What Is Co-Active Coaching?

Co-Active Coaching® has impacted the lives and careers of thousands of managers, leaders and coaches around the world. It has led to CTI® becoming the world's first ICF-accredited coach training program, the most widely used text book in the industry, Co-Active Coaching, the largest number of certified coaches globally and a powerful, experiential leadership program that unlocks participants’ unique and natural leadership strengths.

The CTI coaching philosophy holds that people are naturally creative, resourceful and whole — completely capable of finding their own answers to whatever challenges they face. The job of a Co-Active Coach® is to ask powerful questions, listen and empower to elicit the skills and creativity a client already possesses, rather than instruct or advise.

To train successful coaches, CTI uses an approach that includes four key elements:

  • In-depth, in-person Co-Active® training
  • Professional practicum leading to certification
  • Business/entrepreneurial skills development
  • A supportive community of coaches to foster ongoing growth

Do I Have What It Takes To Be a Coach?

Successful coaches come from all walks of life. We’ve learned that people bring in all their unique talents and interests and design their coaching around what's important to them (business executives, teams, managers, leaders, human resource professionals, trainers, consultants, therapists, teens, medical conditions — to name a few.)

People who are attracted to coaching seem to have a calling. They often feel they’ve been coaching and want to take their skills to a professional and more effective level. What makes a great coach is someone who is curious, believes in possibilities and has the ability to see the magnificence of others.

Participants simply need to be fascinated by human potential, inspired by individual creativity and unwaveringly committed to holding others creative, resourceful and whole. Great coaches are people who are committed to their clients’ growth and to their own continuous learning.

What Issues Come Up In Coaching?

Anything and everything! With proper training, you’ll have the tools and techniques to be there with your client in the truth of their moment and to lead them forward toward their dreams. Coaches do not coach addictions, deep wounds, abuse issues, suicide, mental illness, etc. A professional coach knows when to refer their client to a therapist. Coaches do not give financial, real estate, legal or medical advice — a professional coach knows when to refer their client to experts in other professions.

I Already Feel Like I’m Coaching. Why Do I Need Training?

Many people who seek out coaching believe they have already been coaching. It’s true that our students are typically good listeners and care about people. However coaching skills are very specific, and most people can understand the depth of true coaching only after they've experienced professional training.

If you were looking to drive a large truck, teach kindergarten, or sell real estate, you would get the training and permits you need to do the job with skill and confidence. There's no question that training is a must for professionals.

“I thought I was a good coach until I went into Certification. There I found a direct payoff to clients and I doubled my income last year.”

Andy Denne CPCC, Co-Activity at Work Ltd., Bordeaux, France

How Does My Past Experience Complement Coaching?

Coaching techniques integrate well with many skills and talents. We encourage our students to use what they know, who they know, and their area of interest to decide how to build a practice or apply their skills. Coaches specialize in areas such as coaching executives, employees, managers, teams, relationships, career transition, non-profit organizations, teens, people re-entering the job market, medical conditions, and parenting — just to name a few. What’s your passion?

What’s the Difference Between Coaching and Therapy?

Psychotherapy generally deals with people who have emotional/behavioral problems and disruptive situations — and seeks to bring the client to normal function by focusing on dysfunction. The primary focus is on healing.

Coaching on the other hand deals with functional people who want to move toward higher function — and achieve excellence while creating an extraordinary life. The primary focus is on evolving a manifestation of potential. And, healing is often a side effect.

Additionally, the expectations and focus the client brings to the professional relationship sets the context as coaching or as therapy.

Is Coaching a Viable Profession?

Yes! As with any successful small business, it’s important to create a plan and be 100% committed to making it happen. The amount of time it takes to grow your business depends on the amount of time and effort you put into marketing, whether you're independent or working within an organization. Coaching is a profession and does take an investment of learning, time and capital to build success. How much of each depends on you.

Historically, coaching has been well known as a corporate perk for executives. As coaching is becoming more mainstream, the market continues to grow and the demand and visibility of coaching continues to rise as more and more individuals are looking to create a more fulfilling life, find balance or achieve a sharper competitive edge. The world is changing quickly, families are breaking down, the boomers are getting older — and more and more people are feeling overwhelmed and looking for greater purpose and partnership on the journey.

According to a survey conducted by the International Coach Federation, 98.5% of the clients surveyed said their investment in a coach was well worth the money and 94% believed coaching was here to stay as a viable, emerging profession. Coaching is an emerging industry with many untapped markets, and trained coaches are getting results that speak for themselves.

How Is Personal or Life Coaching Different Than Business/Corporate Coaching?

It isn’t! Corporate clients are human too! CTI’s philosophy of whole life coaching applies to any human that has a life involving career, family, friends, leisure, spirituality, finances, personal growth, etc. Many of our coaches find Co-Active Coaching to be very effective with individuals and within organizations.

Does Co-Active Coaching Work in the Corporate Environment?

Smart businesses know the value of coaching. Manchester Inc. recently released the results of a study that quantifies the business impact of executive coaching. The study included 100 executives, mostly from Fortune 1000 companies. Companies that provided coaching to their executives realized improvements in productivity, quality, organizational strength, customer service and shareholder value. They received fewer customer complaints, and were more likely to retain executives who had been coached.

In addition, a company's investment in providing coaching to its executives realized an average return on investment (ROI) of almost six times the cost of the coaching.

Among the benefits to companies that provided coaching to executives were improvements in:

  • Productivity (reported by 53% of executives)
  • Quality (48%)
  • Organizational strength (48%)
  • Customer service (39%)
  • Reducing customer complaints (34%)
  • Retaining executives who received coaching (32%)
  • Cost reductions (23%)
  • Bottom-line profitability (22%)

Among the benefits to executives who received coaching were improved:

  • Working relationships with direct reports (reported by 77% of executives)
  • Working relationships with immediate supervisors (71%)
  • Teamwork (67%)
  • Working relationships with peers (63%)
  • Job satisfaction (61%)
  • Conflict reduction (52%)
  • Organizational commitment (44%)
  • Working relationships with clients (37%)

How Does CTI Support Students in Getting Clients?

In every course we provide marketing exercises through:

  • Brown bag lunches where students can ask questions and receive information from experienced coaches.
  • A coach-targeted Business Development Program, which helps students design their business and create dynamic action plans.
  • Find-a-Coach — an online search function where potential clients search for a Co-Active Coach who’s just right for them.
  • And finally, CTI's Co-Active Network hosts the largest web-based community of certified practicing coaches that offers numerous specializations and active networking groups.

How Much Do Coaches Typically Earn?

According to the International Coach Federation, most coaches working with individual clients charge about $200 to $450 per month for one 30 minute call per week. This translates to $100 to $150 per hour on average. Executive coaches generally charge more. Corporate coaches often command $200 to $400 per hour, according to Time Business News. Naturally, the number of clients you coach will determine your net income. With basic operational costs of a phone line and a headset, one’s capital investment and operating expenses are minimal.

How Long Does an Average Client Commit to Working With a Coach?

Most coaches ask for a 3- to 6-month commitment, with the understanding that the client decides how much and how long. The more training you have, the higher the likelihood of retaining clients for longer periods of time because of your increased ability to explore greater heights and depths with your clients.
According to the International Coach Federation survey, the duration of a coaching relationship is on average 8.8 months. Many coach/client partnerships extend to several years and beyond as clients continue to pursue new and more challenging goals.

What Are the Business Start-Up Costs?

We recommend a headset and a business card. Networking is the most effective way to market coaching services. According to a study by the International Coach Federation, 92.3% of the clients find their coach through a friend, business contact, social event, networking function or speaker at a seminar.

Investing a great deal of money in collateral marketing materials isn’t necessary. What’s important is solid training you can trust, confidence in your abilities, and a passion for the profession that inspires you to speak about the benefits of coaching to potential clients.

What Are the Drawbacks of a Coaching Practice?

Some coaches feel isolated when they focus solely on phone-based coaching. Many have solved this problem by complementing their coaching with other skills they possess or actively connecting with the coaching community.

What Are the Advantages of Training with CTI?

There are 7 important characteristics of an outstanding coach training program, and CTI has them all!

Learning that moves you from your head into your being — similar to experiencing a bicycle ride rather than talking about it.

Greater depth through multi-day immersion in hands-on coaching practice, rather than through teleclasses. Advanced courses provide continuing edge.

Being physically together is essential to creating and learning from interpersonal dynamics that are crucial to understanding yourself and others.

Co-Active Coaching sticks because you help others discover their own answers in the context of a collaborative and creative relationship. Co-Active Coaching is the hallmark of CTI's work.

Individualized exercises unleash your own personal coaching competencies, wisdom and instincts that lie dormant.

Largest community of certified, practicing coaches to help you through the crucial early stages of putting your new skills to practice.

Assurance of working with the oldest and largest accredited coach training school in the world with methods and models that work.

We invite you to use these qualities as a way to compare coach training organizations, so you will have the information you need to make a decision that’s right for you.

What Qualifications Do Your Leaders Have?

Every CTI leader has completed our core course curriculum, Certification Program and intensive 10-month long Co-Active Leader Program. If they pass our rigorous application and audition process, they must also complete a six-month series of advanced coaching and leadership practicum while maintaining an active coaching practice. We have the most demanding leader training requirements of any school — and it shows! Learn more and meet our leaders on our Faculty page.

How Long Does the Program Take?

It takes approximately one year to become a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach. The 5 core courses take six months on average, and the Certification Program takes an additional six months.


Are there Prerequisites for the Core Courses or Certification?

There are no prerequisites for the first core course, Co-Active Coaching Fundamentals. The subsequent four workshops in the core course curriculum (Fulfillment, Balance, Process and Synergy) must be taken in order and therefore the course prior is a prerequisite.  To qualify for the Certification Program, all five core courses are required to be completed.

Do I Have to Take the Courses In Order?

Yes. Co-Active Coaching Fundamentals gives an overview of skills and creates the foundation to build skills in the intermediate series of courses and Certification Program.

Each course builds on the last. Fulfillment looks at values and what brings the client alive in their life, and noticing and identifying the things that get in the way. Balance is about finding new perspectives so the client can make choices that support them in getting into action to move their life forward. Process involves being with clients where they are in their life and exploring their full range of experience and emotion, and Synergy is a place where coaches integrate coaching skills with their own unique talents to create their distinct style of coaching.

How Do I Complete the Coaching Program?

Our program consists of 5 in-person core courses taken in order (Fundamentals, Fulfillment, Balance, Process, and Synergy). Each weekend course is held Friday through Sunday. If you enroll in all 5 courses, you will receive a discounted incentive price. We’ll need a deposit to hold your space. You can also choose to enroll one course at a time, however the prices are slightly higher. Visit our Pricing & Registration page for more details.

When students are ready to take their coaching to a deeper level, they look to our Certification Program for one-on-one supervision to further refine their skills. Once you have completed the Synergy course and have 5 paying clients, you may apply for the Certification Program. This part of the program takes 6 months and is done entirely over the phone.

After completing the Certification Program you will take a written and oral exam (additional fee). When you pass the exam, you will be awarded the designation of Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC). If you take advantage of our incentive, the entire program comes at a significant discount (includes the Core Curriculum, Full Package Certification Program) and can be completed in as little as a year.

Is a Credential Important?

Although a credential is not a requirement at this time to be a practicing coach, we highly recommend that you become a Certified Co-Active Coach. CTI’s Certification Program offers the most rigorous and thorough training in the industry, and gives our coaches the expertise, experience and confidence to take their coaching to the world.

As a leading-edge school of coaching, our founders’ involvement with the International Coach Federation (ICF) from its very inception has resulted in a significant influence on the industry, including much of the framework adapted by the ICF to represent coaching competencies and ethics. Indeed, CTI became the very first organization to be accredited by the ICF. After successful completion of the program, students are eligible to take the written and oral certification exam, with the goal of becoming a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC).

By setting a standard of excellence, we are creating a profession that people can trust — a significant benefit in your marketing efforts to build credibility. Further, we believe that it is better to set rigorous standards and self-regulate versus government-created standards. Training hours you complete at CTI are recognized by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and are applicable toward an ACC (Associate Certified Coach), PCC (Professional Certified Coach) or MCC (Master Certified Coach) credentials.

How Many ICF Accreditation Hours Will I Receive?

IN-COURSE CONTACT HOURS: Co-Active Coaching Fundamentals is a 2 ½ day course with 18.75 In Class Contact Hours; Fulfillment is a 3-day course with 21.50 In Class Hours; Balance, Process and Synergy are each 3-day courses with 21.25 In Class Contact Hours; Co-Active Certification Program is a 25-week tele-course of 92 hours.

PDF Download

Click here to download the introduction brochure for Co-Active Coaching in 2018 (English).


Why Co-Active Coaching

Co-Active Coaching and The Brain