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Summary

You're trying to help - but is it working?

Helping others is a good thing. Often, as a leader, manager, doctor, teacher, or coach, it's central to your job. But even the most well-intentioned efforts to help others can be undermined by a simple truth: We almost always focus on trying to "fix" people, correcting problems or filling the gaps between where they are and where we think they should be. Unfortunately, this doesn't work well, if at all, to inspire sustained learning or positive change.

There's a better way. In this powerful, practical audiobook, emotional intelligence expert Richard Boyatzis and Weatherhead School of Management colleagues Melvin Smith and Ellen Van Oosten present a clear and hopeful message. The way to help someone learn and change, they say, cannot be focused primarily on fixing problems, but instead must connect to that person's positive vision of themselves or an inspiring dream or goal they've long held. This is what great coaches do - they know that people draw energy from their visions and dreams, and that same energy sustains their efforts to change, even through difficult times. In contrast, problem-centered approaches trigger physiological responses that make a person defensive and less open to new ideas.

©2019 Richard E. Boyatzis, Melvin Smith, and Ellen Van Oosten (P)2019 Gildan Media

What listeners say about Helping People Change

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  • James
  • 18-09-19

Coaching Infomercial

There was some interesting information in the book regarding coaching with empathy, listening, the Positive and Negative Emotion Attractor, etc. However, this is not a how to do it coaching book. You will not get any guidance on how to specifically coach anyone. The authors referenced Case Western a lot and it really started to turn into an infomercial for their coaching certification program at Case Western. If anyone wants to know the why behind coaching, then read this book. However, if you want to know how to coach, you’re gonna need to spend nine grand (I looked it up on their website) for the how to coach.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-10-19

Kind and helpful tone, no coaching for compliance.

Boyatzis et al. point out that when we coach for compliance rarely do changes stick. Helping People Change inspires coaches to find creative ways to resonate with a clients mission through good questions and a willingness on the part of the coach to put down pre-conceptions about how clients 'should' behave.

While the short book is limited in it's ability to convey a full coaching program, Boyatzis does offer the full program for free on Coursera and it's quite clear from the warm tone of the book that he is committed to creating lasting shifts in the lives of his clients.

I highly recommend this book for coaches and managers who are looking for a fresh perspective on change facilitation and even those who are seeking to make a shift in thier own way of being.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Henry Kahn
  • 13-06-21

My best patient care outcomes were more about coaching than doctoring.

I am a primary care internal medicine physician and educator affiliated with a well known academic medical center. I began to notice that some of my best patient care outcomes happened when I intuitively shifted away from giving “you should do this” advice to coaching my patients in the discovery of their own innate resilience, strengths, values, purpose, and meaning. Here is why the book resonated so well with me. There are two main separate brain functions discussed in this book. Negativity is essential for survival, tends to drive a narrow focus while we analyze risks and danger, and is stronger than positive emotion attractors for survival needs. Positive emotion attractors, emotional Intelligence, empathy, and positive visualizations of our imagined future best self provide a balance to the negativity and enhance our creativity, optimism, and thriving. Intentional activation of our parasympathetic nervous system for periods of renewal is also discussed. Exercises and research references add to the depth of this book. I have read many articles and books about positive psychology and coaching, and this is the best so far.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-01-22

Very generic. Could be helpful for people w/o exp.

Could be helpful but not if you have experience at all this field. need some examples that were not so neat and tidy.

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  • JLC4040
  • 29-11-21

Useful strategy for helpers

Love the ideas backed up by research. Will implement these ideas on my life and leadership coaching.

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  • Melissa T
  • 10-10-20

Fantastic content/poor narration for the content

This book is a game changer for leaders wishing to help others realize their potential and live their best life. Unfortunately, the narrator doesn’t do it justice. His voice simply doesn’t do well with the content and his tone is all wrong for the message. I purchased the hardcover, too, so I can switch off the audio version and read for myself when the narration becomes too annoying.

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  • Steve S. Powder Springs
  • 05-02-20

Making A Personal Plan.

Make a plan. Take steps to fulfill this plan. Stick to your plan. Repeat. Repeat!