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Ashridge Centre for Coaching

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Our Purpose

The Ashridge Centre for Coaching is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in the field of executive coaching. We aim to publish at least ten articles a year in recognised journals, and a book every two years. We work in partnership with leading academics and practitioners, and offer research fellowships to visiting researchers. The research and standards of the Ashridge Centre for Coaching inform the Ashridge Masters in Executive Coaching.

Coaching Research

The largest ever coaching outcome research – preliminary findings

Data collection is now completed on this project.

The Ashridge Centre for Coaching is proud to present the Greatest Coaching Outcome Research Project in history, which has already drawn exactly 2,018 completed client questionnaires, 1,880 matching coach questionnaires and 130 matching coaching sponsor questionnaires. These numbers are at least ten times more than most existing coaching outcome studies and larger than any study that we know of in this field.

A number of articles summarising the findings are currently under peer review.

We have already analysed about 75% of the complete dataset. So far we have found:

  • There are substantial correlations between different independent estimates of coaching outcome (between client and coach and between client and sponsor, but not between coach and sponsor)
  • The coaching relationship remains the best predictor of outcome
  • Client self-efficacy seems an active ingredient as well, as it correlates with coaching outcome, both as rated by the client and as rated by the coach
  • Coach self-efficacy does not correlate with client-rated outcome
  • Only small correlations between personality in terms of MBTI and the other variables above.

In other words: (1) clients, coaches and sponsors agree on what they see as coaching outcome, (2) the coaching relationship is a very important factor in effectiveness and (3) client self-efficacy (the client’s self-motivation) is an important active ingredient as well.

We expect these findings to be robust, because of the large sample sizes.

News and events


3rd International Relational Coaching Conference

On 13 July 2015, the Ashridge Centre for Coaching is proud to host the 3rd International Relational Coaching Conference, with keynote speaker Ernesto Spinello.


Relational Coaching workshops

We are putting on a series of workshops exploring different perspectives on relational coaching. The first of the workshops in the series is entitled Relational Psychodynamics and is led by Erik de Haan and Andrew Day. The second is entitled Relational Transactional Analysis and is led by Charlotte Sills and Graeme Summers. The third in the series is entitled Relational Gestalt and is led by Bill Critchley.


New book - The Leadership Shadow: How to recognize and avoid derailment, hubris and overdrive

Senior executives need exceptional drive and excellent interpersonal skills to push themselves and others to succeed, but under pressure, the skills and qualities that leaders have previously relied upon to get them to the top can go into overdrive, and lead to catastrophe. Now, a new book from Ashridge Business School identifies what makes managers act out of the problematic, darker side of their leadership and provides methods for identifying and challenging self-defeating behaviours to ensure that leadership shadows or ‘gremlins’ are disciplined.

Based on extensive research The Leadership Shadow draws on insights from psychiatry and psychotherapy to reveal how derailment occurs when strengths are overused and how to avoid downfalls. Using examples drawn from executives’ experiences and descriptions of psychological behaviours based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) and the Hogan Personality Inventory model, the authors demonstrate how to find stability in the face of uncertainty, resilience in the face of gruelling demand, and psychological equilibrium as a leader.

About the Centre

Director of the Centre for Coaching, Dr. Erik de Haan, discusses current research and the advancement of professional practice led by the Centre, and plans for the future.