Coaching sometimes seems like Keats’ rainbow – the more we try to define it, dissect it, classify it and demystify it, the more we diminish it and lose its essence. One of the concerns both of us have about so much of the coaching literature is that it represents attempts to confine coaching within the partisan wrappings of a particular school, philosophy or approach. Such narrow and sometimes self-serving perspectives seem to us to be completely at odds with the essential ethos of coaching – enquiring, open, inclusive, subtle and multi-perspective. This perspective has been called ‘relational coaching’ by Erik de Haan and colleagues (de Haan, 2008).

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