Category Archives: Books

Alliance Good Reads: What we’re reading – the sequel

As we shared book recommendations with each other after the Easter break (which now seems like a long time ago!), we realised that between us, we in The Alliance read a lot! Inspired by this, we decided to share with you brief reviews of some of the books that have made an impact on us, whether work-related or just for fun. This post is the second in our pair of reading review posts: we hope you enjoy them and that they motivate you to compile your own summer reading list. And if you’ve read any books lately that have made an impression on you, we’d love to hear your thoughts! (more…)

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What we’re reading – Alliance book recommendations

As we shared book recommendations with each other after the Easter break, we realised that between us, we in The Alliance read a lot! Inspired by this, we decided to share with you brief reviews of some of the books that have made an impact on us, whether work-related or just for fun. This post is the first in a short series of two, so we hope it whets your appetite for future tips. And if you’ve read any books lately that have made an impression on you, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Change Our Habits, Change Our Lives

By Liz Gooster

Gretchen Rubin

Do you make your bed in the morning? If you do, that’s good. If you don’t – yet – starting to do so could make a drastic difference to your clarity of mind. Sounds trivial, and yet in her extensive research into the habits that work for us, and against us, Gretchen Rubin, author of bestselling The Happiness Project and now Better Than Before, has found that there is significant truth behind the notion that outer order contributes to inner calm. And what about those people who make their hotel bed on the day they checkout? Well, that’s a whole other category … (more…)

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Financial Times Guide to Business Coaching

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Business coaching: what it is, why it works, how to do it, when to do it (and when not to). Plus, critically, how to make money doing it. One of the Financial Times Guide to Business Coaching’s biggest assets is it covers all this and more in a single, elegantly written volume. It is genuinely a one-stop shop for relatively new players in the coaching game, and the more experienced coaches I’ve spoken to have also gained much from reading it. At this point, in the interests of full disclosure, I should reveal that I published this book, that the author, Anne Scoular, MD of coach training company Meyler Campbell, has since become a generous mentor and friend, and that The Alliance are referenced several times as a case study. Which brings me on to one of the book’s other outstanding hallmarks: Anne’s voice. (more…)

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Time to Think – review of Nancy Kline’s book

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Create a particular environment and people will think for themselves. It is that simple.’ This statement encapsulates the underlying precepts of Nancy Kline’s Thinking Environment, elaborated in her marvellous book, Time to Think: Listening to ignite the human mind, which has become a classic of non-directive coaching. I make no apologies for beginning this review by saying I love this book. Nancy Kline’s work has made a deep impression on me. I am in awe of the powerful effect that concentrated, empathetic listening – what Kline terms ‘listening to ignite the human mind’ – can have in releasing ideas and insights from the person being listened to. As Kline says, ‘the quality of a person’s attention determines the quality of other people’s thinking’. It sounds beautifully simple. (more…)

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Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader – Herminia Ibarra

‘How can I know who I am until I see what I do?’

Karl Weick, social psychologist

The title of Herminia Ibarra’s new book captures its key message: if you step up and behave like a leader, you will start to think and feel as if you are one. Even if acting like a leader feels uncomfortable and inauthentic at first, in time it will become more natural, part of who you are, the leader you’ve become. In Ibarra’s framework, the acting comes first, the thinking follows. It’s the old adage ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ writ large, and it flips round the more traditional approach, that you need to reflect and cogitate extensively before making actual changes. (more…)

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