The Complete Handbook of Coaching Hardcover – 1 Dec 2009
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"This book is the most thorough, comprehensive and accessible overview of key approaches to coaching yet on the market. A must for students and practitioners of coaching alike."
Dr Janice Russell, Executive and Life Coach, University of Hull
"Easy to understand and read, the Handbook of Coaching provides a comprehensive coverage of the key areas in coaching and is a good introduction to the subject matter. As a single reference it sets the standard for its breadth of coverage of the field of coaching." - Dr Caroline Horner, Director, i-coach Academy
"A fascinating, timely and comprehensive text... This is a great resource for coaches of all persuasions. It is the most comprehensive handbook that I know, and it is one that I expect to cherish for a long time to come." - Prof David Megginson, Sheffield Hallam University
About the Author
Elaine is a principal lecturer and the leader of programmes for the International Centre for Coaching and Leadership Development at Oxford Brookes University in the UK, where she also directs the Doctor of Coaching and Mentoring Programme and supervises doctoral students. She is an experienced researcher, author and editor and has recently co-edited the bestselling book, The Complete Handbook of Coaching, 2nd edition. Her other books with SAGE include Coaching Understood (2013) and she is also the founding editor of The International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching & Mentoring.
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I am finding that the content of the book helps put the training I have received in coaching into a secure and clear context and would recommend it to anyone who has gone through practically based training. It will also be an excellent basis for identifying further study and development. If you do buy it - do read the introduction, it's one of the best summaries I've seen of what coaching is all about.
Some parts are clearly written by academics and these parts I found a bit of a slog (organismic self- regulation, constructivist epistemology, oh dear…), , but there are some terrific exercises.
This book is ideal for coaches who are curious about the broad range of theoretical approaches in the field. The Complete Handbook of Coaching is particularly useful in providing professionals--novice or experienced coaches--with an excellent overview of theoretical approaches, coaching contexts and topical issues.
Cox, Bachkirova and Clutterbuck have provided us with a treasure trove of coaching approaches, techniques and evidence-based practice. The Complete Handbook of Coaching is a collection of masterfully-edited chapters written by many of the field's leading academics and practitioners. In my opinion, this is an essential addition to every coach's book shelf.
The book is divided into three key sections: Theoretical Approaches; Genres and Contexts; and Professional Practice Issues.
Section 1 will be the most useful for practising coaches. The very accessible and clear writing style in most chapters will provide a coach with a helpful and succinct introduction to a particular approach. The editors have been able to strike the right balance between theory, research and practice. Each chapter is followed by a suggested further reading list.
Chapter 1: Psychodynamic approach. It's difficult to find a good, concise and reliable chapter on this approach. Here is one!
Chapter 2: Cognitive-behavioural coaching. A good chapter, written by experts in the field.
Chapter 3: Solution-focused approach. There are at least two different coaching approaches called "Solution-focused". Here is an excellent description of one of them, written by well-respected academics in this field.
Chapter 4: Person-centred approach: One of the best chapters in the book. If you want an introduction to the person-centred approach to coaching, look no further.
Chapter 5: Gestalt approach. An excellent chapter for anyone who wants to know more about Gestalt.
Chapter 6: Existential coaching. If you're wondering "what does existential coaching mean", read this chapter. Excellent.
Chapter 7: Ontological coaching. Explains an approach which brings together language, emotions and the body.
Chapter 8: Narrative coaching: Excellent chapter on the coachee as narrator.
Chapter 9: Cognitive-developmental approach. Clear and reader-friendly explanation of a relatively complex approach.
Chapter 10: Transpersonal approach. Spirited defence of a sometimes misinterpreted approach. One of the real gems in this book.
Chapter 11: Positive psychology approach. Excellent chapter that clearly demonstrates the overlap between positive psychology and coaching.
Chapter 12: Transactional analysis. This chapter presents a useful set of tools but may leave readers wanting a bit more.
Chapter 13: NLP approach. This approach has its champions and detractors--but this is an excellently crafted chapter which presents a balanced assessment.
Section 2 provides an interesting discussion about "applied contexts". While it provides an overview of a range of different "types" of coaching, this endeavour is made problematic by the changing nature of the field and lack of agreement about the terminology.
Chapter 14: Skills and performance coaching. Are they the same thing? One view is presented here.
Chapter 15: Developmental coaching. Isn't all coaching developmental? A good discussion in this chapter.
Chapter 16: Transformational coaching. Another contested term: "transformational coaching". One interpretation is presented here.
Chapter 17: Executive and leadership coaching. Excellent chapter which is ideal for sharing with coachees. One of the best summaries of executive and leadership coaching available.
Chapter 18: The manager as coach. Another controversial topic. This is thoughtfully and helpfully discussed in this chapter.
Chapter 19: Team coaching. This seems to be a growth area. Very useful chapter written by one of the field's leading figures.
Chapter 20: Peer coaching. Another excellent chapter. Also good for sharing with clients if peer coaching is being considered. Very insightful chapter with real clarity and depth (at the same time!)
Chapter 21: Life coaching. Life coaching has a relatively poor reputation in this field, so it's good to see it discussed in a balanced way by one of the field's leading academics.
Chapter 22: Career coaching. Based on this chapter, career coaching seems to be a re-branded version of career guidance.
Chapter 23: Cross-cultural coaching. A potentially controversial topic, beautifully and sensitively handled. Another one of the book's gems.
Chapter 24: Mentoring in a coaching world. Why include a chapter on mentoring in a Handbook of Coaching? Read the chapter to find out!
Section 3 looks at the contested area of the "professionalisation" of coaching. For those entering the "profession", this section offers a snapshot of the kinds of issues that are being debated.
Chapter 25: The future of coaching as a profession. Chapters like this tend to date quickly--but many of the issues are still topical.
Chapter 26: Ethics in coaching. Excellent introductory chapter into a critically important topic.
Chapter 27: Coaching supervision. The seven-eyed model of supervision in a nutshell.
Chapter 28: Coaching and mental health. A welcome entry on something that is not discussed enough in our field.
Chapter 29: Continuing professional development for coaches. A good chapter which makes a strong case for research into what makes coaching effective.
Without exaggeration, this is a "must have" handbook for anyone who is practising as a coach. It can be read cover-to-cover because of its engaging style and relatively short chapters. It also serves as a very useful reference book. Cox, Bachkirova and Clutterbuck's valuable contribution to the field is authoritative, accessible and practical.
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