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Wisdom Weaver


Dr. Erik de Haan



Erik de Haan is the Director of Ashridge’s Centre for Coaching and Professor of Organisation Development at the VU University Amsterdam. He joined Ashridge Business School in 2002 after 10 years of experience as an O.D. consultant in The Netherlands. He specialises in working with the organisational unconscious and in surfacing hidden aspects of the company or team culture. Main areas of work:

  • Process consulting for long-term organisational change.
  • Fostering team learning and development using techniques from peer consultation to action learning.
  • One-to-one coaching for executives and consultants. Erik is programme director of the Ashridge MSc in Executive
  • Coaching (AMEC) and of the Ashridge Postgraduate Diploma in Organisational Supervision (ADOS).

Erik has published well over two hundred professional articles and fifteen books. His first book was about King Lear and its lessons for managers and consultants, The consulting process as drama (1997). Later titles include Relational Coaching (2008), Supervision in action (2011), The Leadership Shadow (2014), Critical Moments in Executive Coaching (2019) and What Works in Executive Coaching (2021). All of these books are available in Dutch and English, and some also in German, Italian, Russian and Korean.

Erik’s mother tongue is Dutch, he is fluent in English, Italian and German, and he can make himself understood in French and Spanish.

Erik is qualified as a psychodynamic psychotherapist (trained by the Tavistock Clinic, registered with the British Psychoanalytic Council) and holds British Psychological Society’s Level A and B Certificates in Psychological Assessment with qualifications in a range of psychometric instruments.

What inspires you?

I found the three recent books that I listed below inspirational. A fresh perspective on the current crises in the world can be helpful and motivational in trying to confront them. I think coaching can have a small role in addressing the current crises in leadership, by confronting hubris, derailment, overdrive and other issues in the crossover between personality and power (=corruption).

What relationship has been most influential in your life?

Mother, obviously.

What’s on your bookshelf?

Letters Freud, Lou Salome
Ivan Bunin Complete Works, Ivan Bunin
Caterpillage: Reflections on Seventeenth Century Dutch Still Life Painting, Harry Berger

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