Coaching 101: Required Reading

Posted in Leadership on January 14th, 2011 by Raymond Gleason

Dur­ing one of my final coach­ing ses­sions of 2010, one of my clients took one of my favorite coach­ing queries and turned it around on me. He said, “So Coach, for 2011, what will YOU be doing BETTER and/or DIFFERENT?”

It took me about 3 sec­onds to respond: “DIFFERENT!”

Begin­ning this month, I will be teach­ing a grad­u­ate course in coach­ing for an Oregon-based university.

This par­tic­u­lar client could be a “poster child” for a coach­ing leader. He reg­u­larly coaches mem­bers of his senior team on liv­ing out their Life Plans, he uses Vision con­sis­tently and cre­atively, he works daily from a sim­ple Busi­ness Plan, and he is ruth­lessly con­sis­tent in liv­ing his Ideal Week.

This client not only “gets” coach­ing, he has a hunger to know and do more.

When I men­tioned my grad­u­ate course, he chal­lenged me: “I know that many of your clients would appre­ci­ate see­ing what you are teach­ing. What read­ings will you assign as the basis for under­stand­ing coaching?”

I was happy to oblige.

I believe the fol­low­ing thir­teen works pro­vide an excel­lent basis for the under­stand­ing and appli­ca­tion of coach­ing for any­one, includ­ing grad­u­ate students:

1. Becom­ing a Coach­ing Leader (Harkavy)

2. Coach­ing and Men­tor­ing (Parsloe and Leedham)

3. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard (Heath and Heath)

4. Just Enough: Tools for Cre­at­ing Suc­cess in Your Work and Life (Steven­son and Nash)

5. “Man­ag­ing One­self” (Drucker)

6. “My Life as a Knowl­edge Worker” (Drucker)

7. “Build­ing Your Company’s Vision” (Collins and Porras)

8. “The Smart Talk Trap” (Pfef­fer and Sutton)

9. “Why do Good Man­agers Choose Poor Strate­gies?” (Teis­berg)

10.“Six Influ­ences” (Cial­dini)

11. “Six Think­ing Hats” (DeBono)

12. “Three Signs of a Mis­er­able Job” (Lencioni)

13. “Five Dys­func­tions of a Team” (Lencioni)

This list is by no means exhaus­tive or defin­i­tive. It is my first effort to pull together what I believe will pro­vide my grad­u­ate stu­dents a basis in under­stand­ing the­o­ries, prin­ci­ples, and prac­tices for coaching.

I would love to learn from you.

What read­ing would YOU require if you were to teach an intro­duc­tory course in coaching?

What one book or arti­cle has most impacted you in your under­stand­ing, or prac­tice, of coaching?

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5 Responses to “Coaching 101: Required Reading”

  • I am really enjoy­ing read­ing “Greater Than Your­self” by Steve Far­ber. Nice lessons on being a leader and coach­ing oth­ers to be great.

  • Great list! I would add The Power of Full Engage­ment by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

  • Great list coach! Thanks for shar­ing. I have my read­ing list for 2011. :) Daniel’s book has been my coach­ing Bible for the last few years. I’m excited to dive into these oth­ers. — Dan (aka — Your best student)

  • RG,

    I would add Men­tor Like Jesus (Regi Camp­bell). It has had incflu­ence on my coach­ing style with infor­mal ‘mentees’. Also, appre­ci­ate the mem­ory verses by topic.

    I need to work on my list…I have read 2 of 13, includ­ing #1 twice!


  • Coach­ing for Improved Work Per­for­mance, by Fer­di­nand F. Fournies.
    Sev­eral years ago, I ran across a state­ment from a famed intel­lec­tual, in which he stated that although he felt it was impor­tant to con­tin­u­ally read to stim­u­late thought, it was very impor­tant to have a core group of books that would become so ingrained as to be part of one’s per­sonal phi­los­o­phy. For me, this book and Becom­ing a Coach­ing Leader are the cen­tral pil­lars hold­ing up my per­sonal lead­er­ship pilosophy…

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