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What is Co-Active Coaching?



Co-Active Coaching is a model of personal and professional development unlike other kinds of coaching. Based on the Co-Active Model, it begins by holding the coachee as naturally creative, resourceful and whole, and completely capable of finding your own answers to whatever challenges you face. The job of a Co-Active Coach® is to ask powerful questions, listen, and empower, to elicit the skills and creativity you already possess, rather than instruct or advise. Co-Active coaching uses an array of proprietary tools developed by CTI that have been proven as the gold standard for nearly 30 years of the coaching industry.  There's nothing wrong so there's nothing to fix, just deep exploration and discovery.

What is the Co-Active Model?



The Co-Active Model balances self-awareness, a keen agility with relationships, and courageous action to create an environment where individuals can be deeply fulfilled, connected to others and successful in what matters most as described by you.


The “Co” in Co-Active suggests relationship, connection, intimacy and collaboration. Thus, the “Co” in us is curious, listens deeply, hears nuance, holds space for others, intuits and nurtures.


The “Active” in Co-Active stands for power, direction, action and manifestation. So, the “Active” in us is courageous, has clarity and conviction, takes charge and achieves goals.

How does coaching differ from therapy?



Coaching is different than therapy.  Some therapists may use a coaching model, but the traditional illness model of therapy places the therapist in a more parent-like role, where they guide and direct the client.  Traditional therapy comes from a medical paradigm, which assumes “patients” are somewhat incapable of moving forward on their own, and in need of “help”. This help may include re-examining past experiences and remedial homework assignments (neither of which is part of the coaching method). This therapist-directed method may be appropiate for some people, some of the time, but sometimes such a directed approach is not required.


In contrast: coaching assumes the client has, or can get, what's needed for a healthy, satisfying life. Michele Davenport helps create new experiences and teaches tools the client can use to create this desired life. The coach works, not to bring the client to "normalcy," but to excellence, to help the client discover and amplify their own unique brilliance. There is no "normal" outcome in coaching - only ever more awe-inspiring clients. Normally, it is the client who ends the coaching relationship: as long as coachees are actively growing, coaching may continue.


Deeply "stuck" coachees are another matter - coaches need to be aware of clues suggesting a client might benefit from therapy; This may be a client who needs to get unstuck in a way that the coach cannot accomplish with coaching tools. Coaching may still proceed in conjunction with therapy, with the therapist's knowledge, or might halt, to continue again afterwards. 

How is the coaching engagement structured?


The typical private coaching engagement is 2-one hour sessions per month and often takes place over the telephone.  The coach and client strategize to develop a coaching plan which will cover the primary areas where the client would like to experience transformation, as identified during the discovery intake session.


Group coaching, workshops and client intensives are structured based on the needs of the client(s).  A customized program is designed to address the specific challenge or opportunity described during on-boarding or at the start of the engagement.

What is the discovery intake session?


For private clients, the discovery session is a 2 hour intake appointment, typically over the telephone which allows coach and client to design their relationship and establish how they will work together.  A comprehensive questionnaire is completed in advance and reviewed during the session.  It's powerful and offers space and time to reflect on all that is important and to zero in on how coaching can support your expansion. We also review scheduling, logistics and financial arrangements during this session.  This session is billed separately from monthly coaching for private clients. 

If I'm not an "executive" will coaching likely work for me?


We're all the executive of something and charged with making important decisions. Coaching principles and tools are universal and work very effectively for clients in their everyday lives, as well as in the workplace. Most clients see benefits in several areas, even if coaching is focused on one specific challenge or opportunity.  Let's chat if you still wonder.

What does an executive coach do?


Contrary to popular belief, coaching is not where the client typically comes for advice. Instead both coach and client take responsibility for the relationship and grant power to the relationship by specifying at the outset—and throughout—what they want to achieve and exactly how they want to work together. Although a trusted advisor, the coach doesn't have all ‘the answers,"  instead shows up in a way that is supportive to the client and helpful in developing their success.  Accountability is probably the single factor that impacts a client's success in a coaching engagement.

How do you work to create a safe space for clients and what does that safe space look like? 


The essence of creating a safe space lies in encouraging open and honest communication at all times, and to model this in  coaching. Typically, the coach requests that clients be candid about how they’re experiencing and what’s coming up during the calls and in between.  The client will always be invited to turn inward to reflect on what's stirring or showing up then to choose a course of action.

How do you tailor your coaching to each client?


As always, I encourage honesty. I describe my style: how I tend to be direct, rigorously honest and often challenging. There is no cookie-cutter method to this role and I adjust my approach after assessing the client’s personality and needs.

How do you make sure clients get the most out of their coaching?


As a coach, I make sure to ask myself as well as the client: What’s going well in our coaching right now? What’s going less well? And what do we need to change to get the most out of this relationship?  Do we need to redesign our alliance? It’s important to reflect on how it’s going, to check in with each other about what’s going on, what could be improved and how things might need to be adjusted.

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