Integration: The Power of Being Co-Active in Work and Life

Integration: The Power of Being Co-Active in Work and Life

Integration examines how we came to be polarized in our dealing with self and other, and what we can do to move from an either/or state to a more effective and fulfilling way of being.


We live in a world of both profound separation and deep longing for connection. Betz and Kimsey-House explore not only the historical and spiritual history of our disconnection and its cost to individual and societal well-being, but also provide a compelling, neuroscience-based argument for how to make the next “great turning” of human development: becoming more integrated human beings.

They invite you to accompany them through a road map to integration by exploring in detail the Co-Active model, originally used by coaches, but with practical application to business, parents, teachers, and anyone with a desire to be more effective, connected, and whole.

Richly illustrated with true stories of integration in action, as well as current research in neuroscience, this book provides a guide to reaching our full potential within ourselves, with each other, in groups and organizations and with society at large.

NAUTILUS BOOK AWARDS-SILVER WINNER 2015 in the Category: Relationships and Communications


We are all shaped by the expectations of our families and the society in which we grow up; also by the experience of separation from a sense of belonging that is our evolutionary heritage. This book considers the sense of separation in the light of our evolutionary development, focussing on the imbalance between left and right hemisphere thinking identified by Ian McGilchrist and giving rise to the idea of being co-active as an integration of right and left hemispheres. Indeed, integration is the central theme of the book, as the titles suggests. This has the four dimensions of self, others, the world and God. The second part of the book is devoted to the practicalities of being co-active and achieving an appropriate balance between the Default Mode Network and the Task Positive Network in the brain. Various stories illustrate imbalances in one direction or the other, but it is always important to harmonise these capacities both in life and at work. The authors describe the four cornerstones of the philosophy with practical tips for their implementation. We need to treat people as creative, resourceful and whole, dance in the moment, focus on the whole person and evoke transformation. It is also important to forge consciously designed alliances in order to enhance the cornerstones. They also suggest five keys to integration: listening, intuition, curiosity, deepening the learning and self-management. This practical approach informed by neuroscience can help readers refine their approach whatever their situation. ~ David Lorimer, Network Review - Autumn 2015 issue

Exceptionally 'reader friendly' in composition and presentation, "Integration: The Power of Being Co-Active in Work and Life" is as informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. Ideal for the non-specialist general reader, "This book is very highly recommended for community and academic library collections. ~ Margaret Lane, Midwest Book Review

Only once in a great while a book comes along that articulates exactly what is ailing us as well as offers a cure. Integration is that book!Marshall Goldsmith, author of the New York Times and global bestseller What Got You Here Won’t Get You There ~ Marshall Goldsmith, author of the New York Times and global bestseller What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

Ann and Karen, thank you for this wonderful example of integration, the hallmark of a healthy brain and the guiding principle for healthy relationships, workplaces, and communities. Because you incorporate your own personal experiences, we readers don’t have to set aside our human interest in order to benefit from the neuroscience. Karen’s experience in developing Co-Active Coaching, a cornerstone of coaching practice, and Ann’s ability to put brain research into practice incorporate both “what to do” and “how it works.” This is integration at its best: stimulation for our thinking, doing AND being to make a difference in the world. ~ Linda J. Page, Ph.D., President of Adler Coaching and co-author (with David Rock) of Coaching with the Brain in Mind

An important book, filled with clarity and insight, which diagnoses separation as the essential malady human beings suffer from, and offers a practical and detailed path beyond it, towards harmony and wholeness. ~ Steve Taylor, Ph.D., author of Back to Sanity and The Fall

We have worked very closely with both Karen and Ann for a number of years now and have seen first hand the tremendous impact they have had on both the coaching profession and the clients of the coaches who utilize their insights. Karen has had a profound impact on the coaching industry, driving the coaching industry forward since early on in it’s inception and Ann’s work on neuroscience is very much at the cutting edge. The book Integration draws deeply on their expertise and offers very practical tools, which can be used in both a business and life context. They effectively and persuasively explore current scientific research that illustrates how using the Co-Active Model will lead to both a more integrated work and life. The book delves deep into the Co-Active model and readers really gain a sense of the power of the model. Bravo to Ann and Karen for super insights from two true masters. ~ Ben Croft, President, World Business and Executive Coaching Summit

Betz and Kimsey-House extend CTI’s pioneering Co-Active work into the deeply personal and urgent human question of how we become more fully ourselves while joining with others in creative relationship. Business and personal examples abound, as do tools and tips for application to development. Drawing from wellsprings as diverse as neuroscience, evolution, and developmental psychology, this book on integration is in itself a work of integration. ~ Doug Silsbee, author, Presence-Based Coaching

Integration is outrageously compelling. Betz and Kimsey-House explore Co-Activity by inviting us to stand in the hyphen of connectivity. Interconnectedness, they show us, is both creative and neural, both/and, never either/or; whether tracing and exploring the vagus nerve and/or taking us into the simile of navigating life’s chaotic waters as though responding to aquatic turbulences in a canoe, the authors teach us, gently, simply, elegantly about living life transformatively. Poignant real-life stories – inclusive of their own very vulnerable truths of experience - emerge from the authors’ worlds of coaching and leadership. In the same vein of heart-connection, the book renders quotations that burst with meaning. Betz and Kimsey-House see humanity at the cusp of the Great Turning – an opportunity to step into the power of interconnectedness, away from the silos of existence to which we have become accustomed. Who do I and who do we want to be, they ask in so many different ways. Most importantly, they offer us a process for integration through learning about, trying out, and living from many aspects of the Co-Active Model, a solid footing from which to make the Great Turn. Early in the book, Betz and Kimsey-House express their fervent hope that readers find the book “intriguing, provocative, and inspiring” and I believe readers will find it just that and so much more. ~ Dr. Don Morrow, CPCC, PCC, Co-owner of The Monarch System™

Ann G Betz
Ann G Betz Ann Betz, CPCC, CNTC, is the co-founder of BEabove Leadership and an international speaker and trainer on the intersection of neuroscience, ...
Karen Kimsey-House
Karen Kimsey-House One of the earliest recognized luminaries in the coaching profession, Kimsey-House founded CTI in 1992 with Laura Whitworth and Henry Kimsey...
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