Review of Co-Active Coaching: The Proven Framework for Transformative Conversations

Our latest feature for our monthly book club is Co-Active Coaching, the fourth edition, by Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl, Laura Whitworth: The Proven Framework for Transformative Conversations at Work and in Life. Keep reading my Review of Co-Active Coaching: The Proven Framework for Transformative Conversations.

The Bible of Coaching Guides

Often called “the bible of coaching guides,” Co-Active Coaching is a power hitter in the coaching field. My highlighter was in use from the literal first page of the preface to the last page of the last chapter!  In twelve chapters the authors walk you through the co-active coaching process from fundamentals to integration.

“We assume strength and capability, not weakness, helplessness, or dependence. We assume a deep desire to give the best and achieve potential. A co-active conversation has certain beliefs built into it: that every situation has possibilities and that people really do have the power of choice,” and there it is, the core premise this book and the co-active coaching practice is built on.

The Four Cornerstones of Coaching

Chapters 1 and 2 flesh out the fundamentals of co-active coaching, walking the reader through the four cornerstones that form what they call the container of the coaching relationship.  The heart of co-active coaching is comprised of fulfillment, balance, and process that takes place through the contexts of listening, intuition, curiosity, action, and self-management. Coaching is not a methodology but a relationship, say the authors, and time is spent exploring the environment, coaching alliance, and format of each coaching relationship in depth.

Image to show the subject of our book review: Co-Active Coaching: A Proven Framework for Transformative Conversations

Find out why this book is considered the “bible” of coaching guides

Practical Coaching Skills Explored

Chapters 3-7 cover the contexts of co-active coaching, which comprise the bulk of the book. One of the most insightful parts of this book for me was the descriptors used of Levels 1, 2 and 3 listening. Numerous practical coaching skills are explored along with developing and using your intuition, curiosity, and authenticity as well as self-management for the coach, for instance- what to do when you find you’ve disconnected during the coaching session.

Finding the Right Balance

Chapters 8-10 dive into those three processes of fulfillment, balance, and process. The importance of value work is tied to fulfillment for the coachee as opposed to what makes them feel good. “Values are the qualities of a life lived fully from the inside out”. Balance is not about giving equal weight to all things in a coachee’s life but about choosing life and not merely reacting to it, say the authors. Process is a nonlinear journey for the coachee that involves emotions. I loved this part of the book also, as it clarifies for the coach what to do with emotions that can show up in a coaching session. “Emotion is a legitimate form of expression, like words, music, and dance.”

The “What Ifs” of Co-Active Coaching

Chapters 11 and 12 pull all these concepts together and explore the “what ifs” of co-active coaching. “What if we held out the biggest picture possible instead of pointing out limitation? What if we came to expect greatness instead of failure? What if we acknowledged people’s strengths instead of flaws? In this world, learning and growth would be valued over comfort and appearance. This would be a transformative work indeed.” ‘Nuf said. I highly recommend this book!

Thank you for reading my review of Co-Active Coaching: The Proven Framework for Transformative Conversations. To get your own copy of this book click here: Co-Active Coaching, Fourth Edition

Want to read another book review? Try The Heart of Laser-Focused Coaching

A participant from the Heart of Laser-Focused Coaching webinar said: “I really enjoyed the conversation around this complex and skill-building book! Some of the author’s concepts were familiar to me, while others were very new. I did implement a few ideas from this book with clients this past week and was amazed at how well my clients responded. Thank you for facilitating and leading us through this content. Much appreciated!”

About the Take Courage Coaching Book Club

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About the Author: Kendy Anderson

Kendy lives in northern California with her husband and daughters. The mother of six children—some grown, twin daughters still at home—and a grandmother to five, she raises poultry, enjoys scrapbooking, sewing and gardening, and loves to read. She lives with several pain-producing conditions but hates to miss out because of pain, so she loves coping strategies—choices she makes daily that have her back to “doing life,” rather than being a spectator or withdrawing completely. After being coached for her own pain, she made the decision to take coach training. As a TCC®U- and Nationally-certified coach, she helps clients learn pain management skills and return to happy and productive lives. She wholeheartedly believes it is possible to change your perception about pain.

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