The ICF core competencies have always been of great significance to the coaching profession.
Core Competencies Defined
What are Core Competencies for an organization?
According to businessnewsdaily.com, “core competencies are a company’s unique abilities, products, and services that give it a competitive advantage in its industry and market.” Core competencies help an organization distinguish its products from its rivals and reduce its costs than its competitors and thereby attain a competitive advantage. In the case of ICF, its core competencies were established to help distinguish its coaches from coaches certified through other organizations. It was also carefully developed to better understand the skills and approaches used within today’s coaching profession.
Why are these ICF core competencies mentioned above important to professional coaches?
Since 1998, they have provided a vital foundation for the coaching profession. They have helped to give the coaches the proper conduct and approach to their coaching styles. Trained and credentialed ICF coaches demonstrate knowledge, skills, and quality work that sets them apart from their competitors.
The Updated ICF Core Competencies
In November 2019, after engaging in rigorous job analysis research, the ICF concluded that it was time to update the competency model to reflect how much the profession had grown and evolved over the last two decades. The new competency model offers a more straightforward, more streamlined structure and integrates consistent, clear language. They are grouped into four domains according to those that fit together logically based on common ways of looking at the competencies in each group.
Demonstrates Ethical Practice
Definition: Understands and consistently applies coaching ethics and standards of coaching.
Embodies a Coaching Mindset
Definition: Develops and maintains a mindset that is open, curious, flexible, and client-centered.
- Co-Creating the Relationship
Establishes and Maintains Agreements
Definition: Partners with the client and relevant stakeholders to create clear agreements about the coaching relationship, process, plans, and goals. Establishes agreements for the overall coaching engagement as well as those for each coaching session.
Cultivates Trust and Safety
Definition: Partners with the client to create a safe, supportive environment that allows the client to share freely. Maintains a relationship of mutual respect and trust.
Definition: Is fully conscious and present with the client, employing a style that is open, flexible, grounded, and confident.
- Communicating Effectively
Definition: Focuses on what the client is and is not saying to fully understand what is being communicated in the context of the client systems and to support the client.
Definition: Facilitates client insight and learning by using tools and techniques such as powerful questioning, silence, metaphor, or analogy
- Cultivating Learning and Growth
Facilitates Client Growth
Definition: Partners with the client to transform learning and insight into action. Promotes client autonomy in the coaching process.
The ICF Coaching competencies are essential to every professional coach’s success and credentialed coaches who abide by the updated core competencies reflect respect for the job and professionalism.
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Margaret K. Olubiyi
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community