top of page

7. Inspiration – 3 books about coaching and not only for coaches

Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self. -- Franz Kafka

1.Book: "Breaking Free from Bias: Preventing Costly Complaints, Conflict and Talent Loss" by Marilyn O'Hearne

1.1 About the Book

This book, in my opinion, fills a gap in the market for both coach and manager work that google opened some time ago - see re:Work with Google,

In our day-to-day communication we are subject to the necessary bias of information that flows to us from our surroundings and on the basis of which we make our own judgements and decisions about our next steps.

In 9 chapters, this book offers examples and a fairly simple application of the acronym IMPACT, which is reflected in each chapter.

  • Chapter 1 discusses a client's realization about their own bias and how it affected their performance. The author also shares their personal experience with bias and the reason for writing the book. The reader is encouraged to reflect on their own experiences with bias.

  • Chapter 2 examines an organizational case study on bias and its effects when overcome with IMPACT.

  • Chapter 3 provides three tools for identifying unconscious bias for oneself and one's organization, starting with Step One, which involves using the "I" in IMPACT.

  • In Chapter 4, the reader learns how to manage bias when it comes to hiring and managing people from different cultures. This is Step Two in the IMPACT framework.

  • In Chapter 5, the reader analyzes their situation using the ACHE approach (Awareness, Curiosity, Humility, Empathy) and applies it to recruiting, developing, and promoting talent, including at the board level. This is Step Three in the IMPACT framework, and it is compared to a treasure hunt.

  • In Chapter 6, the reader learns how to act strategically with awareness and accountability, using feedback and a model for challenging conversations. This is Step Four in the IMPACT framework, represented by the letter "A."

  • Chapter 7 provides guidance on how to obtain organizational buy-in for addressing bias, how to call out bias carefully, how to identify signs of bias (including nonverbal cues), and how cultural differences can trigger bias and how to deal with it. This is Step Five of the IMPACT approach.

  • In Chapter 8, the author suggests repeating the Breaking Free from Bias scorecard taken at the beginning of the book to track progress and identify areas for improvement. This is Step Six of the IMPACT approach.

  • Chapter 9 provides advice on moving forward with courage, persistence, and partnership.

1.2 Interesting insights

Interesting is the scorecard both before and after reading and implementing the six IMPACT steps to Breaking Free from Bias that can help to compare the two to reveal your progress as well as areas for further development.

I like this statement:

“Warning: identifying your unconscious bias can feel like you just conked your head on a doorway. It may be jarring, unfamiliar, and can even feel embarrassing. For others, when confronted with someone you have slotted in the danger section of your brain, you may be triggered to flee, fight, become defensive or agitated.”

1.3 What makes a book good?

The 6-step process for leveraging our response to bias with greater IMPACT:

  • Identifying bias

  • Managing bias

  • Plan to unleash potential

  • Acting strategically with Awareness and Accountability

  • Communicating confidently

  • Taking stock and repeating successes

1.4 What is the shortcoming of the book?

The limit of a coach's perspective trying to show how to apply it with examples seems curious to me. Using the example of how many millions of bits of information are coming into our brain, starting with a pause and applying IMPACT changes everything.

If you bring it into a coaching session, then I understand, but outside of coaching, it requires preparation and proper application.

Although it deals with unconscious bias, I think it is a great shame that it does not reflect the work with the SEEDS model that would complement the book.

More or less I think that the book is good and can definitely recommend it.

2.Book: Why We Do What We Do" from Edward L. Deci, Richard Flaste

2.1 About the Book

  • Chapter ONE: Authority and Its Discontents: It discusses the limitations of control and external motivation in promoting responsible behavior and introduces the concepts of autonomy and authenticity as key to understanding human motivation. It emphasizes the importance of people making their own choices and explores how one-up/one-down relationships impact motivation and responsibility. The book aims to provide insights into promoting responsible behavior in a world marked by alienation and offers prescriptions for individuals, teachers, managers, parents, doctors, and policymakers. It draws on extensive research and empirical evidence to explore the complex dynamics of human motivation and responsibility.

  • Chapter TWO: I'm Only in It for the Money: In "I'm Only in It for the Money," the author discusses experiments that reveal the impact of monetary rewards on intrinsic motivation. The experiments show that when people are rewarded with money for an activity they initially found interesting, their intrinsic motivation diminishes, leading to a strained, instrumental relationship with the activity. The author suggests that this loss of intrinsic motivation can result in alienation and a disconnect from one's inner self. The findings raise questions about the role of money in controlling and potentially undermining people's authentic engagement with various activities in society.

  • Chapter THREE: The Need for Personal Autonomy: In the quest to understand personal autonomy and intrinsic motivation, research has shown that rewards, threats, competition, and control can have complex effects. Administering rewards with a non-controlling intention can mitigate their negative impact on intrinsic motivation. Similarly, competition can either enhance or diminish intrinsic motivation depending on whether it's framed as pressure or encouragement. It's important to strike a balance between setting limits and supporting autonomy, as autonomy-supportive limit setting can promote responsibility without stifling authenticity. Overall, fostering autonomy and minimizing control in various situations can lead to more positive outcomes and sustained intrinsic motivation.

  • Chapter FOUR: Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation: Intrinsic motivation, driven by genuine interest and enjoyment in an activity, leads to richer experiences, better understanding, creativity, and problem-solving. In contrast, extrinsic rewards and controls can undermine intrinsic motivation, leading to shortcuts, deception, and lower-quality performance. Rewards should be administered equitably but not used primarily for motivation. Pay-for-performance schemes may motivate but often encourage shortcuts and distract from the task at hand. Instead, emphasizing the inherent value of tasks and minimizing the role of extrinsic rewards can lead to more engaged and committed individuals.

  • Chapter FIVE: Engaging the World with a Sense of Competence: In Soviet-era Bulgaria, the absence of motivation resulted from a lack of meaningful incentives, contrasting with the American system's built-in motivators. While instrumentalities can motivate, they may also exert control. Intrinsic motivation thrives on competence in instrumental activities, observed in children's natural curiosity. Optimal challenges are vital for cultivating this sense of competence. The text discusses the impact of perceived competence on intrinsic motivation and feedback. It reveals gender differences in the response to praise, with males motivated and females feeling controlled. Non-controlling praise and autonomy-supportive feedback are crucial. Overall, perceived competence and autonomy are essential for motivation and well-being.

  • Chapter SIX: The Inner Force of Development: The text discusses two contrasting identities within the field of developmental psychology:

    • one focusing on internal processes, including psychoanalytic traditions, and

    • the other on external behaviors, as seen in behaviorism.

It emphasizes the importance of autonomy, competence, and relatedness in intrinsic motivation and human development. Autonomy-supportive environments foster natural development, while controlling ones hinder it. The narrative suggests that people can be both autonomous and interdependent, and that genuine dependence on others can contribute positively to well-being.

  • Chapter SEVEN: When Society Beckons: This text delves into the challenge of fostering desirable behavior when intrinsic motivation is lacking, emphasizing the role of parents and teachers as socializing agents. It stresses the significance of autonomy and integration in contrast to mere introjection of rules, as introjected values can result in rigid compliance or rebellion. The ultimate aim is to encourage autonomous, authentic self-regulation for the benefit of individuals and society. A study by Richard Ryan and Wendy Grolnick at the University of Rochester underscores the importance of autonomy support in promoting internalization of values and regulations, with introjected motivation leading to anxiety and maladaptive coping.

  • Chapter EIGHT: The Self in a Social World: In a social world, many individuals suppress their true feelings and beliefs out of fear, guilt, or the desire for approval. They often adopt introjects, societal expectations, as their own, losing touch with their genuine selves. Some may even fail to recognize this suppression. The development of true self-esteem requires autonomy support, while contingent love and esteem hinder it. Relationships based on mutual autonomy and respect allow for genuine connection and emotional expression. Overcoming introjects and ego involvement is crucial for personal growth and the ability to form mature, fulfilling relationships. Loving someone authentically demands self-awareness and freedom from societal pressures.

  • Chapter NINE: When Society Corrupts: In the decades since World War II, the American Dream has driven people to work harder and pursue material success, but for many, it hasn't brought the expected leisure and luxury. Dual-income families struggle to find time for leisure, and possessions like cars and gadgets have become necessities. One man's therapy journey highlights the toll of this pursuit on personal relationships. Research shows that strong desires for extrinsic goals like wealth and fame, when out of balance with intrinsic aspirations, are linked to poorer mental health. Individualism and autonomy are distinct concepts, with autonomy requiring self-knowledge and personality integration. In an individualistic society, conformity to external symbols of status is common, driven by the pressure to achieve narcissistic extrinsic goals.

  • Chapter TEN: How to Promote Autonomy: The text emphasizes the importance of promoting autonomy in education and management. It highlights the positive impact of autonomy support on motivation, performance, and satisfaction among individuals. The text also discusses the need for individualized and challenging goals, problem-solving in performance assessment, and team-focused rewards. It addresses obstacles to autonomy support, such as controlling personalities and external pressures, and underscores the significance of training and support for effective leadership and teaching. Overall, the text underscores the value of autonomy support in various aspects of life.

  • Chapter ELEVEN: Promoting Healthy Behavior: The text discusses the significance of personal commitment and autonomous motivation in promoting healthy behavior. It highlights the difference between external pressures and internal drive as drivers for change. Research suggests that autonomous reasons for behavior change lead to better outcomes. Despite known health risks, many people continue unhealthy behaviors because they serve a purpose, such as reducing anxiety. To succeed, individuals must accept responsibility, explore their motivations, and make genuine choices for their well-being.

  • Chapter TWELEVE: Being Autonomous Amidst the Controls: The text explores how individuals can maintain autonomy and thrive despite challenges, emphasizing the role of personal traits like temperament and motivation. It discusses the impact of social relationships and one's interpretation of the environment. Autonomy and autonomy-supportive contexts are crucial for positive development. It also highlights the importance of managing emotions and regulating behavior for autonomy. The text concludes that internal motivation, self-acceptance, and understanding one's behavior are key to meaningful change in a non-blaming, pressure-free manner.

  • Chapter THIRTEEN: The Meaning of Human Freedom: True human freedom, as Abraham Maslow and Jean-Paul Sartre suggest, involves accepting constraints, whether natural or social. However, achieving this balance is a challenge. In different social contexts, such as was totalitarian Bulgaria or the individualistic West, people may experience varying degrees of freedom and responsibility. Ultimately, genuine freedom entails making choices aligned with one's integrated self while respecting others and the environment.

2.2 Interesting insights

Perhaps the most important aspect is realizing the significance of autonomy in motivation. It explains why micromanagement doesn't work.

2.3 What makes the book good?

The book deals with human motivation and how to create and support it.

2.4 What is the shortcoming of the book?

The book is available only in spoken and paper form

3.Book: Be useful : seven tools for life" by Arnold Schwarzenegger

3.1 About the Book

Honestly, I had been waiting for this book for quite a while. Arnold had mentioned it in his posts and built it on his practical experience. So when it was released in the fall of 2023, there was no hesitation. In coaching, you sometimes deal with how to work with a client who wants to improve their appearance, or perhaps how to improve their fitness, and so on. There is probably no better person on this planet who has accomplished more over the course of their life and is willing to share how they did it. The book doesn't hold back, it's authentic, precisely what you need for your clients.

  • In "Chapter 1: Have a Clear Vision," the author emphasizes the paramount importance of having a clear life vision. Without it, individuals may find themselves adrift in unfulfilling jobs and relationships. A clear vision provides purpose and meaning, helping people make informed decisions aligned with their ideal future. The author suggests two approaches:

    • starting broad and zooming in or

    • beginning small and expanding.

Creating space and time for inspiration is crucial, with activities like walking enhancing creativity. The text also underscores the power of clear visualization and staying true to one's goals, even when faced with tempting distractions. Self-awareness and self-reflection are essential for personal growth and success. Successful individuals regularly assess their progress and adapt their vision as they evolve, confronting their reflection to truly see themselves.

  • In Chapter 2 of the book, Arnold Schwarzenegger emphasizes the importance of thinking big and pursuing ambitious dreams. In the 1980s, he faced skepticism from Hollywood executives but proved his versatility with the success of "Twins." He reflects on his collaboration with James Cameron, highlighting the need for unwavering dedication to achieve excellence. Schwarzenegger encourages readers to ignore naysayers, citing examples of famous figures who faced rejection before achieving success. Furthermore, he discusses his experience as California's governor, emphasizing the importance of persistence and rejecting the idea of a plan B. Schwarzenegger also draws inspiration from Sir Edmund Hillary's conquest of Mount Everest, illustrating the power of setting audacious goals and continuing to push boundaries even after achieving success. He encourages readers to dream big, inspire others, and leave a lasting legacy of ambition and achievement.

  • In "Chapter 3: Work Your Ass Off," Arnold Schwarzenegger emphasizes the paramount importance of hard work as the key to success and personal growth. He stresses that innate talents and advantages are secondary to relentless determination and work ethic. Schwarzenegger highlights the negative consequences of unearned wealth, citing examples of lottery winners and generational wealth. The text draws parallels between various fields like bodybuilding, acting, and sports, showcasing how meticulous repetition and mastering fundamentals are essential for excellence. Schwarzenegger views pain and discomfort as temporary but crucial for achieving greatness, with examples from his career and others like Muhammad Ali. He underscores the significance of follow-up and follow-through, citing his experience as California's governor during wildfires. Lastly, the text advocates effective time management and consistent effort in pursuing goals, dismissing common excuses. Overall, it underscores the enduring value of hard work and determination in realizing one's aspirations.

  • In Chapter 4, titled "Sell, Sell, Sell," Arnold Schwarzenegger emphasizes the significance of self-promotion and effective communication in achieving one's goals. He recalls how bodybuilders needed to advocate for their sport to change public perception. Schwarzenegger's journey from acting to politics underscores the importance of knowing your audience and adapting your pitch. He shares the value of identifying decision-makers, even when it's not apparent. The text also highlights the power of sharing your vision, both for self-motivation and inspiring others. Joe Weider's promotion of bodybuilding exemplifies this strategy. Furthermore, it discusses managing low expectations strategically, drawing from the author's experience in politics. Finally, Schwarzenegger's authenticity and ownership of his narrative led to political success, emphasizing the importance of being genuine when pursuing personal goals or in politics.

  • In "Chapter 5: Shift Gears," the author recounts their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, where they took action by connecting with a logistics company to procure PPE. This narrative underscores the importance of proactive problem-solving. The text explores the idea of "negativity bias" and the author's commitment to maintaining a positive perspective. They share personal experiences to encourage readers to redirect their energy towards positivity and growth. Finally, he discuss the subjective nature of risk, advocating for taking calculated risks to achieve one's goals. Overall, this chapter highlights the importance of action, positivity, resilience, innovation, and calculated risk-taking in the face of challenges.

  • In "Chapter 6: Shut Your Mouth, Open Your Mind," Arnold Schwarzenegger reflects on the importance of learning, curiosity, and open-mindedness in shaping one's life. He pays tribute to Fredi Gerstl, a mentor who taught him valuable life lessons, emphasizing the hunger for knowledge and the world as the ultimate classroom. Schwarzenegger questions the traditional focus on college education, advocating for the real world as the best classroom. He encourages readers to be like sponges, absorbing knowledge from others to foster personal growth and contribute to a better future. It emphasizes the importance of actively applying knowledge and staying engaged to make a meaningful impact in the world.

  • In "Chapter 7: BREAK YOUR MIRRORS," Arnold Schwarzenegger reflects on his journey to success and the importance of giving back. He credits numerous individuals for his achievements and emphasizes that no one truly succeeds alone. Schwarzenegger urges readers to recognize their duty to help others and highlights the positive impact of selflessness. He discusses simple ways to give back, emphasizing that anyone can make a difference with awareness and effort.

3.2 Interesting insights

  • I like the importance of defining clear goals to sharpen one's focus and achieve a vision. There is also mentioned how important is significance of knowing what success looks like and what it doesn't, as it helps in making informed decisions and avoiding distractions.

  • Great technique, that highlights the significance of looking in the mirror both metaphorically and literally to understand oneself better. Many people avoid self-reflection, and as a result, they may become lost and fail to fulfill their potential. The distinction between successful individuals and those who are not lies in their ability to define and pursue specific goals, regularly assess their progress, and adapt their vision as they evolve. To achieve any vision or performance, one must be unafraid to confront their reflection and truly see themselves.

  • In life, there will always be doubters and naysayers who challenge your dreams. Naysayers are often afraid of the unknown and lack the courage to pursue big visions. Their skepticism should not influence your path. Instead, use their doubt as motivation.

  • To emphasize the importance of pursuing big goals with unwavering determination, rejecting the idea of a plan B, and not succumbing to naysayers or self-doubt.

  • Embracing discomfort and pain is crucial for personal growth and success. (go beyond comfort zone)

  • How important is selling your vision that involves articulating your goals in a positive light to those whose support you need.

  • The significance of identifying the decision-maker and catering your pitch to them, even if it's not obvious.

  • Failure is a natural part of pursuing challenging goals and we should not be feared. He encourages individuals to embrace failure as a source of valuable lessons and motivation to improve.

  • When you truly desire something, you should be willing to take risks, and the potential rewards often outweigh the perceived dangers.

  • To embrace selflessness, emphasizing that one can make a positive impact on others' lives and their own, regardless of their financial situation.

3.3 What makes the book good?

The book feels authentic and is suitable for practical use. The stories the author describes are interspersed with practical recommendations.

3.4 What is the shortcoming of the book?

Although the book is intended for a general audience, it addresses a topic for which it is advisable to have references that can be further explored. Additionally, it would be beneficial to have a summary at the end of chapters providing an overview of recommended steps.

18 views0 comments


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page