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The Leadenhall Lunch – The Gift of Coaching

News views and events from Leadenhall

‘The Leadenhall Lunch’ – The Gift of Coaching

Special Guest – Professor Erik de Haan


Our successful series of thought leadership lunches continued last week as we hosted a fabulous lunch with special guest Erik de Haan. Erik, who has recently completed his 18th book – ‘The Gift of Coaching – Love over Fear in Helping Conversations’, shared insights with our guests alongside two of our Leadenhall and Coaching on Demand coaches – Ester Ter Haar and Georgie Rudd.

After a brief introduction from our CEO Chris Woodman, Erik explained the premise behind his new book, that describes some of his own experiences and how they have directed his learnings and theories towards coaching. The book is a significant departure from his highly successful investigative and research publications that have helped shape coaching strategy and evaluation over recent years. The Gift of Coaching draws on Erik’s own coaching experiences and conversations, to identify the importance of conquering the individuals’ in-built fears and trepidations. This, combined with the building of trust, understanding and intimacy (love) between the coach and coachee, creates the ideal scenario for progress and development to take place – the ultimate Gift of Coaching.


Erik also talked about the evidence of the effectiveness of coaching which was the subject of his last book What Works in Executive Coaching: Understanding Outcomes Through Quantitative Research and Practice-Based Evidence.  He emphasised the importance of the relationship between the coach and the coachee for successful coaching and pointed out that the method of coaching was not the prime factor in the success of a coaching intervention.  He said that many coaches were very focused on and wedded to their particular approach to coaching. Approaches to coaching ranged from psychotherapeutic roots through to the more directive approaches typified by the sports or business coach model.

He cited a study that explored the effectiveness of non-directive and directive coaching on learning to use a particular slide application.  Neither method was found to be more effective on learning to use the application.  However, the non-directive approach seemed to improve the recipient’s ability to learn how to use a different type of application.  The implication being that the non-directive method enables the learner to work things out themselves from first principles rather than by rote.


  • Professor Erik De Haan – Director of the Hult Ashridge Centre for Coaching and Professor of Organisation Development and Coaching at the VU University Amsterdam.
  • Hannah Mills – JMAN Group
  • Natasha Mabon – JMAN Group
  • Maneesh Sharma – JMAN Group
  • Tom Stevenson – Hamilton Group
  • Alice Woodruff – IQUW
  • Maire Sloman Colt – Technology Services
  • Julie Harrison – Resolution Life Group
  • Lucy-Ellen Berwick – Longview Partners
  • Rachael ReevesFederated Hermes


Attended by a broad spectrum of HR and L & D leaders and professionals, the guests were all interested in hearing about coaching keen from one of the leading academics and practitioners in the industry.

With the coaching industry changing so rapidly following the pandemic with both technological innovation and workplace change, people were keen to hear more about the role coaching could play within organisations.  In particular, the focus on leadership, professional and personal development and the importance of wellbeing and mental health.  With coaching moving from the preserve of senior executives to potentially all employees.


Chris Woodman CEO – Leadenhall

Dan Harris – Associate Director – Leadenhall

Ester Ter Haar – Leadenhall Coach

Georgie Rudd – Leadenhall Coach

If you fancy being a guest or would like to have a chat about Leadenhall and our services pop your details below.