Review: Managing yourself

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You Can Be Cover
Author: Morgan, Paul
Publisher: Pearson Professional Education Momentum
ISBN: 1843040239
Price: £19.00
Reviewer: Denis W Barnard

Denis Barnard from HRmeansbusiness reviews Managing Yourself by Paul Morgan.

Ever come away from a training session or seminar, and thought: I knew most of that already? Human nature is such that you always instinctively know what has to be done, it’s in the discipline of doing it, whether it’s managing time or people, eating less junk food, or giving up smoking.

Nowadays, the people to help you through this are life coaches, who would appear to replicate in an everyday way what the sports coaches have done for Pete Sampras, Tim Henman (but unfortunately not Anna Kournikova).

A book that sets out to help with these issues and instil self-improvement is “Managing Yourself” (sub-titled: coach yourself to optimum emotional intelligence”)
by Paul Morgan. Morgan comes from an Applied Psychology background, and is the creator of distance learning programmes one of which is entitled “Coach to Win”. He has also been the Sport Psychologist for the Great Britain Rugby League team (not to be confused with the World Champion Rugby Union team).

This book catches the eye immediately as the most visible caption on the cover is: “Do this- and your life gets better”.

Like a stream rising in the highlands, the book begins its flow with Morgan’s promise to the reader that this will be no rags to riches story, or encouragement in the hugging of trees, and he outlines Emotional Intelligence for the uninitiated which he claims has been “scientifically proven that a higher EI is linked to a better quality of life”, in contrast to the old IQ measurements which did not identify such a high number of achievers.

There then follows a number of self –assessment exercises, which together with case studies and observations appear at regular intervals throughout the book, and inevitably the weight of this material causes the momentum of this book to meander and clog up in a delta of reference sources and statements such as:

“Leading experts like Boyatzis have identified that…”, “further research by Mehrabian showed that…” “Paul Elkman has showed that”

or

The DREC Curve: “It is worth looking at the DREC model and the Quadrant model as it is useful to match the components of one model with those of the other. (D=Q1, R=Q2, E=Q3, C=Q4)”

or even

“A further illustration of the desire to work at a deeper level comes from the Institute of Heartmath..”
Yes, as well as mindmapping, we also have heartmapping. I daren’t even think of from where the next piece of mapping will emanate.

This book has much more of the feel of a coaching manual, and no doubt will be a reference work for those who are empathetic to the principles to which Paul Morgan adheres.

In a business library, the book would be very hard-pressed to justify a position, as although the techniques claim to improve performance, one can only hazard a guess as to its value in a commercial context.

Oh, and a word to the publishers: next time someone comes up with the bright idea of putting the page numbers in feint on the right hand side of the page so you have to rotate the book through 90 degrees to read it…resist!

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