Updated International Coaching Federation Competencies – Evoke Awareness

Understanding the international coaching federation competencies is essential to the success of your coaching career.

ICF’s Definition of Coaching

The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

About The International Coaching Federation Competencies

The ICF Core Competencies were developed to support a greater understanding of the skills and approaches used within today’s coaching profession as defined by ICF. Following a rigorous, 24-month coaching practice analysis, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) has released an updated ICF Core Competency model to be officially implemented in accredited coach training programs during early to mid-2021. This is the first significant update since the competencies’ creation in 1998.  Many coaching providers have gone ahead to incorporate the newly revised international coaching federation competencies into their programs. The Core Competencies are grouped into four domains according to those that fit together logically based on common ways of looking at the competencies in each group.

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These four clusters or domains are.

A.    Foundation

B.    Co-Creating Relationship

C.   Communicating Effectively

D.   Cultivating Learning and Growth

Communicating effectively in any relationship is critical, and in the third group or cluster, we see how it is divided into listening actively, the sixth competency, and evoke awareness. In this article, we will look at the seventh competency of the newly revised ICF competencies: how coaches can evoke awareness in their coaching practice. 

About The Seventh Competency: Evoke Awareness

According to the international coaching federation competencies model, to evoke awareness means facilitating client insight and learning by using tools and techniques such as powerful questioning, silence, metaphor, or analogy.  The coach must understand and clarify the client’s plan or goals, ask curious questions, challenge with care, and understand what the client is experiencing (self-imposed, real, imagined, internally, or externally).

How does the coach evoke awareness in the coaching relationship and session?  The professional coach should do the following:

  • Consider client experience when deciding what might be most helpful.
  • Challenge the client as a way to evoke awareness or insight so that they can make objective decisions.
  • Ask questions about the client, such as their way of thinking, values, needs, wants, and beliefs.
  • Ask questions that help the client explore beyond current thinking.
  • Invite the client to share more about their experience at the moment.
  • Observe what is working to enhance client progress.
  • Adjust the coaching approach in response to the client’s needs.
  • Help the client identify factors that influence current and future patterns of behavior, thinking, or emotion.
  • Invite the client to generate ideas about how they can move forward and what they are willing or able to do.
  • Support the client in reframing perspectives and sharing observations, insights, and feelings without attachment to create new learning for the client.

As a coach, it is essential to connect with your clients in such a way that it helps to naturally evoke their awareness about whatever it is that they want to discuss so that they can come out of the coaching relationship or session feeling confident. 

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

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