Warren Redman, Emotional Fitness Coaching: How to Develop a Positive and Productive Workplace for Leaders, Managers, and Coaches (Kogan Page Limited, 2012)
by Julia Lebedeva
In this era of massive information, the latest technologies are transforming the way people work and live. Emotional fitness coaching, as set down in Warren Redman’s book, is a piece of new technology that enables leaders to do exactly what the title says. This book is a good, easy to use, interactive guide to emotional fitness coaching. It is very timely in answering the needs of modern professional life.
Warren Redman is an award-winning author, counsellor and emotional fitness coach with a wealth of experience in manufacturing and commerce management. He is a leading developer in the science of emotional fitness, and founder of the Emotional Fitness Institute.
Redman defines emotional fitness as, first, the ability to bounce back from the latest setback or challenge. It is a series of mind habits you can learn which make you stronger and more resilient. Like any kind of fitness, the more you practice, the better you get. The book lets you create a workout plan for your emotional health. The exercises outlined in it are about developing so-called “soft skills” for leadership and management.
The book is framed as a narrative, with a newly-appointed manager receiving emotional fitness coaching. Readers follow the manager’s experience with the coach while completing exercises themselves. They are taken through various situations and the process of identifying a problem, developing a reaction to the problem and creating a solution. There is space included for readers to record their own reactions to the problems outlined in the narrative. This interactive way of presenting things is one of Redman’s real strengths as an author and coach.
Redman also discusses how people learn and explains why a lot of adult training does not work. People have different learning styles, and Redman discusses why people create excuses for not learning and how this can be changed by using emotional fitness tools. In the author’s model, learning is not simply the accumulation of knowledge, but emotional growth.
An individual approach to emotional fitness, as described in this book, recognizes the fact that none of us are emotionally alike. A person’s life is a sum of their personal choices, contributing to their identity. Coaching and counselling help individuals develop their own healthy lifestyle for emotional fitness based on their own unique needs. Emotional fitness coaching in Redman’s book gives readers an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and how to develop and overcome them.
There is a huge demand for emotionally fit people in the workplace. Just like Steve Jobs set an example of success through unorthodox management at Apple, his methods for achieving success have been highly controversial, with a stressful work environment for employees and managers. Redman suggests a leader must balance being productive and efficient, like Steve Jobs, with being approachable and compassionate and, in order to maximize everyone’s potential, leading his or her people rather than driving them.
The narrative approach and ease of accessibility of Emotional Fitness Coaching made me want to seek out more of Warren Redman’s work. If the emotional fitness bug can be spread, we can each coach one another through personal example and make better working environments.
Julia Lebedeva, BA, has worked on various projects supporting employment, both before and after coming to Canada in 2000. She is currently working towards a Diploma in Career and Work Counselling at George Brown College.