The Coach's Coach: Personal Development for Personal Developers

by Alison Hardingham with Mike Brearley, Adrian Moorhouse, Brendan Venter
published September 2004

The contributors

Alison Hardingham, the main author, is a business psychologist and published author in the fields of management development and applied psychology. She has over twenty years of experience in coaching individuals and teams. Brendan Venter was an international rugby player who played for the South African national team, and subsequently played and coached at London Irish. He is now a GP in Cape Town. Adrian Moorhouse broke the world record in breast stroke five times and won an Olympic gold medal. He is now the Managing Director of Lane 4, a consulting company. Mike Brearley was one of Englandís best known and most successful cricket captains and is now a full-time psychoanalyst.

Already you will see that in this book we want to acknowledge and embrace the diversity of coaching. That is one of the reasons we are a diverse group of contributors. We come from the worlds of business, psychology, psychoanalysis, sport (both individual and team), and medicine; we include the male and the female perspective; we are young, middle-aged and old; we belong to profoundly different cultures; we have diverse pasts and diverse present lives; and the coaching experiences we have had are different. Our challenge is to extract the core of understanding from that diversity and communicate it to you, in a way which increases the choices open to you. I mean, choices about how to coach well, or how to find good coaching. We are against rule books and restriction; we are for excellence and integrity.

We chose to write this book together because we are interested in what coaching across many different fields of human endeavour has in common. We are also interested in the differences. The similarities and differences between coaching in sport and coaching in business are of particular importance. Business has borrowed a great deal from the expertise of sports coaches. There is indeed much to learn by comparing the two fields and yet many mistakes to be made if messages from sport are applied to business unthinkingly. So we have worked together to ensure that what we say here about the pillars of effective coaching is true for all the good coaching we have seen.

We have used our diversity of experience to illustrate our points with many different stories, from our different worlds. We hope you will enjoy the variety and breadth that these stories bring to the book. And we believe in the coaching value of story-telling, as you will read later in this book.

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