A comprehensive, authoritative, and well-organized manual for boosting productivity through coaching.

The Coaching Solution

HOW TO DRIVE TALENT DEVELOPMENT, ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE, AND BUSINESS RESULTS

A Fortune 500 executive–turned-consultant looks at how to implement coaching programs inside professional organizations.

In this debut, Robertson draws on her own successful corporate coaching career to explain what coaching is, why organizations need it, how it serves a variety of human resource and talent development needs, and how it can lead to organizational change and improve results. The author discovered coaching while working in sales for MCI Communications in the mid-1990s. At the time, “life coaching” was popular, but professional coaching in corporations rarely extended beyond senior executives. She spearheaded a coaching program for MCI sales managers, who were dealing with rapid growth and technological change. Her program expanded to other departments and diversified in scope; meanwhile, MCI was acquired by WorldCom in 1998, which declared bankruptcy in 2002, emerged from bankruptcy in 2004, and was acquired by Verizon in 2006. Her coaching, she says, helped retain employees during the various crises and combine different cultures during mergers, which garnered her two consecutive International Coach Federation Prism Awards. This book’s content and workbook format appear to be aimed specifically at human resources administrators. Robertson uses her experience to offer instructions that are never dry or vague; instead, she moves seamlessly back and forth between her coaching principles and real-life anecdotes. She displays an encyclopedic knowledge throughout as she provides a step-by-step blueprint for launching an internal coaching program. Along the way, she also discusses how to use external coaches when time frames, budgets, or required skill sets warrant. The book looks at how to evaluate a company’s readiness for coaching and where it should reside in the organization and gives advice on how to write job descriptions, hire qualified coaches, develop talent, and measure results. Robertson continuously asks helpful questions in clear, if not always succinct, prose (“What level of impact do any pre-existing conditions have on the sales process and the ability to sell services into the account?”). There’s some business jargon, but it’s appropriate for the book’s audience; professional coaches, she notes, should be conversant in the language their clients use. She also offers document templates, training tools, and websites for further reference.

A comprehensive, authoritative, and well-organized manual for boosting productivity through coaching.

Pub Date: June 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9909380-4-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Secant Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

ECONOMIC DIGNITY

Noted number cruncher Sperling delivers an economist’s rejoinder to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Former director of the National Economic Council in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the author has long taken a view of the dismal science that takes economic justice fully into account. Alongside all the metrics and estimates and reckonings of GDP, inflation, and the supply curve, he holds the great goal of economic policy to be the advancement of human dignity, a concept intangible enough to chase the econometricians away. Growth, the sacred mantra of most economic policy, “should never be considered an appropriate ultimate end goal” for it, he counsels. Though 4% is the magic number for annual growth to be considered healthy, it is healthy only if everyone is getting the benefits and not just the ultrawealthy who are making away with the spoils today. Defining dignity, admits Sperling, can be a kind of “I know it when I see it” problem, but it does not exist where people are a paycheck away from homelessness; the fact, however, that people widely share a view of indignity suggests the “intuitive universality” of its opposite. That said, the author identifies three qualifications, one of them the “ability to meaningfully participate in the economy with respect, not domination and humiliation.” Though these latter terms are also essentially unquantifiable, Sperling holds that this respect—lack of abuse, in another phrasing—can be obtained through a tight labor market and monetary and fiscal policy that pushes for full employment. In other words, where management needs to come looking for workers, workers are likely to be better treated than when the opposite holds. In still other words, writes the author, dignity is in part a function of “ ‘take this job and shove it’ power,” which is a power worth fighting for.

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7987-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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