Four cornerstones of Co-Active Coaching

Coaching is eternal. No matter what you do, where you are, what language you speak or what ethnic culture you belong to, you might have experienced one or other form of coaching.

Why Coaching?

We want to achieve some specific goals in our life; publish a book, win a race, get a promotion; we want something more from life; more of happiness, more success; more effectiveness or we may want something less in our life; less chaos, less pain, less stress. Whatever the individual reason may be we want to find answers to these questions. This is where coaching comes into picture.

Let me narrate an analogy from the epic Mahabharat. It was in the mid of kurkushetra, where the Pandavas and Kauravas were facing one another on the verge of an epic war; Arjun asks this question to the great Krishna – “Oh Krishna! how do I fight the opposition which comprises of my great grandfather, my cousins, my teachers and my loved ones”. Krishna, in turn coached Arjun on the right and wrong; good and evil; what is today known as the “Bhagwad Geeta”. In this scenario Arjun was the coachee, Krishna was the coach. Arjun had questions but didn’t know the path to reach the answers; Krishna showed him the path of righteousness which helped Arjun to make his decisions and achieve fulfillment, balance and process in his life.

Co-Active Coaching

Co-Active Coaching is based on the fact that client/coachee comes to coaching because they want to do something different in their lives. They hire a coach because they want to create more balance, stability in their lives. In Co-Active Coaching; both the client and coach are equally involved to create natural process that would help the client to achieve fulfillment, balance and a process in his/her life.

Four Cornerstones of Co-Active Coaching

The Co-Active Coaching model stands atop of four cornerstones:

  • Client is naturally resourceful, creative and whole.
  • Client’s agenda is important.
  • Dance in the moment.
  • Focus on the whole life of the client.

coactive coaching


Client is naturally creative, resourceful and whole

The first cornerstone of Co-Active Coaching model believes that there is nothing wrong with the coachee/client. The client knows the answers to his/her problems. Even if the client doesn’t know the answers he/she can find the answers to their problems. Co-Active Coaching is based on the certainty that clients are naturally creative, resourceful and whole; they can find answers to their problems. Hence, the coach doesn’t provide answers instead enquires, asks questions to help clients explore and discover their own answers.

Client’s Agenda

Coaching happens because the client has questions to be answered. They want to attain something different in their lives. Thus, the agenda is driven by the client and not by the coach. The focus of Co-Active Coaching is to get the results which the clients want. With Co-Active Coaching, the coach is helping the coachee to realize their dreams, aspirations and desires; identify their values, purpose and help them achieve the desired outcome.

Dance in the moment

The Coach has to hold on to the client’s agenda. Thus, the coach has to keep making choices through out the coaching session so that the client’s agenda is not lost. With every response from client, with the information provided; coach has identify how best can the coach utilize this information to help the client achieve the dreams, aspirations that he/she is seeking. The coach not only has to listen to what is being said but also to what is unsaid and has to infer a lot based on intuition. This process of constantly making the choices, getting more information from the client and again making more choices so that the client’s agenda remains intact is known as “Dance in the moment“.

Focus on the whole life of Client

Another important fact which Co-Active Coaching recognizes is that every decision that the Client makes has impact on all the aspects of his/her life. For ex: Client decides to switch job for professional growth. This is one decision but this might impact Client’s personal life as well. The switch might require client to relocate or travel frequently or work in night shifts etc which definitely impacts clients personal life. As coach one has to be aware of the ripple effects that might be caused due to decisions taken by the client on the other aspects of his/her life. The coach, even though is engaged for one facet of clients life, he/she has to focus on the impact of it on other aspects of clients life, thus focusing on the whole life of client.


To conclude, the four cornerstones of Co-Active Coaching model lay the foundation for the relationship between the coach and coachee. These cornerstones make it possible for the coaches to work effectively with clients in every aspect of their lives.