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Being Co-Active®

The word Co-Active® is an adjective, a way of being, an emergent and complex stand one takes in the world, a term full of ambiguity and mystery. Co-Active® is so much more than simply a methodology of coaching, it is also a road map for living a more fulfilled, integrated life.

The whole point of being Co-Active® is to move away from the polarizing “either/or” perspective in which so many people find themselves stuck, and open themselves to the mysteries of complexity and possibility.

Being Co-Active®; the process learning to honor the paradox of discovering (and becoming more fully) who we are at our core, while artfully connecting with others and experiencing the synergy and beauty of co-creation.

It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences. ~Audre Lorde

Striving towards being more Co-Active® is also about striving towards greater wholeness, or 'whole-brain integration'.

We ideally help to create more balanced and effective brains in our clients (and ourselves), where we are able to use, as needed, the positive aspects of each hemisphere, without getting stuck in the negative states.

Being relational means that the most important element of the descriptor Co-Active® is not Co or Active, but in reality, the hyphen itself. What is crucial about Co-Active® is not the power of being or doing, separateness or oneness, though arguments can and have been made for the past few centuries about the relative value of each, but the fact that the true magic of life lies in the integration of both.

Ultimately, the true strength and brilliance of any person, whether they are a leader, parent, student, or coach, is not just the development of one aspect or another, but the continual commitment to inhabit this inherent paradox of the hyphen, increasingly honoring both.

Being Co-Active® helps us understand and make real the process of this integration. We start with the being, the meaning, the purpose, and the point, and make our lives real by moving into action from there. This is powerful everywhere—in our relationship with ourselves, in our relationships with all others in our lives, and in our relationship with life itself. Being Co-Active® points us to honoring both the being and the doing at every moment in life.

Holding the Co and the Active is dynamic, challenging, and ultimately, very effective. It's also a bit of a paradox, which is part of what makes it so challenging. But as our world expands and becomes more complex it is essential that we learn to dance with paradox and hold two seemingly opposing ideas at the same time.

Being Co-Active® is emerging at a time when we have developed a greater capacity for complexity. Perhaps this is because modern society has driven us to it with the tremendous pace of change we find ourselves in at the beginning of the twenty-first century, or maybe our brains have developed a little more integrative structure than we have had in the past.

Regardless, more and more we see people able to embrace paradox, to understand the limitations of polarity thinking, and to integrate themselves. Standing in the hyphen is a healthy way of dealing with the strains and stresses of life as we know it today, because it gives us the ability to navigate complexity. And since life certainly isn't getting any simpler, this is a capacity we all desperately need. The great gift of over twenty years' exploration into being Co-Active® all over the world is that it has allowed us to see real, tangible human transformation again and again, by embracing the hyphen.

In organizations, we've seen people shift from a view that the bottom line is everything to an understanding that an organization is a community made up of people with human concerns and emotions, and the bottom line is important. Moreover, organisations are responding to the changing demands for heart-based fulfilment of employees not only because it feels good to have satisfied employees, but also because it is paramount to long-term success in business.

In all relationships we are seeing people understand that it's not my needs or your needs, it's our needs.

Together, in relationship, we are co-creating our future.


...inspired and referenced from the book Integration, by Betz and Kimsey-House, and from the report - Transformative Learning: Leveraging the Co-Active® Connection, by Milly Mocodean and Jayson Krause.

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Track Record

  • 56'300+ students trained in the Co-Active® model
  • 8'800+ Certified Professional Co-Active® Coaches
  • 3'200+ Leadership graduates, programmes available in 7 locations
  • 13'700+ courses delivered worldwide, in 74 cities across 32 countries
  • Graduates from over 100 countries
  • 218 Faculty: trainers, supervisors, mentors and examiners

Figures updated March 2017

Learning and Design Philosophy


All Co-Active® curricula are designed around a core set of adult learning principles which include:

  • Human beings have an inherent desire to learn and grow. Part of the human endeavor is to become an engaged and contributing member of society.
  • Learning occurs when people are able to directly experience new ways of being and acting with others within the contexts that matter to them.
  • Learning is a process of active experimentation, engagement, and interaction with the world.
  • Learning happens most powerfully through human interrelationship rather than in isolation. A community of engaged learners creates a richness of experience that cannot be created alone.
  • We do not use role play at workshops but ask that participants and facilitators use real examples that are important to them during practices. This gives the participant confidence in using the concepts and tools and creates a highly connected learning environment.
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The Co-Active® approach to coaching integrates three foundational principles that together serve to enhance the quality and results experienced by an individual or organisation through coaching:
(1) Fulfillment — deriving deep satisfaction from work that is meaningful, value based, and purpose-driven,
(2) Balance — viewing life's challenges and opportunities from an empowered stance, making powerful choices and taking effective action and
(3) Process — operating with full engagement and awareness of what is occurring at any given moment.

These principles are at the centre of the coaching process — the Co-Active® leader/ coach always strives for the coachee's full realisation of these principles. Co-Active® coaching addresses the whole person.