John Whitmore’s sports training techniques serves as a backbone behind his professional business coaching book, coaching for performance. Now in its fourth edition, this book provides a simple foundation for coaching based on the context of awareness and responsibility, through asking questions and also listening. He presents the G R O W model of coaching – Goal, Reality, Option, Will – as a format for coaching sessions.
The book begins with a few foundational beliefs of coaches. Unlike old models of management that work from the “carrot and stick” approach, a coach believes in the potential of the client. Whitmore believes that people are only able to change only that which they are aware. Responsibility must stay with the client if they are to perform. Questions raise awareness and yet maintain the client’s responsibility. If a consultant (coach) alerts their client to something, awareness may increase slightly, but responsibility is now in the hands of the coach, the source of the information. However, asking questions to the client causes them to pay attention to their actions, think at higher levels, and provide feedback for the coach to work from. This is just one of many suggested techniques provided in this book.
The book has plenty of practical insights and helpful hints which complement the concept behind modern day coaching, a worthy read.