Begin Your Journey

Let's create a new language of leadership, together!

For the last 30 years the Co-Active Training Institute (CTI) has been offering the gold-standard in coach training and leadership development for individuals and organizations. Now we are creating a new language of leadership. Let's do this together. 

10 Ways to “Get” Co-Active

  • POSTED ON MAY 30, 2019

For many years, we resisted the numerous requests to create a definition of Co-Active because we didn’t want to create something dogmatic. However, after an iterative process of conversations with our amazing CTI faculty and those involved with Meet the Model, we finally arrived at a definition that is both simple and broad, able to represent Co-Active appropriately.

Co-Active represents the paradoxical balance between two primary energies of life:

Co:  Relationship, holding, space, BEING

Hyphen:  Non-duality, PARADOX

Active:  Action, certainty, clarity, DOING

We are always in this balance, and often we are far out of balance — too far over on the “Co” side — not able to fully bring our ideas into reality and unable to find clear boundaries, or entrenched on the “Active” side – running like hamsters on a wheel, frantically dominated by our “to do” list and yet disconnected from any sense of meaning or relationship.

However, the part of Co-Active that makes it so dynamic and alive is not the “Co” or the “Active”— it’s the hyphen in the middle. The paradox. The “both and” rather than the “either/or”.

Humans are not very good at paradox… we so want to know, to succeed and have it all figured out, yet, it is the embracing of this paradoxical dance between doing and being that is the key to mastery.  So how do we “get” Co-Active? It starts by growing and developing our own ability to be Co-Active.

  1. Develop a relationship with your life purpose. Understanding that you are here for a reason provides a foundation for action from meaning, from deep inside oneself.
  2. Learn to live in the question. Practice wondering rather than knowing.
  3. Grow your ability to act with certainty and clarity without attachment.  In the beginning, it’s kind of like patting your head and rubbing your belly… and your facility will grow over time.
  4. Understand that every single person in your life is there to teach you something. Stay wildly curious about what that might be. Practice gratitude and appreciation of that teaching, even when — and especially when — you don’t like what that person is doing.
  5. Be open to your emotions. They are the gas in our engine. They connect us to ourselves and each other and provide the fire to move forward in expansive ways.
  6. Become comfortable with the dramatic tension between choice and knowing that there are infinite possibilities.
  7. Learn to listen to the wisdom of your heart and follow its whisperings.
  8. Practice being fascinated by people and by life.
  9. Connect with nature. Everything we need to know about Co-Active already exists in the natural world. Spend time being in nature and notice what is unfolding all around you.
  10. If things get tangled, return to relationship and context. Usually things get off kilter because we’ve forgotten about the being.

When we are connected to why we are doing things, the things we are doing flow clearly.

Karen Kimsey-House Photo
Written By

Karen Kimsey-House

Karen Kimsey-House, MFA, CPCC, is the Co-Founder of The Co-Active Training Institute (previously Coaches Training Institute), the world's oldest and largest in-person coach training school. She also co-created the Co-Active relationship philosophy, which underpins CTI's world-renowned coaching and leadership programs. Karen has also written Co-Active Coaching and Co-Active Leadership. She continues to lead CTI workshops and is a dynamic keynote speaker around the world, committed to pioneering Co-Activity in challenging environments and troubled populations, and is on a mission of global, transformative change.

View Website

This website stores cookies on your computer. These cookies are used to collect information about how you interact with our website and allow us to remember you. We use this information in order to improve and customize your browsing experience and for analytics and metrics about our visitors both on this website and other media. To find out more about the cookies we use, see our Privacy Policy.

If you decline, your information won’t be tracked when you visit this website. A single cookie will be used in your browser to remember your preference not to be tracked.