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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 28 January 2003
I found Julie's book an excellent introduction to coaching from both a business and life style point of view. It provides a practical approach to the principals and processes of coaching in a clear and concise manner. Discussion follows a logical path and is well thought out. Highlighted text areas re enforce the topic under discussion whilst Checklists and Examples are used effectively throughout to assist in the coaching process. Essential reading and superb reference material.
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on 20 July 2016
Has very quickly become my bible of coaching ideas and techniques. Easy to read and an excellent reference when working with clients
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on 17 December 2002
I really value this book. I found it to be written with wisdom and integrity and full of practical sound advice and guidelines. There are many books on coaching and if you have to choose I would say go for this one. It is comprehensive but above all easy to read and use and written by someone who walks the talk.
Sue Knight
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on 2 October 2010
I am a trained counsellor and wanted to learn more about coaching, since it is something that is high demand right now. I bought the book hoping I would get many hints, tips and suggestions on how to coach clients.
I did not quite feel I got what I wanted. The book is well written and easy to read, but I felt that it was trying to teach counselling to beginners. I feel that counselling is something that has to be studied at a deeper level, for example at a two-three year course, and not just learned from a book.
I wished that the book had more hands-on tips for counsellors/therapists on how to introduce coaching into their practice. Unfortunately I did not feel like I got what I wanted.
I think its a great book to read while on a counselling or a coaching training, but it is not safe to read a book and then go out and see clients, like I feel the book sometimes implies.
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on 7 March 2010
I was really impressed by the content of this book. I used it throughout my training as a coach and still refer to it for hints and tips. Easy to read and understand the concepts and a great introduction to coaching within a business environment.
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on 24 October 2004
An intelligently laid out and accessible manual, designed to review and highlight the sorts of skills a professional coach should be able to display to do his/her job effectively. When it comes to an analysis of practical skills - such as establishing the context for coaching by using comfortable, conducive space, defining expectations, setting the ground rules for contact, etc. - Julie Starr offers excellent, coherent advice.
The weakness of this manual - and any such manual - is in the areas of philosophy and skills training. In the former case, coaching (or, indeed, therapy or counselling) must begin from a position of respect for the individual. More particularly in coaching, the objective is to help the client (or "coachee"), achieve change, achieve goals by internalising the objective and finding their own way there ... rather than being obviously directed by the coach. Teaching people respect for the individual, teaching them objectivity, teaching them that level of empathetic detachment, etc., is not easy, and I have my doubts it can be accomplished simply by using a manual.
Similarly, there are very real skills which come from experience and critical awareness of your own practice. You can tell people how to listen, how to ask open-ended questions, how to feedback objectively, but these skills (and many others) need to be practised and learned through interaction in the field. At very least, you need to role play the skills.
Starr's manual is excellent when it comes to the practicalities and the applied psychology of the professional relationship, but other aspects are decidedly weak. This is most obvious in her chapter on the fundamental skills of coaching: she identifies five core skills - building rapport or relationship, understanding the different levels of listening, using intuition, asking questions, and giving supportive feedback.
Now, I've worked in social work and research for a quarter of a century: I use the five skills identified above ... and I'd recognise their validity in any form of motivational interviewing or coaching. But I'll stake my pension on the fact that you can't learn intuition from a manual.
Julie Starr's "The Coaching Manual" is an excellent book, and good value. She communicates well, her writing is intelligent, accessible, and she makes some excellent points. However, to get the best from this book you should consider working with other would-be coaches or others interested in the subject - maybe role playing some of the themes to give yourself a chance to evaluate your attitudes and communication skills. Experience is an essential skill, one which is acquired, not learned. What the manual can't give you is a critical feedback on your own performance and the adequacy of your own experience and current range of skills. If you are going to be a good coach, a really good one, and not just delude yourself that you know what you're doing, you will need to supplement this manual with a deal of practical experience ... and some objective self-criticism.
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on 28 February 2016
This is really great book - whether you read from beginning to end, or dip in for occasional insights, it offers helpful and simple guidance. Julie's style of writing is compelling, whatever your coaching experience, and offers practical processes and principles to follow in your individual coaching practice. I'd recommend this as a 'go to' reference guide for all coaches.
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on 15 May 2008
Julie's ability to convey the real heart of coaching conversation is inspiring. The book provides understanding of skills, processes, examples, insightful questioning etc etc but most of all it has shone a light of my coaching journey.Excellent.
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on 10 September 2013
Excellent support literature which we was used for our ILM 5 Coaching Course, it was a very useful tool, very appropriate to the course.
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on 27 October 2003
“Having read many books and articles on coaching, I found ‘The Coaching Manual’ by Julie Starr to be one of the best and most useful books I have read! In particular I had found it to be practical, positive, comprehensive but very clear and logical in its approach. The book made clear links between theory and real issues, there were lots of clear examples and useful tips for applying coaching skills. A great tool and a must for anyone involved with coaching!”
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