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5/16/2022 | Competence

Why Co-Active is the foundation for my coaching

An interview with Dorthe Schipperheijn PCC

Dorthe Schipperheijn

‘Co-Active has connected me with the joy of learning to listen.’

Co-Active Coaching has become the model-of-choice to over half the world’s new coaches each year. This fast-growing community already includes 65,000 coaches, consultants and leaders. One of them is Dorthe Schipperheijn PCC, who says the method has brought a new dimension to her coaching and consulting practice. She helps individuals and organisations to reconnect with what matters most. This is Dorthe’s story.

Empowering people

As human beings, we all have so many roles to navigate. I am a coach, a consultant and a trainer. I have years of public sector leadership experience in my backpack. And now, I work every day with individuals and organisations who are all faced with fundamental questions: Who do I want to be? What are my values? What can I achieve when I connect with my essence and allow my values to guide my actions?

Becoming an ICF-certified Co-Active coach - and now expanding my skillset with ORSC training - has given me the tools I need to empower people to explore those questions with courage, confidence and satisfaction. It has connected me with the joy of learning to listen—to really listen, beyond words. I am grateful every day to have Co-Active as the foundation for my coaching and consulting.

How my Co-Active journey began

After working as a Managing Director in local government for 20 years, I realised my real passion was coaching people and helping them grow. I wanted to do something that resonated even more than leading organisations. That’s why I decided to become a coach and trainer.

My own mentor is a gifted coach with many years of experience. When I turned to her for advice on how to expand my coaching skills, she had the answer I was looking for. If she could start all over again, she said, her first step would be to learn Co-Active Coaching. And what a valuable piece of advice that was.

A powerful cornerstone

When I started exploring Co-Active Coaching, one of its four cornerstones immediately resonated with me. It is still the cornerstone that I adore the most: Every person is naturally creative, resourceful and whole.

This statement captures what makes coaching such a rewarding profession. It reminds us that every one of us has the answers to whatever experience, task or challenge we face. Our job as coaches is to invite people to explore those answers—and to open themselves up to mindful values that help them move forward.

Even today, I am still deeply moved by this loving cornerstone. It invites people to be themselves—to live from their essence and give from their essence to the world. And that's so enriching for all of us.

Asking the right questions

Another part of Co-Active Coaching that I love is how it distinguishes between ‘the being’ and ‘the doing’. We all grow up with such a focus on ‘the doing’. It’s one of the questions young people hear most often: ‘What do you want to do when you're older?’ But how often do we have an opportunity to reflect on the more important questions: ‘Who are you?’ and ‘Who do you want to be?’

Co-Active Coaching puts us back in touch with those fundamental questions. Who are we in our essence? And what answers does that essence hold for us? This gives us such a strong foundation to explore further questions, which is where I also find that tools like ORSC perfectly intertwine with Co-Active: Who do you want to be as a colleague? As a leader? As a friend? And who do you want to be as yourself?

Getting back to the essence

When you anchor your search for answers in questions like these, everything is possible. With Co-Active, I invite my clients to explore who they want to be and what their essence is. That shifts the focus to what really matters. It lets us get beyond the feeling of constantly being busy and constantly having something to do. It’s not about what you’re doing, it’s about what you’re doing it for.

Always finding the right entry point

Co-Active is the foundation for all my work. It gives me a versatile set of tools that I can apply, whether I am coaching an individual client or consulting a large organisation or diverse team. It gives me the confidence of knowing that I can always find the right entry point into any challenge or question that my clients come to me with. And I see what a difference that makes for my clients too.

It starts with Fundamentals

For anyone who is curious about Co-Active and what it can do for you, my advice is: Just do it. Start with the Fundamentals. The first training contains so many gold nuggets that you will almost certainly come away from it feeling enriched.

"I often wish that I could have discovered it sooner, when I was still working in leadership positions. How much stronger could I have been as a leader? Today, I am so happy with the path that I’ve taken. Co-Active has been nothing but enriching to me, both as a coach and as a consultant. It’s enriching to me as a human being."

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