Objectives: The coaching relationship has been described as the catalyst for change. This study explores the coaching relationship by comparing the working alliance and the 'real relationship'- the undistorted and authentic experience of the other- in participants in skills coaching and transformational coaching. Design: A 2 (coaching condition) x 2 (time) factorial design was used. Method: Staff from community psychiatric recovery services were trained in a new service delivery approach (Collaborative Recovery Model), followed by coaching from intemal coaches once per month to enhance implimentation of the training. All trained staff were invited to participate in the research. Forty coachees met the requirements for inclusion in the study (>=3 coaching sessions in six months). Coaches completed a coaching alliance measure after each session. Coachees completed measures of working alliance and real relationship after six months of coaching. Results: Analyses indicated that the coaching relationship is stronger after receiving transformational coaching, from both coachees' and coaches' perspectives. Relationships developed over time in transformational coaching, but not with skills coaching. Conclusions: The results provide preliminary evidence that transformational coaching encourages the development of stronger coaching relationships. Future research should examine the effect of coaching approach on the outcomes of coaching.