Ever since I got certified as a Co-Active coach I realize that my approach to human interaction has transformed completely. Whether I’m talking to my husband, my students, my kids or my clients I am much more conscious and deliberate about the quality and the intentions behind my communication.

The benefits have been enormous, from getting along better with my husband to coaching my kids through their tiny disasters to getting through to my third year university students in a way that their reviews include my class changing their lives.

In fact, I realize that having a coaching arsenal in my toolbox is one of the most important skills I’ve ever acquired when it comes to teaching and training. Here are 10 reasons why.


  1. Before a relationship begins, coaches will make an effort to co-create an environment that fits the relationship and to regularly check in on what’s working, what’s not. In a classroom environment, listening to students and considering how they interact best supports the co-creation of a space that maximizes learning.
  2. Coaches know how to hold space for students to be themselves. This means putting the relationship first and stepping aside in favor of it. The result? Students have more courage to express and be themselves.
  3. Coaches are able to manage their own ego and agendas. This removes power struggles from situations where someone has to be right and transforms it into a situation where what’s in the best interest of the student is foremost.
  4. Coaches are trained to get curious about behavior and performance rather than judge. Getting curious means asking the right questions and leaving room for the students to explore their own motives and drives. This leads to personal growth and understanding.
  5. Coaches avoid telling and focus on questions that allow self-discovery rather than excuse giving. In a classroom environment, guiding students to discover their own answers solidifies learning. It’s more discovery and less information transfer.
  6. Coaches can often adapt to variable situations as needed because they are trained to ‘dance in this moment’. This ability to adapt creates a dynamic classroom environment that steers far from stagnation and boredom.
  7. The ability of coaches to pose powerful questions can lead to personal insights and a better understanding for each student based on who they are. This maximizes individual learning in a group environment.
  8. Group coaching exchanges can help build teamwork and supports a more collaborative environment. This also leverages the knowledge of individuals and helps spread it throughout the class.
  9. A great skill coaches acquire is the awareness to meet clients ‘where they are’. Adapting to the mood of a student or class to ‘meet them where they are’ and take them where you need them to be rather than using authority alone creates a sense of understanding and inclusion.
  10. Coaches can help students deepen their understanding of themselves and increase their learning motivation by relating academic and educational objectives to personal goals and helping them see the ‘big picture’ of their own lives.

In short, what coaching does is seriously maximizes your ability to encourage, empower and create an optimal environment conducive to learning.

Written by Kathy Shalhoub

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