Effective Coaching by Cook and Poole is an excellent book which covers the essentials of coaching for novices and even experienced pros. The authors indicate that a coach must have certain traits like a positive attitude, enthusiasm,
trust, focus, the ability to see the big picture, respect and empathy for others, curiosity and the ability to be objective.
In conversation, coaches must be very observant for things like body language, level of interest and attention to detail according to the authors. In addition, the presentation emphasizes the needs of staff. These needs include learning relevant skills, achieving milestones, reinforcement, performance measurement, attention and incremental praise.
The authors demonstrate how a coach should perform in action. Coaches need to develop rapport with the staff, a vision, the ability to brainstorm, a plan formulation, commitment and followup to ensure that projects are on target.
At bottom, the book teaches that coaches need to structure work and then allow people to do the job without too much interference and micro-manaagement. Another important task is to match workers with tasks commensurate with their skills. Coaches need to create a supportive environment with adequate
opportunities to learn. Finally, coaches need to concentrate on the process for accomplishing tasks without getting buried in too many details. Analysis paralysis is another phenomenon which coaches need to be aware of and overcome.
Effective Coaching fills in the blanks on many aspects of coaching that could be missed or overlooked in the unpredictable dynamic of managing small groups of people under tight time deadlines. The book is easy to understand, and the concepts are presented in a logical sequence utilizing checklists and other structured problem solving tools.