• Coach the Person, Not the Problem

  • A Guide to Using Reflective Inquiry
  • By: Marcia Reynolds
  • Narrated by: Tiffany Williams
  • Length: 5 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (172 ratings)

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Coach the Person, Not the Problem

By: Marcia Reynolds
Narrated by: Tiffany Williams
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Publisher's summary

From a founding member of the coaching movement comes a detailed guide to mastering one of a coach’s toughest skills: thoughtfully reflecting clients’ words and expressions back to them so they see themselves and their world through new eyes.

“Coaches rely far too much on asking open-ended questions,” says Marcia Reynolds. But questions only seek answers — inquiry provides insight. When, instead of just questions, clients hear their thoughts, opinions, and beliefs spoken by someone else, it prompts them to critically consider how their thinking affects their goals. Reynolds cites the latest brain science to show why reflective inquiry works and provides techniques, tips, and structures for creating breakthrough conversations. 

This book will free coaches from the cult of asking the magical question by offering five essential practices of reflective inquiry: Focus on the person, not the problem; summarize what is heard and expressed; identify underlying beliefs and assumptions; unwrap the desired outcome; and articulate insights and commitments. Using these practices, combined with a respectful and caring presence, helps create a space where clients feel safe, seen, and valued for who they are. Coaches become change agents who actively recharge the human spirit. And clients naturally dive deeper and develop personalized solutions that may surprise even the coach.

©2020 Marcia Reynolds (P)2020 Marcia Reynolds

What listeners say about Coach the Person, Not the Problem

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Conventional coaching

There are basic ideas like reflecting, focusing outcomes and coaching the person instead of the problem. The main reason this was not for me is because of the reflecting, summarizing and paraphrasing the clients content. I lean more towards clean language and this is too "dirty" for me, because you are changing/distorting the content when you reflect, summarize or paraphrase, alas, this is what many coaches teach/do. It's not that it's completely ineffective, just other options allow the client to work through and resolve issues more in line with my own practice. If you're new, a fan of the author, or are inclined to this type of model, go for it. I'd recommend Caitlin Walker for those tired of the same-o, same-o. Lesser known and highly effective. YMMV

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8 people found this helpful

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Doing Coaching or Being a Coach

The book is full.of practical tips and ideas with examples which are real and help grasp the concept in an effective manner !

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4 people found this helpful

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thought provoking

I am not a professional coach, I am a manager of a team and I wanted to find ways to coach differently to produce different results, thus decided to listen to this book. I also bought the book about half way through because I liked what I was hearing. I have gained a new perspective when conducting my conversations. The narrator was very easy to follow.

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3 people found this helpful

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Required for all coaches

This is the clearest and most focused guide for coaching - at its broadest understanding as a method.

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Coaching Wisdom

Loaded with coaching wisdom and best practices - from beginning to end. Marcia lays out the fundamentals and walks you thru, step-by-step. Excellent tools and tips for beginners and as a refresher for more experienced coaches. Highly recommend!

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Practical Coaching Techniques

Application of reflective inquiry takes the “overthinking” out of the coaching process and reminds the reader/coach that maintaining presence in the moment with the client comes through curiosity, not through a list of the next best question.

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I’ll read it two more times to do it justice

I guess I’m drawn to this book because its coaching philosophy is close to my own. As with the best books, this one articulates old truths in new ways — ways that I can immediately apply in my coaching and training.
Tiffany Williams’ narration does the content justice in a way I seldom experience.
Push through the first few minutes where she inexplicably defends the ICF for some reason and continue to the rest of the book. It’s excellent

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Great Listen for All New Coaches

I am a new coach and there are so many pearls in this book. Good for all but a must for new! Thank you!

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Must read for coaches

The book offers a fresh perspective on coaching that can be liberating for coaches: it is not merely about asking questions and about finding the right question all the time. Also, the author offers a rich toolbox for coaches to listen better, be more present, judge less, etc. I strongly recommend this book for coaches.

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A Must for Coaches and Leaders

While this book focuses on coaches, it provides skills for leaders that will impact culture, productivity, and bottom line results.

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