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Narrative Coaching: The Definitive Guide to Bringing New Stories to Life

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"David lives, eats, and breathes narrative; it’s what he does and who he is. It is like he can see into people’s souls through their narratives and help them see all of who they are. When we taught together, it was evident how profound and powerful narratives are in revealing and healing our deepest shadows. Narrative Coaching illustrates this important work in a way that we can use in our work and lives. Brilliant!"
-- Donna Karlin, The Shadow Coach, Canada

"David is a global thought-leader in Narrative Coaching, and this book will stimulate, educate, and provide valuable insights and tools for all coaches. An essential read."
-- Anthony M. Grant, PhD, Director of the Coaching Psychology Unit, University of Sydney, Australia

"David is one of my favorite coaching thought leaders, shining bright as a coaching scholar. His star also radiates warmth and compassion, poured into narrative coaching, a coaching domain David founded. This book integrates the best of David’s thinking over the past 15 years. It is a rich and evocative resource for everyone interested in coaching."
-- Margaret Moore, Founder and CEO of Wellcoaches

"This book is a powerful source of inspiration and resources for coaches who have outgrown the simplistic and mechanical models taught in many coaching programs and who are ready to take their skills to a new level."
-- Prof. Konstantin Korotov, PhD, Director of the Center for Leadership Development Research, ESMT-Berlin

"David Drake charts the waters for any coach or trainer willing to help a fellow soul change the stories that bind him or her. Wonderful examples and a healthy respect for the diverse and unpredictable variability of two humans talking (or sitting in silence) makes this book entertaining as well as useful."
-- Annette Simmons, Group Process Consulting, US

"David has taken his doctoral research and created a globally recognized body of work. It has been a joy to watch narrative coaching evolve and David along with it. His systemic approach to developing people is on the leading edge of coaching. I highly recommend this book for both its scholarship and its profound insights on practice."
-- Judy Stevens-Long, PhD, PhD Faculty, Fielding Graduate University, School of Human & Organizational Development, US

"David Drake understands — truly and deeply understands — how the stories we tell about ourselves are the genesis of our identities, and from that deep awareness he has pioneered the field of narrative coaching. What an astonishing achievement, and what a potent contribution to the field of human development! If your vocation calls you now into this journey of learning, then this book is your map… and Dr. David Drake is your wise and compassionate guide."
-- David Hutchens, Author and organizational story consultant

"There are very few coaching approaches that are fully theory-based and also serve as a sensitive guide to practice. Narrative coaching as developed by David Drake represents an outstanding example of such an approach. It includes a skillful synthesis of the best ideas in the field of human change, made richer by his years of thoughtful refinement and integration into coaching practice. This book truly extends the knowledge of the coaching field and beyond."
--Tatiana Bachkirova, PhD, Co-director of the International Centre for Coaching and Mentoring Studies, UK

"Most coaches deal with the surface of life, focusing on arranging behaviors and tasks. David has a way of quickly getting to the deeper personal narrative that shapes how we perceive daily life. Once I understood the story I was living in, I had the power to change it. Behavioral changes that had been a challenge seem much less daunting now that they are tied to a deeper intention."
-- Brian Lanahan, Brand strategist, US

"David’s book is the most thorough and robust guide to Narrative coaching available. The tools and models are presented in easy to understand, simple and clear language. This book will be useful to both beginning practitioners as well as the most experienced coaches and leadership development specialists. But beware . . . there is a depth here that offers a limitedness guide for our learning. The simplicity belies the sophistication of this model that will stand the test of time."
-- Loretta Brown, Director, New Zealand Coaching and Mentoring Centre

"David Drake brings a rare combination of rigour and humanity to this long-awaited book. Rooted in both academic research and ground-breaking practice, he has written the seminal work on Narrative Coaching. I’m delighted to see this new and expanded second edition. A well-thumbed copy should be on the desk of every professional coach and anyone interested in exploring and changing the story of their lives."
-- Geoff Mead, PhD, Director, Narrative Leadership Associates and Associate Fellow, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

"David gives us the inside story on Narrative Coaching and how it brings not only our stories to life but our practice as well. He shares his decades of research and coaching experience and kindly includes the reader in his own journey to better coaching. This is an inspiring and remarkably generous book. I’ll be returning to it again and again. Relax, trust, and listen. Everything we need is in the stories."
-- Moya Sayer-Jones, Founder and story activist, Only Human, Australia

"Wow—it is so good to read something about coaching with this degree of freshness and energy! It offers a genuine and helpful alternative by highlighting narrative as a key way to understand and appreciate one’s patterns and life events. Whatever you are doing right now, just stop and read this book; you won’t be disappointed!"
-- Professor Bob Garvey, Faculty Head of Research, York St. John Business School, UK

"This is a book for anyone who is seriously concerned with the business of personal and professional transformation. It is written with great authority—an authority grounded in many years of diligent scholarship and reflective practice. Most importantly it tells the 'story' of narrative coaching in an engaging way, and it is very accessible and practically useful. I can see our students benefiting enormously from it."
--Gordon Spence, PhD, Director, Master of Business Coaching, Sydney Business School/University of Wollongong, Australia

"This book is a superb guide to narrative coaching and an important and innovative resource. It is a must-have for any coach wishing to develop new perspectives on their skills in helping clients reflect on their experience and test new stories for themselves. Narrative Coaching offers plenty of practical advice, underpinned by David’s unique and ground-breaking theory about how people develop through coaching."
-- Sunny Stout-Rostron, DProf, University of Stellenbosch, School of Business, South Africa

"David has created a multifaceted book that offers a scholarly text on narrative coaching. . . . It is a lovely book, written as though we are walking with him on a long pilgrimage. The book encourages “listening” to familiar tales differently and being open and attentive to the moment when people seek new stories. This book will become a highly valued reference for people interested in narrative work."
-- Ann Whyte, Former Managing Director, Whyte & Co, Australia

"Listen to the story behind the story . . . that is what I take away from David’s work. As coaches, we often get hung up on getting on with business and changing behavior. David is always reminding us to help each other learn how our stories affect us and can be realized to set free our potential."
-- Lew Stern, PhD, Senior Advisor to the Institute of Coaching, Co-founder and Director, The Executive Coaching Forum

"This is a deeply thoughtful yet highly practical account of narrative coaching. David Drake has made a significant contribution to the field of coaching, not just to narrative approaches. I highly recommend this book."
-- Professor David Lane, Professional Development Foundation and Middlesex University, UK

"This book by David Drake represents a great contribution to the field. Narrative Coaching represents a powerful framework for helping clients find meaning and develop new perspectives effectively and efficiently. It integrates seamlessly with existing theoretical foundations while adding a deeper sense of humanity into the coaching conversation!"
-- Wade Azmy, CEO, Pharos Institute (Asia Pacific)

"David Drake’s work with Narrative Coaching gives you a new mindset, useful frameworks and specific questions to ask yourself or your coachees in critical moments. Based on sound theory and practice, it is food for the brain and the soul. Absorb what is in this book and you will be a better leader and coach."
-- Carol Kauffman, PhD, Founder, Institute of Coaching

"David works as a scientist practitioner, and this is one of the greatest strengths of his work. His ability to navigate academic rigour and to work effectively with robust organisational cultures has produced a high impact coaching methodology that delivers change in thinking, feeling and decision making for those who experience it."
-- Terri Mandler, Former Group Head, Leadership & Learning, QBE Insurance Group. Pty. Ltd.

"With a passion for narratives and stories that began early in life, David Drake offers an approach to coaching that integrates different theoretical positions—from psychodynamic to social constructionist—into a coherent and striking bouquet. Reflective practitioners will value this book as an inspiring and insightful source for their professional development."
--Reinhart Stelter, PhD, Coaching Psychology Unit, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

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About the Author

David B Drake, PhD, is founder and CEO of the Moment Institute in the San Francisco Bay Area. He pioneered the field of Narrative Coaching, and he has taught coaching skills to over 10,000 leaders, managers, and professionals in eighteen countries.

David has also contributed to narrative-based change and coaching initiatives in over seventy organizations. Clients include: Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Dropbox, Google, Logitech, Nike, PwC, Westpac, and the US and Australian federal governments.

He is the author of over fifty publications on narratives and coaching, and he is the editor of

The Philosophy and Practice of Coaching

(2008), and coeditor of the reference–level

SAGE Handbook of Coaching

(2016). He is a Thought Leader for the Institute of Coaching at Harvard.

He currently runs retreats to develop practitioners who can work across professions and extend the reach of what is possible through coaching through deepening their own development. He has also formed an alliance with WBECS, the world’s leading coaching platform and community, to launch his Narrative Coach program on a larger scale.

David splits his time between the Bay Area and Amsterdam, relishes his life as a father, and spends as much time in nature as possible.

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