Coaching core competencies are the guidelines by which all coaches should run their practices and treat their clients. Coaching core competencies are the commandments of the profession. The International Coach Federation created a list of core competencies that can be used by coaches around the world to run their practices; these competencies are well-known to all coaches, but there are other similar lists that can be analyzed and followed.
Presented here is a different list of competencies, as created by the International Institute of Coaching (IIC). The IIC is a British based organization that is a leading accreditation body for the coaching industry and provides different levels of membership for coaches and trainers. They provide six coach core competencies.
The Six Coaching Core Competencies of the IIC
- Presenting a Professional Image in Each Session. There is a list of 15 points that go with these core value. These include, adhering to a specific set of standards and ethics, using a range of tools and techniques to assist and support the client, demonstrating respect for the client, and reflecting on the client’s needs during each session.
- Creating a Safe Environment for the Coaching Relationship. This competency helps the coach create an environment in which both the coach and the client build trust for each other and for the coaching relationship. It also provides for an environment that treats the client as an equal partner and one in which the coach responds to the client’s emotions with empathy.
- Questioning Skills. This is what coaching is all about; coaches don’t tell, they ask. Coaches who can use powerful and incisive open-ended questions can work wonders with their clients. Without the proper skill of inquiry, all the coaching core competencies in the world won’t make you a good coach!
- Listening Skills. If you are going to ask questions, you need to be able to listen to the answers. But, listening skills are not just listening to the words a client says; for a coach, listening skills means active listening. Active listening focuses completely on what the client is saying, what body language tells you, and what the client does not say. Active listening also includes being able to evaluate the information and formulate new inquiries as a session continues.
- Facilitating Growth. This is where a coach helps the client discover their beliefs, talents, abilities, and personal strengths. This is where a coach encourages clients to formulate their own solutions and options.
- Planning and Accountability. This one basically sums up the other five core competencies by providing for the client to create an implement a plan, based on what has been accomplished up to this point, with results that are measurable, specific, attainable, and time-specific. The coach’s job is to keep the client focused and to review progress.
These coaching core competencies are very similar to those that were created by the ICF. The IIC competencies are another set of valuable guidelines that can be used by coaches to help run their practice and give their client’s the best possible coaching.
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