Designing Actions, The Ninth ICF Core Coaching Competency

Designing Actions relates to the field of coaching and it is the ninth core competency of the International Coaching Federation. This core competency focuses on facilitating ongoing learning for coaching clients through opportunities.

Designing Actions, The Ninth ICF Core Coaching Competency

ICF Core Competencies and Its Definition of Coaching

The ICF Core Competencies were developed to support a more thorough understanding of the skills and approaches used within today’s coaching profession as defined by the International Coach Federation. These Core Competencies have provided a vital foundation for the coaching profession since 1998. The ICF Global Board has recently approved a revised competency model that will go into effect in early 2021. These core competencies and the ICF definition of coaching were used as the foundation for the Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA).

The ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The core competencies are grouped into four clusters according to those that fit together logically based on common ways of looking at the competencies in each group. The groupings and individual competencies are not weighted—they do not represent any kind of priority in that they are all core or critical for any competent coach to demonstrate.

Designing Actions For an Effective Coaching Session

Designing Actions as defined by the ICF is the ability to generate with the client, opportunities for ongoing learning, during coaching and in work/life situations, and for undertaking new actions that will most effectively lead to agreed-upon coaching results.

As coaches, it is essential to help facilitate the process of continued learning and growth. The coach works alongside his or her clients in designing action steps that work; actions that transport them towards fulfilling their desired goals and aspirations. Coaches are able to learn how to create abundant opportunities for ongoing learning and long-term results through:

1. Brainstorming and assisting the client to define actions that will enable the client to demonstrate, practice, and deepen new learning.

2. Helping the client to focus on and systematically explore specific concerns and opportunities central to agreed-upon coaching goals.

3. Engaging the client to explore alternative ideas and solutions, evaluate options, and to make related decisions.

4. Promoting active experimentation and self-discovery, where the client applies what has been discussed and learned during sessions immediately afterward in his/her work or life setting.

5. Celebrating client successes and capabilities for anticipated growth.

6. Challenging the client’s assumptions and perspectives to provoke new ideas and discover alternative possibilities for action.

7. Advocating or bringing forward points of view aligned with client goals and, without attachment, engages the client to consider them.

8. Helping the client “Do It Now” during the coaching session, providing immediate support.

9. Encouraging stretches and challenges but also a steady pace of learning.

If you would like to see more effective coaching sessions with your clients in this new year, then take the time to identify practical ways to reinforce the ICF core competencies in your coaching; strive to spend more quality time working alongside your clients brainstorming new opportunities and designing actions that will yield extraordinary outcomes in their personal and professional life.

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Margaret K. Olubiyi
Life Coach
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community”

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