Friday 25 September 2015

Another Good Book

I have just finished another excellent book, Psychological Dimensions of Executive Coaching. In this ambitious book, Bluckert provides both a comprehensive overview of, and practical insights into, the field of Executive Coaching. 

He starts by establishing a framework for effective coaching, including the critical success factors, and then surveys the common issues that coaches are asked to help with. All of this was useful, though a little pedestrian at times (for example the coachability levels framework).

However, for me it was the next section that was particularly valuable: The Foundations of a Psychological Approach to Coaching. Here he addresses the key dimensions of a coaching session, and develops the idea of psychological mindedness as an essential coaching attribute. That leads into a discussion of the desirable proficiencies of a coach, and, naturally enough, how to develop as a coach.

The final section was also fascinating, as he addresses the issue of helping people through change from a Gestalt perspective. I have long been interested in Gestalt, and have worked with skilled Gestalt-trained change agents, (most notably Warren Scott, of Oakwood Learning) and picked up a little along the way. So I was particularly pleased to see this and extend my knowledge a bit further: it reminds me of other books on Gestalt and change on my bookcase that I really must get around to studying (something about unfinished business there...).

I was slightly frustrated, reading this, as I had borrowed a copy, so I couldn't scribbble in the margins. Fortunately, my new copy arrived this morning, so I will now re-read it, making copious notes as I go, and hope that this helps my retention.

The next challenge is increasing my psychological mindedness as I coach: that will, I think, be a longer term process...

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