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on 3 March 2007
Finding good books on coaching can be quite a challenge, but once you find them, you tend to return to them over and over again. For me, this will be one such book: it covers some quite complex coaching and supervision models in a way that is accessible, rather than aimed at showing how much the authors know. Well written and structured, it considers a wide range of topics (perhaps the sub-title "supervision and development" is a slight misnomer as the book is broader than that might indicate (or at least to me!), and avoids the current fad for numerous "lists" of how to do things.

The only encouragement for the authors would be that one of the real nuggets - a chapter on "the deference threshold" is tucked away in an appendix. It deserves to be in a bold chapter, in the centre of the book.

Highly recommended
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on 3 February 2007
An excellent book for coaches who wish to improve their practice; coach supervisers and people who buy coaching for themselves or their organisations. Clearly setting out the values, principles and methods which underpin high quality coaching practice, it goes on to describe helpful frameworks to develop, supervise and evaluate coaching performance. All too often, coaching starts and ends in the one to one encounter between client and coach, without reference to the wider context. Hawkins and Smith's 'seven-eyed process' model is a fantastic lens through which to understand the relationships between the coach and the 'coachee', the organisation cultures and indeed the global environment. A 'must-have' for all with an interest in coaching, team coaching and organisation development, which takes coaching, and it's supervision and development, to the next level.
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on 16 October 2009
Who should read this book:
Anyone interested in coaching, mentoring or supervision. The book is particularly useful for practising coaches and should be mandatory reading for all supervisors.

Coaching, Mentoring and Organizational Consultancy: Supervision and Development is a seminal work in the field. The book is divided into three clear sections. The first section considers effective coaching and mentoring practice. Supervision is the focus on the middle section. The final section outlines the skills needed by coaches, mentors and supervisors.

Section 1
The first chapter discusses the "7 Golden Threads" which are "the consistent and underlying themes that appear in all aspects of the work" (4) that they describe in the book. Chapters 2 and 3 focus on providing definitions of coaching and mentoring. Approaches to coaching and mentoring in 1-1 situations are discussed and "CLEAR" is presented as one model. The topical issue of team coaching is discussed in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 considers the role of organizational coaching and consultancy, while Chapter 6 talks about "creating a coaching culture". Reference is made to Clutterbuck and Megginson's definition and the "phases of a developing coaching culture".

Section 2
Chapters 7 to 16 are more specifically about supervision and the professional development of coaches. The section begins with a chapter on adult learning and professional development and presents an interesting list of five "limiting learning patterns" that can be unhelpful. Chapter 8 provides an overview of supervision and the role of supervisor, delineating five key areas that need to be covered. Chapter 9 presents the now-famous "seven-eyed process" and its application in 1-1 supervision sessions. The chapter discusses each of the seven modes in some detail. Group supervision is the topic for Chapters 10 and 11. Peer supervision, team supervision and "shadow consultancy" are also explained.

Section 3
The competencies of good coaches are the subject of Chapter 12. Each core skill is considered through a discussion of the CLEAR model. The next chapter is about the "key qualities and capacities" of coaches, mentors and supervisors. Hawkins and Smith underscore the importance of the ability of coaches to build relationships ("relationship engagement capacity"). The final three chapters conclude the work by considering the ethics of coaching and the important ability of "working with difference".

This book surveys the field of coaching and mentoring in a clear, concise and accessible style. Helpful case studies and anecdotes help to make the concepts and models "real" and usable. The authors set out to write a book "to be both a help and a challenge for you in exploring the foundations of coaching, mentoring and organizational consultancy" (ix). By bringing their own experiences, knowledge and humility to this endeavour, they have more than succeeded in their goal, providing readers with a invaluable overview which is undoubtedly one of the key texts in this field.
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on 23 April 2008
This book discusses the practice, training, skills, capacities and the development and supervision of coaching, mentoring and organisational consultancy. Anyone working in these professions will benefit significantly from reading this book. This includes the areas of self-awareness, self-development and supporting your clients with transformational change.
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on 21 July 2007
This is a book about our profession which has all the right ingredients to help from a practical or philosophical point of view. I read the book from cover to cover, but it's just as useful to pull out the section in which you are interested and use the information.

You can read this book at a few different levels:

As a novice who is seeking a thorough grounding in the main theory underpinning our profession.

As a practitioner who is looking to improve their competence or capability in specific areas.

As an experienced practitioner who is looking to increase their capacity to deliver change in ever more complex and ambiguous environments.

The book has a few dozen approaches and tools, many of which I've used with success on assignments. Several were new to me and I'm looking forward to integrating them into my personal tool bag.
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VINE VOICEon 19 May 2010
This book, by Hawkins and Smith, covers a fair amount of material; in particular it covers the whole area of coaching supervision in more detail than most coaching texts. It reads to me like a typical book written by management consultants - which is no surprise because that is precisely what it is. From my experience there are two broad categories of management consultants. The first take extremely complex concepts and break them down to present them simply and clearly. The second make an art form of complicating things unnecessarily to illustrate their expertise. For me, this book falls into the second category. I don't question that there is a lot of useful content within the 300+ pages of this book but it is buried in a sea of acronyms, models, flowcharts and tables which just reiterate some well established theories and practices. If your specific interest is coaching supervision then this book may be worth a look. If you want a more general book on coaching and mentoring I wouldn't personally recommend it - I'm in a minority on this one - I can only comment as I see it!
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on 14 February 2007
As a fan of Peter Hawkins' previous books and of his coaching supervision workshops, I have been looking forward to reading this book, co-written with Nick Smith, for some time. I was expecting it to be about coaching supervision - which it is - but it ranges much more widely than this as well, exploring team coaching, shadow consulting, organisational coaching, coaching capacities, working with difference and the classic 7-eyed model of supervision (read a summary at [...] This model is not only of interest to people wanting to be coaching supervisors (or receive coaching supervision) - it is also at the heart of transformational coaching, the kind of coaching that leads not so much to a plan of action for the coachee but to a shift in the coachee's state of being. Any coach who aspires to work with leaders should know and be able to use this model - the book is worth buying for this alone. Although its only February, I would be surprised if a more stimulating coaching book is published this year!
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on 15 February 2013
Very good book for someone wanting to understand and/or work as a coaching supervisor - gives good aspects and very useful
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on 7 May 2007
If you're a coach wanting to be a better coach you should read this book. Written in a way that allowed me to truly and more deeply reconnect with the basics was totally inspiring. I found a thirst for the knowledge developing that comes along only very very occasionally. And moving through the book to understand supervision and its place has lifted my coaching to another level of awareness. Thank you for sharing your time and experience with us.
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