Book Review – Core Coaching: Coaching For Great Performance at Work by Sheridan Maguire

Core coachingCore Coaching subtitled, Coaching for Great Performance at Work was written by Sheridan Maguire to be a simple guide for those who want to deliver coaching in the workplace. The book has some very good lessons for qualified coaches but is also helpful for those who don’t have any coaching certification and want to use coaching as a developmental approach.

This is a relatively small book with just 129 pages but it’s full of good quality information for coaching. There are four chapters in the book which I’ve briefly reviewed below. Continue reading

One Idea Group Session from Coaching and Mentoring by Harvard Business Essentials


Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

In a previous post I shared a One Idea Summary (access it here)on four steps for effective performance coaching. If you are interested in helping others the knowledge from the poster, here are facilitation notes for a bite-sized group learning session that you can use.


This resource will help you to facilitate a short group session to learn from the One Idea Summary on Performance Coaching in Four Steps.


  • Be able to describe the four steps involved in performance coaching.
  • Be able to give on example of how to use the four steps to support a team member.


Send a copy of the One Idea Summary on Performance Coaching in Four Steps to the session’s participants at least one week before the session. Tell them to read it before the session


Introduce the session

Introduce the session by sharing the learning objectives with them.

Review the four steps

Put them into small groups and give each group flipchart paper and pens (depending on the size of the group, you may only have one group).

Tell each group to review what they read about the four steps for performance coaching and write a summary of their understanding on the flip chart sheet. Give them 10-minutes.

After 10-minutes stop them and listen to their summaries.

When they finish feeding back their summaries, move on to discuss examples of using the four steps in reality

Using the four steps

Tell them that, having reviewed the four steps, they are now going to discuss an example of how the four steps can be used in reality. To do this, first split them up into pairs. Next write the following information onto flipchart paper for all to see:

Tim is a team member who never contributes in team meetings but complains that the meetings are only about the manager’s views. You want to use performance coaching to challenge him to contribute during meetings and complain less. In your pairs discuss and answer these questions:

  • How will you prepare (give examples)?
  • What will you discuss with Tim (give examples)?
  • During the coaching session, what questions might you ask? What ideas might you suggest to Tim?
  • How will you follow up Time to monitor his progress?

Give them 10-minutes for the discussion.

After 10-minutes stop them and ask for feedback. Take one point from each pair alternately. Let them continue to give you their points till they run out. Make sure you write all their points on flipchart paper where they can all see it (after the session take a photograph of it and send to everyone)

Appreciate them for the work they did in completing the activity.

Next move on to conclude review and close the session.


To review and close, tell them that:

During this short session you reviewed the four steps involved in performance coaching. You also worked on a short activity on how you may apply the four steps. What remains is for you to practice what you’ve learnt today and to keep on learning about performance coaching.

Close the session.


Quick Review – Coaching and Mentoring by Harvard Business Essentials

Coaching and Mentoriing - Harvard Business EssentialsCoaching and Mentoring subtitled, How To Develop Top Talent and Achieve Stronger Performance is a book from the Harvard Business Essentials series which provides some very practical tips on coaching and mentoring. The book spends almost equal halves discussing both topics, but i believe it shines mostly in the practical and down-to-earth way it describes performance coaching. With material written in an accessible and easy-to-understand format, the book describes a four-step process focused on performance coaching, which in my opinion anyone can grasp. In terms of coaching it also:

  • tells us what coaching is and it’s benefits,
  • provides some tips on how to become a better coach, and
  • offers us some insight into executive coaching.

From a mentoring perspective, it provides some good information on the benefits of mentoring, the differences between mentoring and coaching, and matching mentors and mentees.

It also touches on the issue of how to to be a good mentor and discuss the challenges of mentoring women and minorities and other ways of mentoring distinct from the traditional mentoring set-up such as peer-to-peer mentoring and network mentoring

There are two appendices in the book which i find really useful:

  1. Appendix A describes eight steps for good performance appraisals. These are steps any of us can learn and start using instantly.
  2. Appendix B contains some implementation tools which can improve the effectiveness of coaching. These tools include, a coach’s self evaluation checklist and a tool on how to prepare a feedback session.

Overall i see this to be a very useful book which can give managers and organisations some practical tips about coaching and mentoring.