Book Review: Co-Active Coaching

Book review for Co-Active Coaching which help you with your listening and mentoring skills.

Book cover for Co-Active Coaching

Coaching, as defined by Wikipedia, ‘is a form of development in which a person called a coach supports a learner or client in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training, advice and guidance.’[1]

In my business, my one and only aim is to help my relationships attain the specific goal that they are looking to meet. By the above definition, I could be considered a coach.

In speaking with many coaches, they have a set agenda which they want to steer their clients through. Personally, I am not a strong supporter of this methodology. In many cases,  it doesn’t solve many of the client’s issues.  When my friend gave me this book, I expected to learn about another system which is the ‘silver bullet’ to solve all problems that anyone is having.

Happily, ‘Co-active Coaching’ is much more about developing your listening skills and a mentorship relationship. In a strong mentoring relationship, the client or the person looking for help drives the agenda of the meetings, not the coach. This is much more in line to how I help my clients. The main focus of the book is to develop your listening skills to get to the root cause of items and gain a better understanding of a situation.

The book overall is just over 300 pages but ½ of that is activities and examples of questions to ask in order to help improve your listening skills. There is a CD attached to the book with further activities to help you. In fact, at the end of each chapter, there are also activities which you can try with friends to help improve your new found skills.

If you are a leader within your organization, mentoring is a part of your responsibilities. In fact, if you work with other people (we all do), I highly recommend that you get your copy of ‘Co-Active Coaching’. The principles taught within the book will only help to foster better relationship.

What is the latest book you have read to help with your self-development?


Kevin MacDonald is a Business Consultant at L6S Business Consulting Inc ( L6S offers services in management consulting, Controller and CFO contracting, and lean management with either project work or teaching/mentoring of staff. Kevin has his CMA accounting designation along with a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.

Kevin is active in the community by volunteering for the South Edmonton Business Association, the Fringe Festival, Goodwill Industries of Alberta and donates blood at the Canadian Blood Services.


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