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What is Co-Active Coaching

Coaching is a partnership between the Coach and the client. It is a dynamic process in which the Coach provides the support, guidance and tools to ensure the client achieves his/her goals. Co-Active Coaching asserts that people are naturally creative, resourceful, and whole -- capable of finding their own answers to whatever challenges they face. As a result, for a Coach, curiosity and coaching skills are just as important, if not more so, than specialized knowledge. An effective Co-Active Coach listens, asks questions, and empowers rather than simply informing or advising. Co-Active Coaching holds that all aspects of a client's life -- including family, career and other priorities and interests -- are inter-related; therefore, the coaching addresses the whole person. Co-Active Coaching is not about a quick fix. It is about building a foundation, developing new habits for long-term success, and creating lasting change in the client’s life.

In co-active coaching, you do not offer a “solution” to a person’s problems … you help them to find that solution within themselves. Inherently, whether we realize it or not, each person has the solutions to any problem they might have … they just need to be made aware of this truth. All a co-active coach does is to help them discover that solution for themselves! A good example of this is when Brian Tracy, a well-known personal development trainer, offered to help his wife. She was doing some marriage counseling and was having a particularly difficult time helping this one couple. Brian asked if he might speak with them. She said that would be fine (please do). After listening to the couple, all he did was make a comment and ask a question: “You have a problem … What are you going to do about it?” This made the couple “shift gears” and they started thinking of possible solutions rather than dwelling on the magnitude of their problem. Before long, they came up with a solution which resolved the problem! Another good example is the tactic used by Socrates. Whenever a student came to him with a question, he would “answer” with a question … and continue doing this. Eventually, the student discovered the answer for themselves! … and a final example: all great teachers realize that the most effective teaching “technique” is to help a student come up with their own answers. All the teacher would do is ask questions or provide an exercise for their students to engage in which, when done, would allow the students to discover the answer or realize a principle via their own engagement in solving a “problem!” John Keats once stated, “Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced.” (see Perspective on Life)

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