Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Review: Co-Active Coaching by Henry and Karen Kimsey-House



Over the last three years, my friend Jake and I have been benefitting hugely from having executive/leadership coaches to help us elevate our capacity to lead, to serve, and to bring our best, not only to the fight to end extreme poverty, but also to every area of our lives. During the last couple of years, in some of my sessions with my coach, I talked to him about potentially learning the skills and getting formal training and certification to be an executive coach. He was very supportive, and over the last several months I have been receiving formal training and I am in the process of certification to be an executive/leadership coach. While I plan to write more about that experience, at some point, this post is about a book that is part of the required curriculum for certification with the Coaches Training Institute (CTI).

The book, Co-ActiveCoaching actually has four authors: Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl, and Laura Whitworth. These four authors are some of the first people to launch into professional coaching, and they have influenced the field for more than a quarter century. Among those who have commented or endorsed the book are legendary leadership development guru and author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey.

The book is considered a best-selling must have book for those in the professional coaching industry, and based on my experience and formal training, I would say that it is incredibly helpful for those who are working in the coaching vocation formally, and for those who have had formal training in training, but that without formal training, the language and terms would be difficult to get one’s mind around the depth of their meaning. This is not to say that the book is hard to understand, because it is not super-complex language; it is more to say that without an appropriate context the reader might have some difficulty bringing these tools to their fullness.


As someone who is now a practitioner (again more on that in a future post), I highly recommend the book as a valuable tool and reference guide for executive or leadership coaches. The book is a thorough guide to the principles, cornerstones, contexts, and tools needed for effective coaching. The book has been used as a curriculum at graduate business schools such as Yale and Duquesne. I believe that even without formal training on the Co-Active Model, the book can guide managers and leaders with regard to bringing out their best and the best in those around them, but make no mistake, this is not a “productivity tool book” but more of a reference guide for those who are serious professionals dedicated to the development of themselves and others.

1 comment:

Pollyanna Lenkic said...

Totally agree Billy. This is a book that is always on my shelf and regularly referred to. It's a must have resource for Leaders and Coaches and anyone who is in relationship (personal & professional) with others. I have had the privilege of attending programs by both Karen Kimsey-House and Phil Sandahl - career and life changing. I'll always be grateful that our worlds collided.