Book Review: ASTD Learning System Module 7 – Coaching

Last year, as part of my professional development, I completed a skills survey through the Association of Talent Development (ATD). One of the areas that I needed to spend more time on was that of coaching. So this year, I set aside time to read a number of books focusing on coaching as well as watch some videos. One of the books I read was part of the ATD Learning System, it was Coaching (ASTD Learning System, Module 7). Here is what I thought of that particular learning module.

In total, Coaching (ASTD Learning System, Module 7) has 86 pages spread across four chapters and four appendices. It is basically a reader’s digest on coaching. For me, I thought it was too factually dense and could have benefited from more explanation and storytelling. However, if you wanted to get a quick overview of the topic of coaching, I believed it served its purpose.

The chapters focus on:

  • Conduct standards
  • Ethical guidelines
  • Coaching competencies
  • Leadership competencies associated with executive coaching.

The appendices addressed

  • Glossary
  • Answer key
  • Index
  • Master reference list

As I mentioned, each chapter was packed full of information. It was written in a very heavy prose. My reading was slowed because I had to reread sections to understand what was being shared. I found myself losing interest on a number of occasions. As a result, I do not believe I improved my understanding and skills as a coach to the degree that I had hoped. In fairness, I did learn a couple of things about coaching that I had not previously considered.

The book was initially created to help individuals pursue the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) certification and would help with the written portion of the exam. However, I believe there’s more to coaching than what was shared and I will be reading other books to fill that need.

Chapters 1, 3, and 4 had questions associated with them. These short little quizzes were a nice way to see if you understood the material presented. Additionally, the authors also provided a very detailed reference list. Other of the highlights of Coaching (ASTD Learning System, Module 7) were that the materials they presented were well researched, cited, and referenced.

If you are pursuing the CPLP certification, I would definitely recommend Coaching (ASTD Learning System, Module 7); however, if you are trying to be a better coach, I think there are other books that could provide you with a better understanding  of coaching.