Challenging Coaching Book Summary - Challenging Coaching Book explained in key points
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Challenging Coaching summary

John Blakey and Ian Day

Going Beyond Traditional Coaching to Face the FACTS

4.3 (96 ratings)
22 mins

Brief summary

Challenging Coaching by John Blakey and Ian Day offers an alternative approach to coaching that challenges traditional methods and promotes questioning, disobedience, and authenticity. It encourages coaches to focus on creating a safe and supportive environment in which clients can challenge themselves and grow.

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    Challenging Coaching
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    Traditional coaching’s original influences were mainly support oriented.

    Even though it might seem to have existed forever, the coaching profession is actually still in its teenage years. When it first emerged in the 1980s, it was still very much a toddler, and easily influenced by its older peers – like psychotherapy and counselling.

    This influence means that coaching shares a core foundation with support-oriented counselling disciplines where the client gets unconditional positive backing.

    For example, active listening and powerful questioning are the two skill sets that are fundamentally required for counselling, mentoring, therapy – and coaching. These skills are considered necessary for developing an understanding of a client’s needs – which is the starting point of all progress – and helping them find their own answers, which is key to self-determination, a major value of support-oriented disciplines.

    But when coaching was born, it knew none of all this. So, in search of orientation, coaching took its biggest inspiration from person-centered therapy.

    Person-centered therapy was developed by Carl Rogers, one of the most influential therapists of the twentieth century, renowned for his humanist methodology. His non-directive approach is based on the fundamental belief that a client already possesses the vast resources necessary for development. The therapist's role is to help the client find their own solutions by creating a safe space for growth using empathy (seeing through another’s eyes), congruence (being completely open and honest) and unconditional, non-judgmental positive regard. These principles have become the foundation for traditional coaching models.

    For example, the popular Co-Active Coaching model significantly overlaps with Carl Rogers’ principles: the client is considered naturally resourceful, the agenda comes from the client, and the relationship is an alliance designed for the client’s growth.

    Another example is the well-known GROW model, which also shares its main assumptions with Rogers: The client is considered able to find their own solutions, empathy is focused to create a safe space, and understanding is developed through non-directive questioning.

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    What is Challenging Coaching about?

    Challenging Coaching argues that traditional coaching is limited by its therapeutic origins. Blakey and Day introduce a better alternative for the twenty-first century business environment: the FACTS approach. Its emphasis on demanding challenging Feedback, Accountability, Courageous Goals, Tension and Systems Thinking drives a client to achieve their full potential.

    Challenging Coaching Review

    Challenging Coaching (2012) is an insightful book that takes a fresh look at the world of coaching, offering valuable lessons for both coaches and leaders. Here's why this book is a worthwhile read:

    • With its provocative viewpoints and unconventional advice, it challenges traditional coaching methods and encourages readers to think outside the box.
    • By exploring the limitations of traditional coaching models and proposing new approaches, it sparks critical thinking and stimulates growth in the coaching field.
    • The book's practical strategies and case studies equip readers with tools and techniques to enhance their coaching skills and create lasting change for themselves and their clients.

    Best quote from Challenging Coaching

    I love it when you challenge me, so challenge me more!

    —John Blakey and Ian Day
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    Who should read Challenging Coaching?

    • Anyone interested in coaching or being coached
    • Anyone interested in peak performance

    About the Author

    John Blakey and Ian Day both have extensive experience coaching board-level leaders all around the world.

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    Challenging Coaching FAQs 

    What is the main message of Challenging Coaching?

    The main message of Challenging Coaching is to encourage coaches to push their clients beyond their comfort zones for better performance.

    How long does it take to read Challenging Coaching?

    The reading time for Challenging Coaching can vary. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Challenging Coaching a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Challenging Coaching is worth reading, offering valuable insights on how to challenge clients effectively for growth and success.

    Who is the author of Challenging Coaching?

    The authors of Challenging Coaching are John Blakey and Ian Day.

    What to read after Challenging Coaching?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Challenging Coaching, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Coach's Survival Guide by Kim Morgan
    • Co-Active Coaching by Henry Kimsey-House
    • Coaching for Performance by Sir John Whitmore
    • Unlocking Potential by Michael K. Simpson
    • Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
    • The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins
    • Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock
    • The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
    • Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop
    • The First Rule of Mastery by Michael Gervais