Business Leaders

Coaching for Commitment: Managerial Strategies for Obtaining Superior Performance, Dennis C. Kinlaw, Pfeiffer & Co.

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Coaching for Commitment is an organized seminar style work written to teach management professionals the art of coaching employees. Specifically it outlines ways in which managers can employ the technique of coaching to build employee commitment.. Kinlaw also explains that through fifteen years of experience, teaching and managing that he has developed a system that will help organizations to thrive in today’s rapidly moving and highly competitive business environment.

Kinlaw contends that the role of a manager is to a large degree associated with the concept of indirect motivation rather than direct product involvement. Yet, he makes clear that the greatest challenge of management lies in the fact that although they are expected to get results through indirect ways that they cannot simply directly control the employees who’s competence they are responsible for. Kinlaw believes that the discretionary time and energy that each employee controls can make the difference between success and failure of an entire organization. His book is an attempt to demonstrate ways that, through coaching a manager might engender a commitment from employees that would help them , with their discretionary time.

Each chapter defines a particular aspect of the process beginning with “Building Commitment.” Chapter one defines commitment and then gives examples of visible ways in which a manager might be able to recognize the commitment of his ore her employees. Then it shows how coaching can be utilized effectively to build commitment. Chapter two gives a clearer definition of coaching and further dissects it into four major roles, counseling, mentoring, tutoring and confronting. Chapter three goes on to further explain and demonstrate the coaching process in a two step fashion with the first three roles occurring in process one, solving problems and the fourth occurring in process two. Chapter four further outlines the second process of coaching, which includes confronting. The author describes the difference between confronting and criticizing, explains how some managers make confrontation harder than it needs to be and then the two processes are compared to one another. Chapter five is the summation of the book and explains the positive role of successful coaching in good management practices.

Though this book does not deal specifically with marketing there are two reasons why it was chosen for this review. Firstly, superior management practices create a marketable business regardless of the product and secondly, many management training techniques can also overlap into the marketing of a service or product. Coaching for commitment can assist an organization indirectly by building an organization that provides a product that is strong and a style that ensures success and builds satisfaction internally and externally. This style can also encourage a style of marketing that will ensure the success of the business and the product as long as the market needs it.

This book gives a clear and concise outline of some tools that a management professional and even an employee might use to strengthen the backbone of their interpersonal relationships in the work place. The ability to respond to and demonstrate commitment in the work place is a marketing tool that can only be strengthened by success. One example of the way commitment can aid in marketing is through a descriptive retail experience given by Kinlaw on page seven:

While having my tires replaced on my car recently, I had an enviable experience. First, the store manager explained in detail the three brands…After he determined my typical driving pattern, he recommended the least expensive…After the tires were put on and balanced, [he] insisted I take the car for a short drive…he gave me a detailed description of the warranty…Ten days after I purchased the tires, the mechanic who installed them called me to see if I was completely satisfied. (Kinlaw 7)

In this example, though it is a single one on one retail example commitment becomes one of the best marketing tools that can be devised in business. This is especially true in any business, and most are, where customer service is at a premium. Without that service customers might choose to take their business elsewhere. Though it is clear from simply being a consumer that many organizations, especially retail businesses attempt to engender this sort of commitment through rigid rules of conduct and scripts, yet the truly effective manager and team can be easily recognized when the cheerful script they spill out really seems to come from a , rather than the tattered and soiled customer promises poster in the break room.

Kinlaw describes many other instructional situations and techniques that clearly define ways in which an effective manger can demonstrate and engender commitment from his or her employees. Because this work was developed as an outgrowth of a seminar it has clear and appropriate demonstrations of the ways in which a manager might organize his or her behavior to develop a . Though the work could be seen as a companion to a seminar it is quite effective standing alone as a guide. Overall my impression of this work is that it is a stylistically organized and logical explanation of a very . Kinlaw describes techniques that some mangers seem to possess intrinsically and yet clearly describes how the rest of us can gain them logically.

Works Cited

Kinlaw, Dennis C. Coaching for Commitment: Managerial Strategies for Obtaining

Superior Performance, San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Co.