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5 books about coaching for educational leaders

Coaching for Performance

Sir John Whitmore

Sir John Whitmore is the Beyoncé of coaching. When it comes to the GROW model, he wrote the book … literally! If my house was on fire and I could only save one book, it’d be this one. 
If you’re looking for an easily digestible starting point in your coaching journey, then this has everything you need.

The essential guide to Coaching and Mentoring
Judith Tolhurst

I checked this book out from my local library. 10 pages in I knew that I had to invest in my own copy. 
This book is written specifically for educators. While some coaching books can get a bit heavy handed with the business jargon, this one is all about teacher lingo. There are lots of great examples of real coaching conversations with teachers as they navigate their way through problems that we can all relate to. 
Judith uses the LEAP model which has many similarities to GROW (to be fair, all coaching models share the same core elements). 

Techniques for Coaching and Mentoring
Lancer, et. al.

At around $75, this is by far the most expensive book on my top 5 list but if you’re keen to get REALLY into coaching it’s well worth the investment. It’s not a beginners guide, but if you’ve got a good understanding of coaching and want to delve in deeper, then this has oodles of detail to sink your teeth into. 

The Coaching Habit
Michael Bungay Stanier

While most of these books focus on how to have a coaching conversation, this one looks at how to develop coaching as a way of being. It’s a pocket guide of bite-sized actions that you can take to incorporate coaching into your general communication with colleagues. It’s an easy read with lots of practical ideas, tools and questions.

Coaching Leadership
Jan Robertson

If you're looking for a coaching book that is specific to education in New Zealand then this is the one! Jan Robertson is a Professor at the University of Waikato, an international leadership consultant and the director of the NZ Aspiring Principals’ programme - she’s a pretty big deal! She writes in quite hard-core academic speak and wraps A LOT of research around her work. This book includes real life examples from NZ school leaders who have implemented coaching in some way in their practice. It provides an in depth summary into how coaching has impacted upon teachers and learners. 



 

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