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Testimonial | Paul on Co-Active

Paul van Renselaar is a product manager at a big insurance company in the Netherlands. He joined the Co-Active coaching course and will talk about what made the biggest impact on him.

Read the interview with Paul van Renselaar

How do you apply Co-Active in your daily life?

Since I am a product manager I work a lot with my team and have conversations with them. I used to manage and coach people from my gut feeling, from my personal experience, but Co-Active helped me in many ways. I think first of all it provided tools and ways how to approach certain questions. I think the most useful thing that I got from the course is a very interesting concept, which we might talk about more. Which is really if you coach someone and try to help someone it’s about that person and you’re not focusing anymore on what you think or what your opinion is or what your point of view on the matter is. It’s totally about the other person and using your brain capacity to think with the other person. I generally apply that everywhere, also in private life if somebody comes with a question.

One of my team members came with a question to me. She said: “Paul I am struggling with geographical difference.” She was working in Czech Republic and some others are working in the Netherlands and she was struggling with some cultural differences. How to behave in meetings and she felt a little bit pushed back. And my first gut feeling was, you should just try to interrupt a bit more in meetings and get more involved. But then I swallowed that feeling for a second, I was like no, go back to Co-Active. Don’t focus on what I think, focus on her and what is the best way for her to approach it. And I actually found out that my assumption was wrong and while I was listening to her and trying to pick out what was going on, I could help her a lot better, because I was not standing in my own way.

What within this training made the biggest impact?

There are a couple of things that were very impactful, but the most impactful think is to shrug off your uncertainty and fully step into who you are yourself. The whole point of everything you learn is to try to be fully yourself and to except yourself fully and to embrace all the strengths you have and then coach someone. In order to do that you as a coach yourself have your own troubles in life and limiting thoughts and it’s almost therapy for yourself all you doing in this course and if you allow yourself to free yourself of that it’s like extra brain capacity and more talents are unlocked and I got a moment like that. I literally had a moment where I was being coached in front of the group and someone told me okay so embrace that person, who is that, show me who that is! And I was like, I don’t want to do it, I don’t want to do it. And then on a point I was like okay whatever, I’ll just do it. It felt like I got unlocked and I got more potential and I was freed of shame let’s say in order to coach someone else. So that was the biggest impact for me, because after the course I still felt like this. I felt like wow that feeling was amazing, I want to keep that.

Which part did you find most inspiring?

The people you’re doing the course with and the relationships you create with the teachers and with the classroom.

Would you recommend this training?

Well you might guess it. I do totally recommend it. I think one of the most important things is that at the beginning somebody made a very nice coaching argumentation. He said to me: “Paul you told me, that you came for tools. What did you get out of the course.” I said, well I came for tools, but I got transformed along the way. I definitely recommend it to everyone. If you just want tools and just want to learn techniques, this is perfect. You will learn models you will learn techniques, you learn which questions to ask. But don’t be surprised if along the way you get a little bit coached as well and you actually get more potential yourself. So I’ll definitely recommend it.

What is the value of the Co-Active network?

You can ask questions. It’s not they help you coach, they help you coach by answering questions. Sometimes you give them a scenario of how things went and that you as a coach was confronted with something or you got stuck in something. People are helping you, they’re like: “look at it from a different perspective or try this technique or I had this also and then I tried this and this and it worked.” You’re just getting ideas to approach your question or problem differently. But also getting coachees. I see people asking, like I am a specific sport coach and I want to help top athletes getting a coach and then some other coach on the other end of the globe says: “hey I am doing the same thing, this is a great network or this is a great LinkedIn group where you can find these people.” So yeah, they also help you find coachees if you need to.

Paul van Renselaar - 24 February 2023
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