Cover of Peer Coaching at Work by Polly Parker, Douglas T. Hall, Kathy E. Kram, and Ilene C. Wasserman
Peer Coaching at Work
Principles and Practices
Polly Parker, Douglas T. Hall, Kathy E. Kram, and Ilene C. Wasserman


216 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804797092
Ebook ISBN: 9781503605060

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Silver in Success / Motivation / Coaching in the 2019 Axiom Business Book Awards.

Winner of the 2019 Best Book Awards in the Business: Careers category, sponsored by the American Book Fest.

When it comes to mentoring, peer coaching is an undervalued workhorse. It's effective, inexpensive, widely applicable, and relatively easy to implement. Many coaches consider it to be the next wave in professional development. Peer Coaching at Work draws on research and practice to deliver a hands-on guide to this powerful relational learning technique.

The authors—all leaders in the field—present a rigorously tested three-part model for facilitating peer coaching relationships in one-on-one settings and in larger groups. With lively case studies, they define peer coaching as a focused relationship between equals who supportively learn from, actively listen to, and judiciously question each other, which leads to breakthroughs that may otherwise lie dormant in one's career. A fundamental guide for anyone with an interest in mentoring and transformational learning, this book is a must-have for the talent management bookshelf.

About the authors

Polly Parker is Professor of Leadership and Associate Dean (Academic), Faculty of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Queensland.

Douglas T. Hall is Morton H. and Charlotte Friedman Professor of Management Emeritus and Founding Director of the Executive Development Roundtable at Boston University's Questrom School of Business.

Kathy E. Kram is R.C. Shipley Professor in Management Emerita at Boston University's Questrom School of Business and Principal of ICW Consulting Group.

Ilene C. Wasserman is President of ICW Consulting Group and a Senior Leadership Fellow at the Wharton School where she is the lead coach of their executive leadership program. She is also on the faculty of the ODL Program at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicineand isan Executive in Residence with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL).

"This in-depth treatment of peer coaching is unmatched. Practical, clearly delineated steps and examples illustrate how to apply the theory and approach that the authors have developed in their revered research."

—William H. Hodgetts, William James College

"The authors offer a lively and grounded look at a little explored, yet hugely promising practice. For those of us research and teach about professional growth, or coach leaders on the front lines, this book is nothing short of superb."

—Richard E. Boyatzis, Case Western Reserve University, and co-author of Primal Leadership

"The combination of theoretical rigor and practice-based experience makes this book a highly significant contribution to the field of coaching. This is an excellent resource for professionals who want to get the most out of coaching initiatives."

—Christian van Nieuwerburgh, Professor of Coaching and Positive Psychology, University of East London

"Providing several models of the peer-coaching process, backed by psychological theories that can be harnessed to create and enhance coaching relationships, this book is a powerful primer for any work setting."

—Edgar H. Schein, MIT Sloan School of Management, and author of Humble Consulting

"Mentoring is a vital pathway for leadership development, and fellow managers are among the best and least costly providers. In Peer Coaching, we have the definitive guidebook for rendering and receiving that guidance, for bringing personal counseling to life, and for making learning circles a lifelong habit."

—Michael Useem, Wharton Leadership Center, University of Pennsylvania

"This is an impressive resource for HR professionals, faculty, consultants, and trainers who would like to use the power of peer coaching in their people development efforts. Reading it will provide a strong foundation for setting up a peer coaching process, avoiding costly mistakes, and making the best use of people's ability to help each other grow!"

—Konstantin Korotov, Director of the Center for Leadership Development Research, ESMT-Berlin

"Our future growth and prosperity depends on our ability to adapt. Peer Coaching at Work provides an invaluable guide to a three-step approach that fosters lifelong learning and development. A must-read for those wanting to develop the higher-order skills necessary to succeed in a challenging world."

—Mark Laurie, PwC

"If you see coaching as an important plank in the cultural development of organizations, then read this book! It provides a nuanced overview of peer coaching, and how such relationships are best established and maintained. Best of all, it includes many practical examples that clearly demonstrate how to convert principles to action."

—Gordon Spence, Sydney Business School, University of Wollongong

"Leadership wisdom that is grounded in solid research and conveyed in practical terms is always in short supply—and this book delivers both. The authors provide a proven roadmap for peer coaching that will accelerate learning for leaders at every level."

—John R. Ryan, President and CEO, Center for Creative Leadership

"As the complexity and volatility of work expands, organizations must uncover and leverage the deep capability of their workforce. Parker, Kram, Hall, and Wasserman awaken us to the power and potential of an abundant yet often overlooked resource: collaborative peer relationships. A rich source of wisdom, this book expertly blends practical suggestions with relevant theory to ignite peer coaching in our personal and professional lives."

—Ellen B. Van Oosten, Assistant Professor and Director, Coaching Research Lab, Case Western Reserve University