1st Edition

Critical Moments in Executive Coaching Understanding the Coaching Process through Research and Evidence-Based Theory

By Erik de Haan Copyright 2019
    248 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    248 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Critical Moments in Executive Coaching examines the change process supported by workplace and executive coaching, making use of empirical evidence from the study of a range of real coaching conversations and coaching relationships. It is both a complete handbook that for the first time gives access to a global qualitative research base in the field of executive coaching, and a look behind the scenes into the practice of both inexperienced and experienced coaches, their clients and their commissioners.

    Erik de Haan allows the reader access to the wealth of Ashridge empirical research in this field to date, alongside prominent research groups around the world. This book provides practitioners with a range of suggestions for their contracts, backed up by qualitative and narrative research. It looks at what research is already telling us about the value of coaching conversations and the impact of critical ‘moments of change’ in coaching, from the perspectives of coaches, clients, stakeholders and sponsors. The detailed research findings outlined in the book are supplemented throughout by case studies and snapshots of coaching moments as well as practical advice and insights for those working in the field. The book also brings forward innovative new models and concepts for coaches which have emerged from research.

    Critical Moments in Executive Coaching offers an evidence and research-based approach that will be of great interest to coaches in practice and in training, students of both undergraduate and graduate coaching programmes and those who supervise and commission coaching.

    Introduction 1. Coaching is "doing research" 2. Critical moments in coaching: what inexperienced coaches have to say 3. Critical moments in coaching: what experienced coaches have to say 4. Critical moments in coaching: what coachees have to say 5. Critical moments in coaching: looking for a Rashomon effect 6. Critical moments in coaching: what coaching sponsors have to say 7. Lessons to apply in practice APPENDICES: examples of critical moments Appendix A: Critical moments of inexperienced coaches Appendix B: Critical moments of experienced coaches Appendix C: Critical moments of coachees Appendix D: Comparing critical moments of coaches and coachees Appendix E: Overview with examples of the critical moments of coachees, coaches and sponsors


    Erik de Haan is Director of the Ashridge Centre for Coaching at Hult International Business School and Professor of Organization Development at the VU University in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He is the programme leader of Ashridge’s MSc in Executive Coaching and PG Diploma in Organisational Supervision. He has published more than 180 professional and research articles and 12 books, covering his expertise as an organisational consultant, psychotherapist and executive coach.

    'Unraveling the coaching process is a major and ongoing challenge with regard to coaching professionalization and its empirical coverage. This is where Erik de Haan’s brilliant new book makes an important contribution. It combines his personal experiences as Director of the Ashridge Centre for Coaching with results from recent process-oriented studies as well as his own qualitative research on critical moments in coaching. In a clear and careful way, De Haan describes overlaps and differences in the perspectives of coaches, clients and sponsors. All rounded up by impressive insights into actual coaching sessions and practical guidance for inexperienced as well as experienced coaches. I also highly recommend this book as groundwork for supervision in coaching.'-Patrizia M. Ianiro-Dahm, professor in Work, Organizational and Health Psychology at the University of Applied Sciences, Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, Germany

    'In Critical Moments in Executive Coaching Erik De Haan offers a richly textured research- based examination of the entire coaching process including contracting, critical incidents that often signal a developmental shift for coachees and coaches alike and the dynamics of ending. In a discipline that can often be biased towards the application of simple tools and reductionism, this book serves as a powerful reminder of the inevitable subtleties and complexities in the coaching relationship. This major contribution to the coaching literature will appeal to coaches looking to develop their practice as well as learn about qualitative research methodology and how to apply this as a relational approach coaching."-Simon Cavicchia, author of The Theory and Practice of Relational Coaching

    ‘This book draws insightful and genuine connections between personal experiences of the author, research results and tips for coaching practice. A must-read for executive coaches!’–Professor Yvonne Burger, organisational consultant, executive coach and supervisor

    ‘Insightful, revealing, frank and honest. The handbook for professionals who want to continue learning’–Frans Hoek, MBA, managing partner, Hoek Consultants

    ‘I wanted this book for the title alone. "Critical moments" is a striking concept that describes the fascinating variety of situations where something crucial happens in a coaching process.’–Carine Metselaar, MCM, coaching supervisor and executive coach

    ‘A real behind-the-scenes glimpse into the practice of executive coaching. Surprising insights, thrilling conflicts, critical doubts, dramatic schisms – and everything neatly organised.’–Dr Tim Theeboom, coaching researcher