Book review: Adventures in Coaching

Book review: Adventures in Coaching

Adventures in Coaching

We recently read Adventures in Coaching by Benjamin Dowman in the EMCC UK Book Club. Our Book Club reviewers have sent this review of the book.

Adventures in Coaching is relevant for those wanting to know more about coaching – and it definitely achieves its stated objectives. If you’re new to coaching and want to understand more about what it is, how it works, and what the key skills are, then the earlier chapters will be of great interest to you in setting the scene. If you’re experienced in coaching, then the first chapters may be revision of key ideas before we progress on to more advanced coaching concepts.

The latter chapters introduce some more complex ideas and consider some of the entanglements that coaches and their clients can experience.

This is a different style of book that uses storytelling (based on animal characters) to illustrate the fundamentals of coaching. It will work for some people but not others – I suspect it is a Marmite approach! I really enjoyed being an observer in Alice’s coaching development and I loved the way the book introduced new characters with their own personalities and roles to play in supporting Alice’s development.

The chapters are clearly laid out, easy to follow and each has a self-contained story. This means the book can be used as a dip in and dip out of read for those of us who might not read non-fiction in a linear fashion. Each chapter contains a summary and conclusion to clarify salient points and focus the mind on the learnings. There is limited quoted research or references, but that is in keeping with the style and theme of the book, and doesn’t mean the presented principles and approaches are not grounded in current thinking and research.

Adventures in Coaching carries lots of practical applications, and for the experienced coach there are a number of lovely nudges and reminders of things we might have left behind. The language and style are appropriate for the target audience and the format is visually appealing. Above all, the book has a particular style that will be either received as easy to read and understand, or maybe considered not serious enough for a textbook. In its own style, the book has something for everyone.