One of the most important things to know that will help you run your coaching practice the correct way is the ICF coaching competencies. The ICF (International Coach Federation) has developed 11 core coaching competencies that help to promote a greater understanding about the skills, techniques, and approaches utilized in the coaching profession. These ICF coaching competencies are also used as the foundation for the International Coaching Federation credentialing examination.
The 11 ICF Coaching Competencies
- Meeting ethical guidelines and professional standards. Coaches should comprehend ethical standards and be able to apply them in their coaching practice.
- Establish the coaching agreement. Be able to discuss with a client the specifics of a contract (fees, schedule, goals), and ethically determine whether or not there is a good match between your coaching and the goals of the client.
- Establishing trust and intimacy with the client. Have the ability to provide a secure and supportive environment that produces mutual trust and respect.
- Coaching presence. Have the ability to trust your instincts and intuition as a coach. Have the confidence to use humor, experiment with new techniques, take some risks, and “go with your gut” in certain situations.\
- Active Listening. Be truly engaged with your clients and focus on what they are saying. Pay attention to words, tone, and body language.
- Ask powerful questions. Ask questions that promote and provoke insight, action, discovery, and further inquiry.
- Direct Communication. Be able to communicate clearly with the client, appropriately explain exercises and techniques, and respectfully define goals and objectives.
- Creating Awareness. Be able to help clients discover their own feelings, goals, and objectives. Be able to effectively invoke inquiry for a greater understanding of the forces that determine emotions, feelings, and self-awareness.
- Designing actions. Be able to help clients create and design actions that will enable them to reach their goals and objectives. Help them create a road map to personal growth and success.
- Planning and goal setting. Have the ability to create, develop, implement, and maintain a coaching plan with results that are attainable, specific, and measurable.
- Managing progress and accountability. This is the final ICF coaching competency and works to put responsibility on the coach to make sure to review the coaching plan, but also shifts responsibility to the client for taking action to achieve the stated goals and objectives.
These ICF coaching competencies are not listed in order of importance, but are placed in more of a chronological order. They are all of equal importance and should be understood and followed to the best of your ability.
They ICF coaching competencies create standards for coaches that help create a professional atmosphere in the coaching industry. They help build up a certain level of trust for clients when entering into a relationship with any type of coach who subscribes to the competencies set down by the ICF. Both clients and coaches can think of them as the necessary skills that make someone a good coach!
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