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6/20/2024 | Competence

The Science of Coaching: Co-Active

The Science Of Coaching

What is effective coaching? And what does it do to your brain? In this article, you'll read more about the scientific justifications of Co-Active Coaching. Research shows that conversations in which participants listen carefully to each other and are emotionally engaged build positive connections in the brain. You can read about exactly how this works in this article. 

In recent decades, both brain science and coaching have developed significantly separately. This period has seen the discovery of connections between the two fields. These discoveries have helped us better understand human behavior and growth. The insights from brain science have helped to understand and improve coaching methods, and vice versa, findings from coaching have also provided valuable information for brain science.   

Coaching is no longer seen as experimental but has become an essential part of leadership development. At the same time, technological advances such as functional MRI (fMRI) have allowed us to better understand and utilize the complexity and flexibility of the brain. fMRI allows specific brain activities to be observed, this now also proves the Co-Active model to be scientifically proven effective.   

Scientific foundation for the Co-Active model  

Research on the brain confirms that the tools coaches use align well with what we know about how brains develop effectively. Coaches can positively and permanently change the brain in terms of openness and creativity.   

During our Co-Active training programs, techniques are used to ensure that stress is reduced and that the two hemispheres of the brain work better together. This promotes openness and creativity and creates the ability to develop new solutions and long-term change.  

The importance of emotional engagement and listening  

Research shows that conversations in which participants listen well to each other and are emotionally engaged build positive connections in the brain. A Case Western Reserve University study (2010) showed that when people talked for 30 minutes about their personal goals and dreams, the parts of their brains that enable openness, better functioning and emotional engagement were activated. So, these kinds of conversations with a coach, with colleagues among themselves or with others can help stimulate the brain in a positive way.  

Changing the brain: how does it work?  

Co-Active Coaching helps people recognize old thinking patterns and develop new, better ones. Through practice and reflection, these new patterns can grow stronger and eventually become natural.  

Norman Doige (neuroplasticity expert) mentioned that we can “rewire” our brains with our own thoughts. But because our brains tend to follow familiar paths, it is difficult to change this without support.  

Co-Active coaching provides this focus and support, making it possible to change the brains of Co-Active training participants for greater effectiveness. Coaches ask open-ended questions that make coachees think, this helps capture new insights and promote sustained growth.  

The saying among neuroscientists, 'If it fires, it wires,' represents each time an action is repeated, this creates a new neural connection in the brain each time. The more often we do something, the stronger this connection becomes.  

Do you want to develop yourself?  

Multiple (neuro)scientific studies show that the tools of Co-Active Coaching provide space to develop new neural networks, people react more calmly and calmly to stress and creativity increases.  

This form of personal development is very useful and contributes to one's career and personal life.  

Would you like to experience the positive impact the Co-Active Model and its tools can have on you? Or would you like to learn how to use it in your work as a manager, professional or coach?  

Then join Co-Active Coaching's Fundamentals training, where you will learn the knowledge and skills of the Co-Active Model in 2.5 days. 

Contact us Christopher on Co-Active Coaching
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