The ICF has developed the Coaching Core Competencies that provide a framework for the knowledge, skills, and abilities requires of our coaches. These competencies are grouped into the following four clusters:
A. Setting the Foundation
Meet Ethical Guidelines and Professional Standards. Our coaches understand and adhere to the ICF Standards of Conduct and Ethical Guidelines, and clearly delineate the differences between the coaching profession and the professions of counseling and psychotherapy. Coaches will refer clients to other qualified and credential helping professional when it is in their (the client’s) best interests.
Establish the Coaching Agreement. It is important that coach and client are in agreement as to the guidelines and parameters of the coaching relationship.
B. Co-Creating the Relationship
Establish Trust and Intimacy with the Client. The coach facilitates the creation of a safe, supportive environment that produces ongoing mutual respect and trust.
Coaching Presence. During the coaching session, the client is the sole focus of the coach. The coach remains fully conscious of the on-going exchange and chooses in the moment the questions and methods that are most likely to generate insight in the client.
C. Communicating Effectively
Active Listening. The client focuses completely on the client to fully understand the content and context of the client’s agenda.
Powerful Questioning. The coach asks questions that evoke discovery, insight, commitment, of action on the part of the client.
Direct Communication. Communication between coach and client must be clear and direct in sharing and feedback, in order to be effective.
D. Facilitating and Learning Results
Create Awareness. The coach integrates and evaluates multiple sources of information from the client to make interpretations that help the client to gain greater understanding, awareness, and insight.
Design Actions. Coach and client work together to create opportunities for ongoing learning, and for taking new actions that will most effectively lead to agreed-upon coaching results.
Planning and Goal Setting. The coach consolidates information and collaborates with the client to create a coaching plan and development goals that address concerns and major areas for learning and development.
Manage Progress and Maintain Accountability. The coach maintains a focus on what is important for the client, and supports the client in holding him/herself accountable for the accomplishment of the agreed upon actions.