Creating Progress - The progress focused approach: tools for coaches, leaders and teachersGwenda Schlundt Bodien has written the first English book on the progress-focused approach, entitled Creating progress, the progress focused appoach: tools for coahes, leaders and teachers. The book competently and vividly describes the approach she and I have developed in collaboration over a period of nearly two decades and which we have written several Dutch books about. The progress-focused approach is heavily influenced by scientific psychology, the solution-focused approach, and many of our own inventions and experimentations. What makes the approach very attractive to practitioners is that it is both highly practical and closely connected to science. 

The book manages to establish a much needed bridge between science and practice. On the one hand it contains clear explanations of such social psychological theories and concepts as the self-determination theory, growth mindset theory, and deliberate practice. But on the other it is full of practical examples of how questions and other types of interventions may be phrased. Futher, it offers handy ways to structure conversations and sessions with clients. The book itself is also simply and clearly structured which supports the ease with which it can be read and understood. It opens with a description of a case which is left unresolved at this point. Then, in chapter 2, some essential beliefs on with the approach is based are explained. Next, in chapter 3, it lists some of the most well-known progress-focused techniques.

Subsequently, chapters 4-6 cover three main areas of application of the progress-focused approach: coaching, leadership, and education. A highlight from chapter 4 is the explanation of our seven-step approach for coaches. Chapter 5 highlights, among other things, the technique of progress-focused directing which is a way to effectively communicate expectations to someone. Chapter 6 shows, among other things, how basic needs support can be organized in classrooms which is the most effective way to create a context in which students can be motivated.

Chapter 7 revisits the case with which the book opened. Readers who have reached this point in the book will see how all of the previously explained principles and techniques are combined in the way the case is revolved. The book closes with some useful checklists for practitioners.

This book is highly recommended for all professionals who are interested in applied psychology and in improving their converstion skills.

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