Coaching in organisations

Last week’s library book for my commute was Coaching in Organisations by Linda Miller and Madeline Homan Blanchard. I think this must have been on the reading list for my coaching apprenticeship course. Hmm, shame I didn’t get around to reading it earlier as some of the earlier chapters might have helped me demonstrate more effectively the answers to the questions around measuring impact of coaching across stakeholders. Oh well! I did pass. Anyway….

I have to confess I didn’t love this book. I struggled with the tone and style if I am honest. I found the tone rather prescriptive and a bit dated now in places (there was talk about using dial-up connections and the style of dress you should wear as a coach). It felt that it was very much written for coaching in USA corporate organisations. That said, the second chapter which addressed how to set up a coaching culture in your organisation would be really helpful if you were attempting to do exactly that! It was extremely comprehensive on all the different facets of things you would need to think about if you were engaging in creating an internal coaching network, including training and support of internal coaches, matching them, publicising coaching and engaging stakeholders. The third chapter which looked at managing coaches and the fourth chapter which addressed measuring success were also helpful.

I wonder if part of the challenge for me with this book was that it was trying to do everything – from introducing coaching, to outlining how to set up a network, to coaching skills, coaching techniques, evaluating coaching and different types of coaching – which meant that each area was not addressed in huge amounts of detail. If I’m being a bit “academic” about it there were quite a few assertions without a lot of evidence.

I think this book would be good if you needed a high level view of coaching and/or you were wishing to set up a coaching network in a large organisation. It could help inspire an interest in coaching and a curiosity which could then be met by other books that look a various styles of coaching in more depth.

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