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The Coaching Solution


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

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

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


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

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. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011


Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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