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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. 

The Question of Why? | Co-Active Training Institute

  • POSTED ON MAY 30, 2019
couple jumping at sunset


It’s a great question. And it’s having a revival here at CTI. In the early days of coaching, we tended to stay away from questions beginning with “why” because they tended to evoke excuses, analysis and limiting stories. So we focused instead on questions that began with “what,” “who,” “where” and “how.”

We focused all our attention on our client and worked to make ourselves invisible — evoking transformation, deeply listening, being curious and calling forth those brilliant clients to be their most magnificent selves. We worked at uncovering their purpose and values, and we worked to discover with them the meaning of their life and to hold them on their journey. We at CTI taught our coaches the “how” of that amazing process. We worked on developing a powerful way to discover and be present with the “who” their clients are. We worked with our students to help their clients discover “what” their clients really wanted. We worked with them on developing a clear sense of “where” their clients were headed in the journey of their lives — what an awesome and profound journey to be on with another being and what amazing life skills were learned that apply not only to clients but to all the other individuals, groups and organizations they may encounter.

In the process of that learning journey, students also learned about themselves and their journeys. They were, and hopefully still are, the clients that their fellow coaches practiced on while learning those skills.  That journey of self-discovery — that creating of a life that has meaning,  follows a purpose and honors a set of core values — began to reveal the “why” we do this work.

As we opened up our consciousness to explore leadership, we realized that all the incredible skills we learned in coach training are also core competencies of leadership and that indeed coaching itself is one of the profound ways to develop leaders. In this way, we discovered that we need to more directly focus our methodologies on developing the leaders/coaches themselves and not just focus on their ability to develop others. We also realized that we were already doing that to a great extent.

What we hadn’t yet claimed at CTI was the “why” we were doing this work. We had amazing models and technologies we had created for the other questions, but we hadn’t really gotten underneath the “why” for CTI, the “why” for Co-Active. What is our stand at CTI? What is the stand of Co-Active work in the world?

Recent political events around the world have brought into my being the need to answer those questions. In these times, there seem to be a lot of energies building in this world that seem to be pulling in opposite directions from where we are headed. I am not talking about right or left, red or blue, conservative or liberal. I am not talking about all the polarizing ways that we seem to almost be forced into in this current climate.

We believe that everything we do affirms life. We believe that we are in the business of developing human beings on a life-affirming path, moving them more and more toward a life that is full and abundant. We know that a journey that is life-affirming is filled with love and light. We also know that a full life is not free of struggle, pain, uncertainty, fear and disease —  that in fact we should see these things for what they are in the full rich tapestry that is life. We believe we are opening human consciousness to all the experiences that life offers. We believe we are developing human beings to take responsibility for life and for developing everybody in their lives to follow a life-affirming path.

The polarity to life-affirming is life-diminishing. I think we are living in a time where we are being faced with a choice about which direction to move in. There seems to be many people in power around the world right now moving in a life-diminishing direction, and they are working really hard and really loudly to move all of us in that direction with them. These voices seem to want us to react with anger from fear and hatred. These voices seem committed to separating us from each other and giving us labels to identify ourselves. Life-affirming words like truth, integrity, ethical, sustainable, understanding, peace and love are in danger of being redefined in life-diminishing ways.

Why does CTI do this work?


Thank you for walking that path with us.

Written By

Henry Kimsey-House

Henry is Co-Founder of CTI, designer of the Coaching Course Curriculum and Leadership Program and co-author of the industry best-selling Co-Active Coaching.

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