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The Handbook of Knowledge-Based Coaching: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE by Diane Brennan, Leni Wildflower

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NARRATIVE IDENTITY IN COACHING

A distinguishing feature of a narrative approach to coaching is its emphasis on the crucial role of identity in understanding and supporting people’s development and performance. It suggests that coaches should think of identity as relational action (Gergen & Gergen, 2006) and an adaptive performance (Mishler, 1999) more than as a unitary and static object, and as authored in the present and shaped by the perceived potential of the future (Markus & Nurius, 1986) more than just as a product of a fixed past. In other words, identity is fluid. It’s an ongoing process in which people navigate between fitting in and functioning well in their environment, and authentically expressing themselves and getting their needs ...

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