Groups report back to the main group with their learning.
Do you have a lot of information to get across? Try lecture Bingo. Randomly arrange your main speaking points on a 3 x 3 grid, or Bingo card. As you speak, listeners take notes and mark the speaking points until they get a Bingo (3 marked squares in a row). Acknowledge the Bingo and keep going allowing others to Bingo using your speaking points. Sounds chaotic, but it's fun!
As a coach trainer, skill development is the main focus of my courses. Silberman includes some excellent variations on role plays and skill practice. "Show, But NOT Tell" is when the training demonstrates a skill before explaining it. Participants are asked to observe and then explain what the trainer did. Another non-threatening activity places the trainer in the key role and involves the group in providing responses along the way. For example, in a coaching role play, the trainer stops and asks the group, "What question might I ask next?"
Reviewing learning through the use of memorable methods will further increase the impact of learning. Fun, creative, and above all memorable methods of reviewing learning include Jeopardy and Who Wants to be a Millionaire game show reviews. Silverman gives instructions make either activity easy to create and to lead.
I've seen a lot of books on training games or activities. Most has a couple of "winners" but this one just doesn't quit. Buy it, use it, and watch participation, learning, and your course evaluations improve!

The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently - And Why
The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently - And Why
by Richard E. Nisbett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guide for understanding East Asia and Western differences., 23 Dec. 2005
Are there basic differences in thought processes between the Chinese-Confucian societies of East Asia and Western societies? The author answers "yes" and makes a compelling case.
Nisbett's thesis is that there is no universal human cognition - all cognition is culturally affected. Through the use of numerous psychological studies he shows a stark difference in the way Westerners and East Asians perceive, reason, and "see" the world. Nisbett begins by tracing the origins of Western and East Asian philosophy, science and society. On this foundation he builds a case that Western and East Asian cognition is very different. He completes the book with two chapters on the implications of such differences to our modern world.
After 15 years living and working in 3 countries in Asia I can say that there are fundamental differences in the way people from different cultures process, evaluate, and act on information. Everyone views the world through cultural "glasses," and the glasses are all different. Being aware of your own glasses and the glasses of others is a beginning to cross-cultural understanding.
My Japanese colleague has stopped trying to explain to Americans the way Japanese people think - now he just lets Nisbett's book do it. This book provides important research foundations for trainers and coaches who work cross-culturally in Asia.

The Complete Guide to Coaching at Work
The Complete Guide to Coaching at Work
by Suzanne Skiffington
Edition: Paperback

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Use This As a Master-Level Coaching Text Book, 23 Dec. 2005
This book is written as university-level textbook on the coaching profession. It covers what coaching is and how it is used in business today, particularly in Australia the Author's setting. The authors provide coaching models and do a thorough job of describing the core issues and skills of which coaches must be aware.
Part one of the book defines coaching as "a conversation, a dialogue, whereby a coach and coachee interact in a dynamic exchange to achieve goals, enhance performance and move the coachee forward to greater success" (page xiii). They write of what coaching is, and is not, and what are the qualities of a successful coach.
Part two describes business coaching, executive coaching, the manager as coach and team coaching. Each is addressed in a separate chapter with helpful information, tools, and tips on the "how-tos" of coaching that particular client. These chapters are rich in advise on what to watch out for and pay attention to when working with a certain type of client.
Part three speaks to coaching skills and issues. One chapter starts out as goal setting and then backs up to the client purpose, vision and values as a base for establishing goals. The coach can surface greater perspective and awareness in the client by using helpful tools to assess these three areas of client's life. I believe this is one of the most valuable aspects of coaching, only recently acknowledged by professional coaches (Life Coaches knew this all along) as the key to improving client performance. Other chapters deal with, by now, standard coaching skills such as listening, questioning, non-verbal communication, learning styles, resistance to coaching, and self-limiting beliefs.
This book is an excellent source for the nature and practice of coaching. The authors have incorporated many other coaches' techniques into their text. Coaching books will always have the limitation of being written word and not live dialogue. It is impossible to gain the skills of coaching through any book. However, for the beginner or intermediate coach, the coaching issues, tips and advice in this book are well worth the price.

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