The Psychology of Executive Coaching: Theory and Application
by Bruce Peltier
Brunner-Routledge, 250 pp
Publication Date: Dec 2001
It could be argued that coaching is a subspecialty of consulting and
organizational behavior. There are also compelling arguments for seeing coaching as a
subspecialty of psychology. Regardless of where you fall in this debate, The Psychology of Executive Coaching is an outstanding resource if you coach in the business arena.
Peltier is a psychologist and also holds an MBA. In his
book he offers one of the clearest, most succinct summaries of major psychological theories that I have read. If you lack a background in psychology this is a
terrific introduction. If you are already well-versed in psychological theories, what you will appreciate is how he has translated psychological theories into practical
application for the executive/leadership coach. As I read this book, I noticed one client after another of mine coming to mind.
The book is divided into 14 chapters in which he covers
the psychodynamic view, behavioral concepts, the person-centered approach, cognitive psychology, family therapy and systems thinking, hypnotic communication, social psychology, and existentialism. The only major area he missed was developmental psychology. Each chapter
offers concrete suggestions for how to apply the concepts while you're coaching. Peltier closes each chapter with references and recommended readings. I
have several months of reading in front of me just from the references cited in this book!
In the last few chapters of the book, Peltier addresses
ethics in coaching, lessons from athletic coaches for the business coach, gender issues in coaching and how to speak "business" if you come from a psychotherapy
background. For anyone engaged in executive coaching, this book deserves to be in your library.