co-active coaching
Written by the founders of The Coaches Training Institute.

Co-Active Coaching is a powerful resource for anyone working within the coaching profession. The Co-Active model, which defines the coaching relationship as an active collaboration between the client and the coach, is based on the assumption that people are “naturally creative, resourceful, and whole.” Full of thoughtful exercises, relevant examples and concrete advice, this text is clear, direct, easy to read, and inspiring.

(PDF) ONEpage™ Book Summary, by Therese Ducharme

Four Cornerstones
  1. People are naturally creative, resourceful, and whole. Every situation has possibilities. Every person has choice.
  2. Focus on the whole person. Mind, body, heart, spirit.
  3. Dance in this moment. Be fully present.
  4. Evoke transformation. Inspire learning.

Core Principles (client’s motivation)

Fulfillment = intentionally choosing to honor your values,
experiencing a life of purpose and meaning,
fully expressing who you are, BEing fully alive

* articulate, prioritize, and clarify values
* Wheel of Life = snapshot of today
* create Life Purpose statement based on client’s
talents, knowledge, experience, and wisdom

Balance = making choices aligned with a compelling vision
experience of flow, possibility, choice, freedom

* name the limited perspective on a concrete issue
develop alternative perspectives with more possibility
* client chooses a perspective (watch decision-making process)
* brainstorm a variety action options, then narrow the list
* conscious commitment to a different way of being, to action
* follow-up: check on progress, what worked/didn’t, learning?

Process = fully experience the repressed emotion in this moment

* name it, invite exploration, ask permission, accept the feeling
* use physical cues or metaphor to explore, until client feels it
* stay with it until something shifts, sense openness, release
* unblocked emotion becomes energy in motion, learning occurs

Five Contexts (essential elements) of Coaching

1. Listening – to self, to client, to client with more awareness

  • the meaning behind the story, the underlying process,
    the theme that will deepen the learning
  • the client’s vision, values, purpose
  • resistance, fear, voice of the saboteur

2. Intuition – listening below the surface, inspired “knowing”

3. Curiosity – Simply looking, without attachment.
open, inviting, spacious, almost playful exploration

4. Forward (action) and Deepen (learning) = coach’s job
authenticity, connection, aliveness, courage

Structure = a device that reminds clients to be in action

Accountability What? When? How will I know?
Celebrate failure – What did you learn?

5. Self-Management = self-awareness and recovery

* Clear and ground before appointments
* Coach outside comfort zone (be aware of own blocks)
* Overcome self-judgment

As coach models, client learns
- to be more aware in the moment, noticing disconnection
- to speak up, even when it is uncomfortable
- to recover and reconnect

Coaching conversation = focused, concentrated, safe, courageous
intentional conversation designed to support the client.

Designed Alliance = explicit agreement for coaching relationship

Homeostasis = natural, often subconscious, resistance to change
(Watch for “the dip” between weeks 3 and 8.)

WARNING! The decision to change awakens the ‘Saboteur.’
Client Commitment
- to explore, change, learn, take risks, go beyond comfort zone
- to persevere, even when it is difficult
- to invest time and energy

The coaching relationship (not the coach) empowers the client.
Coach = change agent, catalyst

1. Honor confidentiality. “Safe” does not mean comfortable.

2. Trust in the client’s capacity and integrity. Be punctual.
Allow the client to find their own solutions.

3. Have courage to tell the truth, without judgment.
Clients count on straightforward and honest communication.
Refuse to sidestep or overlook, simply state what you see.

4. Openness and Spaciousness
Complete detachment from any particular course of action.
Space to breathe, vent, experiment, fantasize, strategize.

Coaching Skills

Articulate = succinctly describe what is going on

Recover = notice the disconnection, name it, reconnect

Clearing = venting, to become present; push to get it all out

Clarify = listen, ask, reframe, bring sharp focus, add detail

Reframe = interpret information differently, to open possibility

Make Distinctions = separate entangled facts,
which are causing a disempowering belief

Meta-view = high level perspective, reveals underlying theme

Metaphor =imagery/experience to facilitate comprehension

Acknowledge = recognizes inner character, honored value,
provides validation, celebrates client’s inner strengths

Championing = standing up for the client when they self-doubt

Bottom-Lining = get to the point

Intrude = interruption to refocus/redirect the conversation

Blurt = speak on impulse, be authentic

Asking Permission* = gives client responsibility for the coaching

Powerful Questions =provocative, open-ended, introspective,
expansive questions (often followed by silence)

Homework Inquiry = open-ended, powerful question (for HW)
to provoke introspection and reflection

Goal Setting = manageable, specific and measurable actions

Brainstorm = extend, build on client ideas; no evaluation

Request = state request, then ask for commitment (will you?)
Possible responses: Yes/No/Counter offer

Challenge = extreme request, forces greater counter offer
than client would have suggested in the first place