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Using the Romantics to understand the imagination: A creative and original methodology for research into coaching

C Tomlinson International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and The Coaching and Mentoring Network Articles 2020

It could be argued that imagination is a necessary counterweight to reason if coaches are to help clients make truly informed decisions. The use of imagination in coaching is underresearched. Much coaching research draws from psychotherapy and psychology. In this article, I show what we can learn from close and critical reading of literature. Adapting discourse-historical analysis I synthesise an idea of the Romantic imagination. Such imagination is revealed as an essential human attribute, with metaphysical characteristics, susceptible to nurture. The findings suggest how coaches and clients can embrace Keats’ ‘negative capability’. This article is a necessary contribution to coaching research which shows how the literary canon can provide valuable insights for coaches.

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