What exactly is business coaching? We usually only hear about it in two scenarios, a highly-paid executive who hires a Yoda-like coach to solve their problems or a person being “coached” because their job is in danger. Not surprisingly, the field of coaching isn’t one with which a lot of ordinary people are familiar. Coach!: The Crucial, Deceptively Simple Leadership Skill For Breakaway Performance was written to provide a better introduction to business coaching for those who wonder if coaching could be a good fit for their situation or a future career.
What is Coach! About?
Coach! is focused on two audiences, prospective clients and prospective coaches. For the first audience, author Andrew Neitlich breaks down what coaching is (and is not) as well as how coaching can be used to achieve results at a lower cost and time investment than other forms of support (like therapy or consulting). Coaching is a specific, focused and interactive activity that guides a client through discovering a “problem area” or weakness and developing a plan of attack to conquer it. It involves a clear process that is distinct from other ways of passing knowledge in the workplace (like mentoring or teaching). Coaches don’t waltz into a situation and solve it. They help clients develop the internal and external resources to solve it themselves.
Neitlich, in particular, focuses on a specific type of person who needs business coaching, the high-achieving individual. The book shines a light on high-achieving individuals because they have the most to gain from coaching but often are the last to consider it. (Think about a healthy person who waits until the last minute to get a routine check-up). Neitlich does his best to explain why this group needs to consider coaching and how coaching on an individual level connects to the entire business.
For the second audience (prospective business coaches), the book offers a general overview of business coaching, what should happen to clients as a result of coaching and how to deal with some roadblocks along the way. Neitlich discusses coaching from his viewpoint often giving insightful tips in the process. In addition, the book shows prospective coaches how they can make the case for coaching to future clients.
Aside from writing the book, Neitlich is a consultant and founder of The Center for Executive Coaching, an approved training provider for the international Coach Federation. His organization has trained thousands of coaches who have gone on to work at companies like FedEx, Microsoft, Apple and the U.S. military. Besides his professional duties, Neitlich enjoys playing a lot of tennis in the sunny state of Florida.
What Was Best About Coach!?
The best part of Coach! is its focus on fundamentals. The book begins by providing a crystal-clear definition of what coaching is and how it differs from similar activities (like mentoring or consulting). It then provides a comprehensive look at the coaching process. Coach! doesn’t provide a full-fledged textbook on coaching but it does provide a broad overview of how the process works from the client’s and coach’s perspective.
What Could Have Been Done Differently?
Although the book’s main purpose is to explain what coaching is to prospective clients and coaches, more attention should be directed to developing a viable coaching business. To be specific, the book could devote a little more attention to providing advice on how coaches can get started in the first few months. Some information is given on how to approach and work with clients but there is little advice on how to turn that insight into a viable business.
Why Read Coach!?
Coach! is a guide to the process of coaching for those who either aren’t familiar with or only have a limited or vague sense of what it is. For people considering coaching, the book helps readers understand what it is and what it isn’t. It also looks at how coaching can help you move closer to your goals. For prospective coaches, the book provides an overview of the fundamentals of the coaching process written from the perspective of a coach who founded an organization dedicated to certifying and training professionals in the field.