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Coaching Understood

Coaching Understood
A Pragmatic Inquiry into the Coaching Process

November 2012 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

'This book is a milestone in the coaching literature. Elaine Cox provides an excellent text that is scholarly, practical and accessible. She offers clear insights into how coaching works so that coaching is truly understood!' - Bob Garvey, Professor of Business Education, York St John Business School

'The development of the coaching literature has often been protracted and modest. In recent years, few coaching texts provided a significant leap forward in our understanding of psychological dynamics of coaching. For this reason, Cox’s Coaching Understood is a game changer. More thoroughly and systematically than ever before, this work gets under the bonnet of the coaching engine and explores the mechanics of the coaching process. For anyone wondering why coaching works, this book is your answer.' - Yossi Ives, Tag International Development, UK (International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching Mentoring)

Coaching Understood takes a fresh approach to coaching skills and techniques by examining each element of the coaching process in detail in order to verify and justify its effectiveness.

By exposing the mystery underlying coaching's success as a personal and professional development intervention, Elaine Cox undertakes to generate a better understanding of coaching, improve coaching practice, and breed a new generation of more informed coachees and buyers of coaching.

Coaching Understood is essential reading for students and practitioners alike.

Electronic Inspection Copy available for instructors here

Touching Experience
Articulating Experience
Becoming Critical
Being Present
Integrating Experience

This is a good resource to help learners to excel as leaders, and for anyone who wants to learn about the length and breadth of coaching. If you want to debunk several myths on coaching, read this book. If you are passionate about coaching, read this book more than once. It will change the way you think about coaching.

Professor M.S. Rao, Founder of the MSR Leadership Consultants, India
Human Resource Management International Digest

This book is a treasure trove of useful information.  Cox has collated an amazing collection of ideas drawn from many sources and, unlike pirates, she has carefully acknowledged and referenced all sources of her gems.  She has also presented them in ways that offer many insights into the coaching process, plus plenty of practical suggestions for implementation.  I couldn’t hope to capture so much in a review, so the following is an account of the various chapters, with brief glimpses of the treasures therein, with the intention of persuading you to get a copy for yourself so you can explore the riches in more detail.

Julie Hay
Nurturing Potential

Coaching Understood is a comprehensive, evidence based text that portrays coaching as the professional discipline that it deserves. This text was written with both the coach and client in mind. The author, Elaine Cox, has written a text that is long overdue; it will be a valuable resource for those researching coaching in an academic environment. The text has a theoretical feel, but is a valuable resource for practitioners. It’s the kind of text you might read with a highlighter in one hand.

Lisa J. Lucas
Peer Resources Network

This is a scholarly book about coaching that is refreshing in that it omits any reference to the GROW model and it does what it says on the back cover; i.e., it "takes a fresh approach to coaching skills and techniques by examining each element of the coaching process in detail in order to verify and justify its effectiveness". It is highly recommended to all coaches and it will be inspirational for those who come from an education (especially adult learning) background.

Simon Jenkins
International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching

This book is a milestone in the coaching literature. Elaine Cox provides an excellent text that is scholarly, practical and accessible. She offers clear insights into how coaching works so that coaching is truly understood!


Bob Garvey, Professor of Business Education
York St John Business School

Bridging the gap between academic research/theory and the world of the practitioner is arguably the greatest challenge facing the coaching profession. Elaine Cox accomplishes this feat in one of the most difficult topic areas in a highly readable and accessible, yet evidence-based volume.

Professor David Clutterbuck
European Mentoring and Coaching Council

'Now here is a solid piece of research that serves to demonstrate both how and indeed why coaching works. Elaine defines the core of our reflective working practise. She then backs up the potency of each intervention used with rigorous scientific research. I know coaching works, my clients feel it working and now I am now armed with some effective research to prove how and why this invaluable practise has such a deep and lasting impact. This is a serious piece of research that is also a very satisfying read. Thank you for taking the time to dispel the myths and evidence the coaching industry’s success.'

Rebecca Hartnell
Career Transitions Coach

Good book for those selecting coaching as an optional unit within Dip. E & T

Mr Nigel McVeagh
Trainer/Teacher and Management Training, Skills2Train
September 1, 2014

This book is too practical for a PhD course, but it might be a good book for those who supervise PhD students.

Dr Kristina Palm
Medical Management center, lime
August 29, 2014

A great run through of all of the key learning for those undertaking a module in this now common business area.

Mr Philip Cullen
Department of Business, Newman Univ.
June 23, 2014

Sample Materials & Chapters


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Elaine Cox

Elaine is a principal lecturer and the leader of programmes for the International Centre for Coaching and Leadership Development at Oxford Brookes University in the UK, where she also directs the Doctor of Coaching and Mentoring Programme and supervises doctoral students. She is an experienced researcher, author and editor and has recently co-edited the bestselling book, The Complete Handbook of Coaching, 2nd edition. Her other books with SAGE include Coaching Understood (2013) and she is also the founding editor of The International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching & Mentoring. More About Author

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