Chapter one

What is coaching?

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In this chapter, we will study the basic coaching process and the characteristics of the coaching conversation, distilling the key aspects of the work of the coach. Exploring a historical perspective of coaching will help us to realise how the response to ‘What is coaching?’ provides only a partial and incomplete picture. This brings us to the conclusion that a comprehensive definition of coaching remains elusive.

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The answer to ‘What is coaching?’ is neither simple nor straightforward. We think that it ought to be, and is, possible to provide a single comprehensive definition of coaching. After many years of coaching, I am still unable to solve this conundrum. The responses to the question of ‘What is coaching?’ ...

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