Book Reviews: Performance Management and Appraisal

Coaching for Performance: Growing People, Performance and Purpose, by John Whitmore. Nicholas Brealey Publishing (London).
The purpose of this book is to describe and illustrate what coaching is, what it can be used for, when and how much it can be used, who can use it well and who can not. It explains in the performance-related, psychological principles on which coaching is based, and its process and practice. The author draws on examples and analogies from business and sports to make key points. The book is rich in details, breaking down the elements of coaching. Newly added sections in this edition concern the significance to coaching of both emotional intelligence and the increasing interest in spiritual intelligence. The book is clear, to-the-point, and very rich in highly useful and insightful content. 180 pp. 2002.

Constructive Appraisals: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Working Smarter, by Roy Lecky-Thompson. AMACOM.
One of a series of self-development books. A short, fast-paced, easy-to-read, and to-the-point course on performance appraisal covering the basics of the system, alternative approaches, the process of appraisal, and trends and issues. The organization, layout, graphics, highlights, and self-scoring assessments and exercises make this volume applied and useful. Highly recommended for training purposes. 96 pp. 2000.

Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart: A Systems Approach to Engaging Leaders with Their Challenges, by Mary Beth O'Neill. Jossey-Bass.
A book intended for professionals who coach leaders of organizations. It focuses on the need for coaches to use their own presence with the client (to BE with leaders), to find key moments when their clients are most open to learning, and how to self-manage at such times. The book presents a systems perspective for understanding executive behavior that is essential for effective interventions. Key themes are: (1) say what your position is and (2) stay with the executive even when conflict marks the relationship. Explores the four phases of coaching as well as such unique subjects as linking coaching with consulting. Penetrating; recommended. 242 pp. 2000

Masterful Coaching Fieldbook: Grow Your Business, Multiply Your Profits, Win the Talent War, by Robert Hargrove. Jossey-Bass.
Views coaching as the core of what managers do. The book focuses on coaching knowledge workers and knowledge work that involves creativity and innovation. Part I presentsa business case for coaching, defines what coaching is, and offers guidelines for establishing a culture of coaches and coaching. Part II presents a five-step coaching model consisting of: developing your coaching mission and teachable point of view; investing in relationships; collaboratively planning stretch goals; facilitating action, focusing on doable steps and action language; and observe, assess, give esteem-building feedback and customize challenging accelerated learning experiences. Part III offers interviews with seven outstanding coaches. Well-crafted to guide and foster action and learning. 335 pp. 2000.

Measuring Team Performance: A Seven Step Guide to Team Success, by Jack Zigon. WorldatWork, formally the American Compensation Association.
Subtitled "." The seven steps are: review existing measures; define team measurement points; identify individual results that support the team; weight the results; create measures for each result; create performance standards; and create a feedback system. Each step is discussed in some detail. How-to guidelines and illustrations are provided. Very useful. Highly recommended. 20 pp. To purchase contact: (480) 951-9191.

Performance Appraisal Source Book: A Collection of Practical Samples, by Mike Deblieux. Berrett-Koehler/SHRM.
This work presents over 40 sample forms including multi-rater (360) and upward evaluations. Forms are also provided in electronic format. Includes chapters on program design, legal considerations, implementing a system, presenting reviews to employees, and after review follow-up. This is a highly useful guide and excellent resource for forms. 224 pp. 2003.

The Performance Challenge: Developing Management Systems to Make Employees Your Organization's Greatest Asset, by Jerry W. Gilley, Nathaniel W. Boughton, and Ann Maycunich. Perseus Books.
This guide introduces the Performance Management Model, a framework for aligning business goals, customer expectations, performance management approaches, employee coaching practices, and compensation and reward systems. The model includes: job design, performance coaching, developmental evaluations, development plans, and rewards. The role of leadership is highlighted. Four key leadership competencies focused upon are: critical reflection, strategic thinking, interpersonal skills, and performance-enhancing skills. Emphasis is placed on understanding and addressing why employees behave the way they do. The authors identify 7 reasons that explain why organizations fail to achieve their aims and 18 reasons for individual performance problems. Provides a big-picture approach; is highly useful. 240 pp. 2000.

Solving People Problems: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Working Smarter, by Bobbi Linkemer. AMACOM.
One of a series of self-development books. A short, fast-paced, easy-to-read, and to-the-point course on how to solve common people problems at work. Short one- or two-page sections drive home a key point, such as stay centered, ask questions, and be open-minded. The organization, layout and graphics are excellent. Highlights and exercises make this volume applied and useful. Highly recommended for training purposes. 96 pp. 2000.