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Co-Active Coaching: New Skills for Coaching People Toward Success in Work and, Life

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  2,408 ratings  ·  146 reviews

Discover what's new in this classic work that helped define the field of coaching.

With the first edition of Co-Active Coaching, Laura Whitworth and her pioneering co-authors set the stage for what has become a cultural and business phenomenon, and helped launch the professional practice of coaching. Their flexible Co-Active Coaching model has

Paperback, 2nd edition, 336 pages
Published January 10th 2007 by Nicholas Brealey Publishing (first published December 25th 1998)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  2,408 ratings  ·  146 reviews

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Amy Logan
Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to transform their relationships; potential coaches; coaches
This is the definitive textbook on life coaching written by the pioneers in the field who have run their own coaching school for over 20 years called The Coaches Training Institute (CTI). Many other coaching schools use this book as their textbook too. CTI's school and Co-Active model of coaching are considered the gold standard in the industry. It's the only coaching school in partnership with the Institute of Coaching at Harvard Medical School and the only one you can get real college credit f ...more
Colleen Wainwright
This book thoroughly explains a kind of coaching that uses collaboration between coach and client to activate the client's natural creativity and abilities towards solving the client's problems.

While I've never been coached by someone formally trained (by ICF) in this style of coaching, I have been coached in the collaborative style, and found it challenging, invigorating, and highly engaging—qualities that are completely leached out in the dissection and description of it, save a few spots her
This is considered by many to be the bible of the coaching world.

I've read several books about coaching theory as I look to phase out of managed care in order to help people make lasting lifestyle changes.

As a clinician, I have over two decades of experience working with patients. I have two degrees and at least a dozen certifications. I have worked in many different areas of the wellness industry, though my 9-5 is as a physical therapist.

The book makes a point of differentiating between "coa
Andrea James
Aug 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, general
Since I'm delivering training on coaching today, albeit in the context of coaching team member within an organisation as opposed to professional coaching, I figured it might be apt to review this book right now.

I think if I had read this book 10 years ago, I would have found some parts too "new age-y".

For instance: "When you listen at Level III, you listen as though you and the client were at the center of the universe, receiving information from everywhere at once. It's as though you were surr
Jeremiah Gumm
Sep 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mentors
Recommended to Jeremiah by: Pr. Daron Lindemann
Recommended to me as a resource as I serve as a pastoral mentor. Lots of good, practical skills explained and taught. Lector Caveat: Writing can really get "New-Agey" and humanistic at times. A worthwhile reference for those serving as mentors. ...more
Teresa Raetz
Dec 31, 2011 rated it liked it
A nice overview of the coaching process with some very helpful examples of dialog and documents/exercises/etc. to use. My main criticism is the fundamental assumption the authors make that every participant in coaching is willing to do the right thing or is an ethical person. They are a bit optimistic about the breadth of experience within human nature, in my opinion, so they don't include any information or discussion of how to screen the people you work with for fit, how to determine what your ...more
The person as coach is the subject of this book. There are no coaching models within here; instead, the focus is on the presence you need to have as a coach. It's the most detailed review of the personhood of the coach that I've seen so far. Evaluating your current level of listening against the descriptions of Level 1, 2, and 3 listening is a beneficial exercise. ...more
Marcos Moret
Some decent advice, but it's all a bit too new-agey for my tastes. ...more
Diane Law
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really good resource. I will return to it as a reminder of the models and practices
Crystal Johnson
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good foundation for coaches.
Loy Machedo
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Loy Machedo’s Book Review – Co-Active Coaching by Laura Whitworth, Phillip Sandahl, Karen & Henry Kimsey-House

Now before I dwell into the book review of Co-Active Coaching, let me confess something - I am a student of Co-Active Coaching.

I have spent around a year taking courses and attending the workshop related to Co-Active Coaching and yes, I have met a few training colleagues who are into this field and discipline.

But be warned – though I am a student, does not mean I am going to speak all
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Summary: A model of coaching in which coach and client actively collaborate to accomplish the clients needs, and the cornerstones, contexts, and core principles to realize those outcomes.

There are a variety of models for coaching and versatile coaches draw upon different models to meet the needs of their clients. In reading this book, what I found, which is described as a model, really seems to be a description of the ethos of coaching, the framework of practice within which a coach teams with h
Barry Davis
Subtitled “Changing Business, Transforming Lives.” Builds interactive coaching process around what the authors call the 4 cornerstones:
1. People are naturally creative, resourceful, and whole.
2. Focus on the whole person. - Analysis, logic, and spirit (transcendence).
3. Dance in this moment. - Moving forward collaboratively.
4. Evoke transformation. - Assist in expanding capacity to reach one’s potential.

Using a 5 point star to demonstrate the co-active process, the authors cite 5 contexts: Li
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book lays out the Co-Active coaching model clearly and concisely. I found it to be a great framework for approaching coaching conversations. The book provides both dispositions and concrete actions that a coach can take.

Part 1 explains the fundamentals of the Co-Active coaching model approach.
Part 2 dives deeper into the contexts: listening, intuition, curiosity, forward and deepen, and self-management.
Part 3 explores the three principles and practices: fulfillment, balance, and process.
Richard Fitzgerald
This book is logically laid out. It provides a good balance between theory and practical instruction, and it provides useful practice exercises to help with the coaching skills under consideration. I highly recommend this well written book.
Lindsay Kieffer
I had to read this book for work. I found some sections of it to be helpful with some really great tips and sample dialogues. But, I didn't have any super revelations from reading his book. It was helpful, but nothing extraordinary. ...more
Kat Robey
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Solid skill based book for coaches and listening professionals—AND would be great skill builder for people who manage, parent, listen for, support, and bring out the best in others (from the best in self/listener)—in any sort of relationship; work, family, friendship.
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m working on becoming a coach. I feel like this is a great listen to learn some tips on how to ask questions and how to listen. I love the example dialogue to help understand the techniques suggested. I would like to buy this book as a reference.
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 30-books-in-2015
A re-read from my coaching training days, great to see how far you've come :) ...more
Tammy Hibler
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As Stephen R. Covey appropriate quotes the book is the bible of coaching. I have used it as my main reference for years.
Required reading for my coach training program. Wouldn't recommend it otherwise. ...more
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A terrific resource!

Sunil Nair
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some new content but still the same. Loved it still!
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Life changing book

This was recommended to me by my own coach, although he admitted to not having read it! Some honesty right there! Reading this book has shown me that my decision at the age of 49 to start a brand new business as a coach is the right one. The way the book is laid out is just right at building the framework in my mind, without being too esoteric. It also does not read like a sales pitch for the coaching credentials, which I really liked about it. Although it does mention the ‘too
Wes Martin
This is described as the "bible of coaching guides" by Stephen Covey. I'm inclined to agree with Mr. Covey. This is the most definitive, descriptive, and richest text on coaching I've come across. This book is definitely aimed more towards those who are professional coaches than it is those who are interested in adding the techniques of coaching to their toolkit. However, I like to think of coaching as a way of being in relationship with others and therefore think that anyone seeking positive ch ...more
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the first edition of this book (and went through their complete coaching program) back in 2005. By now, many of the co-active principles and approaches have become second nature in my work as an OD practitioner. Always learning and growing, I picked up this latest edition and continue to have a strong appreciation for the co-active coaching model. It is relevant to a variety of coaching scenarios--from personal to professional/executive. The only thing I miss in this latest edition is the ...more
Dec 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's called "the bible of coaching guides" for a reason. Anyone who coaches - whether for a living or as part of one's other duties as a manager, a teacher, etc - can find value in this book. This book delves into the actual coaching conversations- not just what to say or not say, but how you the coach can manage your own insecurities, questions, and judgments during the conversation. This recovery, so the coach, can truly be present for the coachee or client, is invaluable and necessary to be a ...more
There's a lot of fluff and filler among the relevant points. For example, when it warns that the coach might be distracted in a session, it gives five or six examples of what might if I couldn't understand this point without the examples? Right. Then other points about coaching were left with simplistic or no examples, like how to unstuck a client who is tripping over a challenge. I don't think just asking them "what other perspectives are there?" is going to yield five more metaph ...more
Christie Munson Muller
Originally read this book last summer as part of a Financial Coaching/Training class. I revisited the book in the last few months to complete it. Although I was not taking the class to become a coach, I did find several learning elements in the book quite helpful. One element was the concept of the "coach as the change agent" and the goal should be to enter the coaching relationship without knowing what the outcome will be. The approach is to guide and empower clients to discover their own solut ...more
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been the recipient of co-active coaching, and through this book I have come to appreciate its value even more. This should prove to be very helpful in my work as a mentor, as a manager, and hopefully even in my personal life as a husband and step-dad.

I especially appreciated the discussions involving active-listening, and “being present.” I believe those to be crucial to the effectiveness of a co-active coach, and all of us should learn and employ these skills in our everyday life, conve
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