The Coach's Coach: Personal Development for Personal Developers

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

The style of the book

We have written this book in a conversational style. We wanted to mirror coaching itself in the way the book was written, so that those who read it feel they are having an experience of being coached (a somewhat one-sided experience, it is true, but we have tried to imagine all the stories, questions and challenges you would be posing us as we wrote!) The book is narrative rather than didactic, although hopefully our diversity and breadth of experience lend authority to the conclusions we draw. Our aim is that in reading this book you will feel you have been having a conversation with us, a conversation which increases your own passion for coaching and ability to do it – or receive it- well. Just as Ronnie O’Sullivan says in the quotation which opens this book, it would be ‘all very well’ our telling you to ‘do this and that’; instead, we wanted to write a book which enabled you to access and act on your own thoughts and beliefs about coaching.

Just like a good coaching relationship, the book addresses philosophical issues of belief and value as well as practical issues of how to do things better. Just as a good coach links suggestions and reflections back to a coachee’s own values and purpose, so we have tried always to link anything we recommend back to the fundamental purposes of coaching.

Coaching does not happen in a neat structured sequence. It is something which evolves, and which takes different turns. Everything is connected to everything else. So it has been hard to impose the linear structure of a book on this subject.

We have tried to make links all the time between different parts of the book, so although there are distinct chapters which can be read on their own, the underlying threads which run through the whole book are clear.

Finally, we have approached the problematic issue of gender by using ‘he’ and ‘she’ randomly throughout the book. Sometimes the coach is a ‘he’, sometimes a ‘she’, and the coachee is usually the opposite gender for the sake of clarity.

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