Coaching for Performance Book Summary - Coaching for Performance Book explained in key points
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Coaching for Performance summary

Sir John Whitmore

The Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership

4.5 (125 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

Coaching for Performance by Sir John Whitmore is a classic coaching book that outlines a proven framework for coaching, focusing on the GROW model. It provides practical tools and insights for professional coaches and managers alike.

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    Coaching for Performance
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    Principles of performance coaching

    Coaching is, at its core, the process of building a relationship with a coachee, and guiding them in their performance development journey. Together, you’re looking to remove the internal blocks that limit a person’s potential.

    This can be a bit tough to visualize, so let’s compare coaching to a different learning strategy, mentorships. In a mentorship, the mentor is passing knowledge to their mentee. The focus is on the mentor’s experience. Learning comes from telling.

    Coaching is different. The aim of coaching is to focus on the experience of the coachee, whilst the coach guides them in overcoming internal obstacles. You’re helping them to work past things like self-doubt, lack of fulfillment, or low motivation. It’s based off the core principles of awareness and responsibility.

    This means being self-aware and responsible for your own actions and development. It also means being socially aware, and responsible for your relationships with others. Performance coaching gives the coachee autonomy over their development and builds personal motivation.

    But before you can coach others, you need to coach yourself. Your own personal responsibility and awareness are essential to leading and coaching a high performance team. The hardest habit to kick is to listen, not tell.

    When the Financial Times began to implement a coaching method, team leader Oliver Duplain admitted that it felt a bit like losing power. But when he saw that his team was putting out 10 times as much effort, he understood that the trade-off was worth it.

    As we work through the GROW model, keep these core principles in mind. Whitmore emphasizes that the model is only powerful when it’s used in the context of emotional intelligence. Coaches have to ensure they’re asking powerful questions, and actively listening to the responses they receive. You want the coachee to mentally engage, and not feel judged in the process.

    We’ll look at specific powerful questions at each stage of GROW, but for now, remember that your focus should always be on the coachee.

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    What is Coaching for Performance about?

    Coaching for Performance (2009) is the foundational text which launched the multimillion-dollar business coaching industry. The 25th anniversary edition brings new life to the hallmark GROW model, and revisits the methods after a quarter-century of learning in performance coaching. It’s essential for leaders and coaches globally.

    Coaching for Performance Review

    Coaching for Performance (2009) by Sir John Whitmore offers valuable insights into the power of coaching and its impact on personal and professional growth. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its practical strategies and techniques, it equips readers with the tools to enhance their coaching skills and unlock potential in others.
    • The book emphasizes the importance of mindset, interpersonal skills, and continuous learning for effective coaching, making it relevant and applicable in various contexts.
    • Through real-life stories and case studies, it provides a compelling narrative that brings coaching concepts to life, making the book engaging and relatable.

    Who should read Coaching for Performance?

    • Leaders looking for inspiration
    • Coaches who want to understand the performance coaching method
    • Anyone looking to improve the performance of their team

    About the Author

    Sir John Whitmore pioneered the performance coaching industry after recognizing how valuable his coaching methods could be beyond the sports arena. After retiring from professional racecar driving, he spent years developing the “performance coaching” method, eventually starting Performance Consultants – the first leadership and business coaching consultants. He developed the GROW method of coaching and launched the coaching industry as we know it. He died in 2017, a few months after the 25th edition was completed.

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    Coaching for Performance FAQs 

    What is the main message of Coaching for Performance?

    The main message of Coaching for Performance is to unlock people's potential and improve performance through coaching.

    How long does it take to read Coaching for Performance?

    The reading time for Coaching for Performance varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Coaching for Performance a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Coaching for Performance is worth reading for its valuable insights on coaching and improving performance. It offers practical guidance and strategies in just 15 minutes with the Blinkist summary.

    Who is the author of Coaching for Performance?

    The author of Coaching for Performance is Sir John Whitmore.

    What to read after Coaching for Performance?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Coaching for Performance, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Unlocking Potential by Michael K. Simpson
    • The Advice Trap by Michael Bungay Stanier
    • The Ultimate Guide to Great Mentorship by Scott Jeffrey Miller
    • Co-Active Coaching by Henry Kimsey-House
    • The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
    • Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock
    • How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes
    • Challenging Coaching by John Blakey and Ian Day
    • The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan