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Helping People Change: Coaching with Compassion for Lifelong Learning and Growth

Richard Boyatzis Melvin Smith Ellen Van Oosten



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Harvard Uni.Press Academi
01 October 2019
Counselling & advice services; Business & Economics
No matter who you are, helping others is a good thing. But even the most well-intentioned attempts 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. Even when a person does respond, they often do so out of a sense of obligation rather than inner motivation.

There's a better way. In this powerful, practical book, there is a clear and hopeful message. The way to help someone learn and change, they say, cannot be focused primarily on problems that need to be addressed, but instead must connect to that person's positive vision of himself or herself, to 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 for themselves, and that same energy sustains their efforts to change, even through difficult times.

Using rich and moving real-life stories, as well as decades of original published research on coaching and helping relationships, Helping People Change shows how coaching others around their dreams and visions opens people up to thinking creatively, helps them learn and grow in meaningful ways, and motivates them to sustain that growth far into the future. In contrast, problem-centric approaches trigger physiological responses that make a person defensive and more closed to new ideas.
By:   Richard Boyatzis, Melvin Smith, Ellen Van Oosten
Imprint:   Harvard Uni.Press Academi
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm, 
ISBN:   9781633696563
ISBN 10:   1633696561
Pages:   256
Publication Date:   01 October 2019
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Richard Boyatzis is a Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve University and an adjunct professor at the international ESADE Business School. He is coauthor of Primal Leadership, Resonant Leadership, and Becoming a Resonant Leader (Harvard Business Review Press). Melvin Smith is a professor and the Faculty Director of Executive Education at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. Ellen Van Oosten is an associate professor at the Weatherhead School of Management and Director of the Coaching Research Lab, which she founded with Richard Boyatzis and Melvin Smith in 2014. Visit the authors at: Richard Boyatzis:,, Melvin Smith:, Ellen Van Oosten:,

Reviews for Helping People Change: Coaching with Compassion for Lifelong Learning and Growth

What I really enjoyed about the text was that the incredibly useful information was backed up with content derived from research, as well as literature related to coaching. These supports are presented in a user-friendly way--one that does not require readers to have an uber-advanced degree to understand. Additionally, reflection and application exercises enable readers to apply the content within their daily lives. -- TD magazine (Association for Talent Development)Advance Praise for Helping People Change: At last, a science-based answer to that all-important question, How can I help? Whether you are a teacher, manager, parent, healthcare provider, or coach--from Little League to the executive suite--Helping People Change will give you solid guidance. -- Daniel Goleman, author, Emotional Intelligence; coauthor, Altered Traits Not just another book on coaching. Grounded in three decades of research, Helping People Change tells inspiring stories of 'coaching with compassion' to illustrate how the power of our dreams is the key to making positive change. A playbook for helping professionals at all levels in the organization. -- Claudy Jules, Director, People Operations, and Lead, Center of Expertise on Organizational Health and Change, Google For desired change to be anything but transitory, individuals must see that change as a positive extension of their ideal selves. In Helping People Change, Boyatzis, Smith, and Van Oosten demonstrate the power of coaching with compassion using compelling examples of individuals tapping into their dreams, growing, and changing their lives. A powerful, practical guide for a parent, friend, or leader in any organization. -- Juan Segovia, Vice President of Operations, Sterigenics Boyatzis, Smith, and Van Oosten challenge us to move from a problem-focused approach to change to a vision-based approach that is designed to bring out the best in individuals, groups, and organizations. Helping People Change should be required reading for all of us who want to make positive changes in the world, at work, at home, and in our personal lives. -- Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, Inaugural Director, Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University What is the secret to creating genuine, lasting change in people's lives? With compelling research, keen insight, and practical guidance, Boyatzis, Smith, and Van Oosten show that great coaching is not about fixing someone's problems but about tapping into their inspiring personal vision. A landmark book. -- Marshall Goldsmith, author, Triggers, Mojo, and What Got You Here Won't Get You There

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