Helping People Change



Book Title:  Helping People Change: Coaching with Compassion for Lifelong Learning and Growth         
Authors:  Richard Boyatzil, Melvin Smith, and Ellen Van Oosten
Publisher:  HBR Press
List Price:  $30.00
Format:  Hard Cover, 256 pages
Publication Date:  September 2019
ISBN: 978-1-63369-656-3
Reviewer:  Kasandra Bell, PMP, CSM, ITIL
Review Date:  February 2020




The book “Helping People Change: Coaching with Compassion for Lifelong Learning and Growth” describes two different coaching techniques; coaching with compassion and coaching for compliance; comparing and contrasting both with appropriate use for each technique.  Coaching with Compassion is coaching with a genuine sense of caring and concern, focusing on the other person, providing support and encouragement, and facilitating the discovery and pursuit of that person’s dreams and passions.  Coaching with compassion activates conversations that inspire which stimulates the desire to grow, develop, and change in truly meaningful and sustainable ways.  Coaching for Compliance is geared toward reaching a goal or fixing a specific problem.  The premise is that coaching for compliance may result in short-term change but is not always sustainable and may not address underlying issues.

The authors share the scientific concepts and studies that support their findings; they also provide multiple examples illustrating the message.  Each chapter in the book describes a different concept that ties in with coaching with compassion – a positive focus on values and the future to fuel long-term sustainable motivation to reach those goals.  The guidance and suggestions are very practical and easy to use.  I actually started using them the day after I finished reading the book with immediate positive results!

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is divided into ten chapters with notes and an index at the end of the book.

The chapters are:

  1. The heart of helping
  2. Conversations that inspire
  3. Coaching with compassion
  4. Awakening the desire to change
  5. Survive and thrive
  6. The power of a personal vision
  7. Cultivating a resonant relationship
  8. Creating a culture of coaching or helping
  9. Recognizing coachable moments
  10. The call of compassion


The authors are careful to explain how they reached their conclusions and include scientific studies, case studies, and other examples.  They differentiate between coaching for compliance to solve a specific problem and coaching for compassion.  Coaching for compliance may help to make necessary changes (compliance); however, it does not always last.  Coaching with compassion looks at coaching from a distinct perspective.



To read entire Book Review, click here



About the Reviewer


Kasandra Bell, PMP, CSM, ITIL

Texas, USA



Kasandra Bell, PMP, CSM, ITIL is a seasoned Program Manager, Senior Project Manager, and a 15 year PMP.  She has 10 years’ experience in IT Project management for higher education and federal defense contractors managing multimillion-dollar ERP projects and various other types of infrastructure and software projects.  She also ran her own Program and Project Management consulting company and has implemented multiple PMOs.  She teaches several project management methodologies and is known as the PM Ninja for a charity close to her heart called Dallas GiveCamp, an organization that builds free software products for charities.

Kasandra has been a member of PMI since 2006 and is a member of both the PMI Dallas and PMI Ft. Worth chapters. She can be contacted at Kasandra.Bell at ymail.com


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