The approach and training my work is founded in is called Co-Active® Coaching. This approach uses CTI’s flexible and proprietary tools and training that’s been in use, developed and grown for more than 20 years. You can learn more about this approach from the CTI website, meanwhile, here’s a snippet:

Co-Active Coaching

Co-Active Coaching is an experience 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 their own answers to whatever challenges they face. The job of a Co-Active Coach® is to ask powerful questions, listen and empower to elicit the skills and creativity a client already possesses, 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 over the past 20 years of the coaching profession.

So, What is Coaching? It’s all of this and…

To begin with, coaching is a highly respected approach for personal and professional development. The important keys here are that professional coaches are working on getting their ICF certification, or are certified. They are also members of the ICF (International Coach Federation) and integrate the ICF ethical standards into their coaching practices.

Coaching is an opportunity for people to have a “partner” that works with them to achieve personal or professional goals. From the Coach’s perspective, we look at what the Client’s agenda is today and what they want to work toward. Coaches put their own agendas aside and work with the client’s agenda over a start-up period of 6-9 months. Working together with the Coach, the Client determines what their goals are.

I work with clients who are interested in changing the world that they live in — these are the people who want to determine what is going to happen in their lives and take charge. So this, vs. simply being along for the ride and waiting to see what is going to happen to them. Or being in charge of decisions vs. being stuck in the same cycles.

Professionally, coaching translates to “leadership.” Leadership begins by recognizing how you are showing up in your own life and who is making the decisions in your life. Become a Leader of your self first, then you’ll learn how to communicate with your teams on the job and professionally from wherever you are positioned on a team. Management, or not.

Coaches give you structured access to them in a relationship that is designed up-front and that works for you both. Importantly, it’s the Client’s job to be engaged and to be in charge of their own agendas. A Coach is not an Administrative Assistant.

A part of designing the relationship between the Coach and Client is creating an open, judgement-free, communication channel. Professional coaches keep the highest level of respect, confidentiality and ethical standards in their work.

When looking for a coach, consider that they need to complement you in a way that allows for clear communication and even discomfort. We call this trust and “being in relationship.” Sometimes, coaches help to create discomfort in order to help you to see what’s going on and to help you to move forward from what’s holding you back.

Now, imagine yourself standing someplace ideal for you – where you are strong and sure. You are breathing slowly and deeply. Your arms are stretched open wide. Your chest and heart are open. You are completely aware of how full your life is. You are strong, brave, sure of yourself and you know that YOU are honoring the values that are yours. Your purpose in life is clear. What would it be like for you to be connected to this as you move toward what is next for you?

We all have those moments where we say to ourselves, “You should have… You are going to be late… They are going to think that you are…. I’m not good enough or I’m not experienced enough to…. It’s my job to be this way, for this person… What does that person think of me?” What if you were able to understand what it means to be your “authentic self” and remain connected to that? What could you accomplish if YOU were in command of the internal conversations that have been holding you back?

Imagine that you are not doing this alone and that you have someone that honors you without judgement, that holds you in a place where you can actually say what is going on with you and encourages you or holds your feet to the fire. Consider what it would be like, being held accountable for your own agenda? Coaches do this and what happens next, is something that you get to decide. Which direction is that next step? And then what happens after that, guess what… you get to decide. Standing next to you is your coach. Every step of the way.

What do you get out of this? What do you want out of this? Confidence, self-worth, accomplishment?