These are a few of my favorite books I’ve collected over the years and use frequently in my coaching practice. For each book, I’ve included a passage that makes each resource a keeper.
“…Coaching is chiefly about discovery, awareness, and choice. It is a way of effectively empowering people to find their own answers, encouraging and supporting them on the path as they continue to make important life-giving and life-changing choices.”
“There’s no substitute for personal experience when we want to connect with people’s hearts. If you know something without having lived it, your audience experiences a credibility gap. If you’ve done something but don’t know it well enough to explain it, the audience experiences frustration. You have to bring both together to connect consistently.”
“…Skilled people don’t make Sucker’s Choices (either/or choices)…They present themselves with tougher questions -
questions that turn the either/or choice in a search for the all-important and
ever-elusive and. Here’s how it works.
First, clarify what you really want. If you know what you want for yourself, for others, and for the relationship, then you’re in position to break out of the Sucker’s Choice.
“I want my partner to be more reliable when we make plans. I feel let down when he/she doesn’t keep his/her word.”
Second, clarify what you really don’t want. This is key to framing the and question. …What bad thing will happen if you stop pushing so hard? What horrible outcome makes game-playing an attractive and sensible option?”
“I don’t want a conversation where feelings are hurt and nothing is resolved.”
Third, present your brain with a more complex problem. Finally, combine the two into an and question that forces you to search for more creative and productive options than silence and violence.
“How can I speak to my partner about being more reliable and not create bad feelings between us.”
“Every ego confuses opinions and viewpoints with facts…Only through awareness – not through thinking – can you differentiate between fact and opinion. Only through awareness are you able to see: There is the situation and here is the anger I feel about it, and then realize there are other ways of approaching the situation, other ways of seeing it and dealing with it. Only through awareness can you see the totality of the situation or person instead of adopting one limited perspective.”
The Role of the Leader
“The most important action that a leader must take to encourage the building of trust on a team is to demonstrate vulnerability first. This requires that a leader risk losing face in front of the team, so that subordinates will take the same risk themselves. What is more, team leaders must create an environment that does not punish vulnerability…Finally, displays of vulnerability on the part of a team leader must be genuine; they cannot be staged. One of the best ways to lose the trust of a team is to feign vulnerability in order to manipulate the emotions of others.”
“Within a team, loud voices can drown out the quieter ones. Outgoing personalities can overshadow more subtle ones. That’s why it’s so important for organizations to understand how individuals contribute to the whole. There are many, many ways to communicate and become more valuable. Understanding the full spectrum helps to make sure that each person makes a real difference.”
“Staying calm and focused under stress is characterized by the following: Ability to attend to self-needs, as well as the needs of others. We can’t please all the people all the time, but that doesn’t mean we need to walk through this world alone. We have it within each us to be flexible, work collaboratively with others, and be both leaders and followers.”