HR Manager's Bookshelf (April 8, 2002)

By Timothy Bentley and Esther Kohn-Bentley
219 pages, Irwin (2002)
(416) 798-0424, (800) 263-7824

What it covers: The focus here is on coaching to bring about real development and change:
•why, how and when coaching actually works;
•a leadership coaching model for the workplace;
•core competencies of the effective coach;
•“deep learning” and self-knowledge;
•phases of coaching: contracting, assessment, enriched assessment, development and integration, completion; and
•checklists and sample coaching interaction dialogue add clarity to the message.

Who should read it? This book is not a quick step-by-step guide on how to be a coach. It explores issues of organizational culture, individual learning and change. The potential audience includes anyone whose work is based on helping people develop themselves: consultants, counsellors, managers, supervisors, HR professionals, trainers and OD practitioners.

By Eugene Dupuis
171 pages, Trafford (2001)
(250) 383-6864, (888) 232-4444

What it covers:
•preliminary self-assessment — how well do you master your time?;
•avoidance strategies, bad habits, personal achievement objectives;
•self-management — attitudes and beliefs, stress control, setting direction and goals;
•time management practices — action lists, prioritizing, daily planning, delegation;
•time management habits: eliminating procrastination, saying ‘no,’ effective work space, faster reading and writing; and
•control abuse of your time — e-mail, interruptions, telephone sins, meetings.

Who should read it? A good overview for those who have not been exposed to time management training or resources; a refresher and motivator for readers who recognize that they need to take some personal action. The author says, “You will have to be extremely disciplined because you will be coaching yourself.”

By Gilles Rochefort
240 pages, Woodley & Watts (2000) (905) 954-1875

What it covers: This book is written in the form of a novel, followed by a self-learning section. James, the new training manager at a heavy machinery company, applies his sports and business experience to help the company improve some serious operating problems. The story is interspersed with some methodology and models for combining learnings from sports coaching and business coaching. The foundation is an analysis of coaching characteristics (including respect, listening, role modelling, goal-setting, rewards, discipline, team focus) derived from the worlds of sport and business. The self-learning section includes a coaching profile self-evaluation, pointers on teaching adults, improving interpersonal communication and rewarding effective coaching.

Who should read it? May appeal to supervisors, managers or team leaders who are attracted to the sports analogy and can make the connection between coaching in sports and their role in the workplace. Also of interest to those who prefer to gain business reading insights from a story telling mode. The book also offers some new perspectives for trainers and HR professionals interested in, and responsible for, coaching.

By Lin Grensing-Pophal
245 pages, Self-Counsel Press (1999)
(905) 450-0336, (800) 387-3362

What it covers: Here’s a primer on basic what, how and when issues in managing people: recruiting and preparing to hire someone, legal basics for Canadian and U.S. environments, starting new employees on the right track, company policies, pay and benefits administration. A substantial section of the book is devoted to interview approaches, questioning skills and both seeking and giving references. In addition, readers will gain insight into the thinking behind the issues: Do you really need to hire a new employee? What are the most common employee selection decision mistakes? How can you address absenteeism? What’s involved in performance evaluation and in dealing with problem employees? The final chapter covers communication, employee involvement and morale.

Who should read it? The book is aimed at small business management. The background explanations, examples, checklists and forms provide a good foundation for situations where the business owner or general manager handles everything, or HR matters are assigned to someone on a part-time basis. New HR practitioners in larger organizations may also benefit from the contents and pragmatic approach taken. Related offerings from Self-Counsel Press include Motivating Today’s Employees (same author) and a human resources forms and disk series covering hiring, performance appraisal, selection, ongoing reports and termination.

By Leslie Bendaly
326 pages, McGraw-Hill Ryerson (2000)

What it covers: This large format workbook contains hundreds of word puzzles and other brain teasers for use in meetings, team work sessions or other situations where it’s useful to have:
•an ice breaker or warm-up to help people focus on the agenda at hand;
•a device to stimulate participation;
•a quick transition from one meeting activity to another; and
•some challenging games to generate creative thinking.

Who should read it? Trainers, facilitators and team leaders can use these brain teasers in their group sessions. The pages are laid out for easy photocopying, scanning or transfer to overhead transparencies. Bendaly has authored related books including Games Teams Play, More Games Teams Play and Strength in Numbers: easy steps to high performance teams (all published by McGraw-Hill Ryerson).

By Lin Grensing-Pophal
189 pages, Self-Counsel Press (2001) (905) 450-0336, (800) 387-3362

What it covers: “Does your business need more employees but you don’t have the office space to accommodate them? Does someone on your staff want to work from home? Do you want to promote a flexible work environment but fear losing profits?” This guide to the subject includes:
•determining whether telecommuting is right for your company;
•assessing current and new telework candidates;
•training telemanagers and teleworkers;
•helping on-site staff to adjust;
•setting up the home office;
•measuring the success of the program; and
•addressing the legal requirements.

Who should read it: The basics covered in this book will be of interest to small and larger organizations tackling the telework question for the first time, or those wanting to review policies and improve their approach. Sample policies, telecommuter agreements, resources, supervision checklists and tips, and research findings provide additional guidance and food for thought.

Ray Brillinger is a senior consultant with the IBM Consulting Group. He provides change management, business transformation and organization effectiveness services to client organizations. He can be reached at (905) 316-8733 or [email protected]

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