One of the most useful tools for someone seeking to understand the nature of life coaching is Co-Active Coaching, a book by Laura Whitworth, Karen Kimsey-House, Henry Kimsey-House, and Phillip Sandahl. They define co-active coaching as “an alliance between two equals for the purpose meeting the client’s needs.” They emphasize that coaching is more of a relationship than a methodology with the coach and the client acting as co-creators or collaborators with the goal of benefitting the client.
The four cornerstones of co-active coaching emphasize the client’s natural creativity and resourcefulness; the client as the source of the coaching agenda; the need for the coach “to dance in the moment” (go with the flow); and the importance of addressing the client’s whole life in the coaching relationship. This approach is intended to assist the client to deal with fulfillment, balance, and process in his or her life.
For those who have been trained in either a very structured or faith-based approach to coaching, this book presents a more intuitive perspective. Both the coach and the client are encouraged to enjoy the journey of coaching. At the same time, this edition of the book provides a number of tools to further the work of coaching. This includes more than 35 exercises, questionnaires, checklists, and reproducible forms. There is also a CD containing sample audio coaching sessions, and printable forms from the Toolkit.
If you are a coach or a trainer of coaches, Co-Active Coaching may well provide you with a different point of view or add new facets to your coaching practice.