What Are The Coaching Core Competencies?

Coaching core competencies is the skill set that a professional coach must master to be certified.

There are many different associations that are working toward getting the profession of coaching acknowledged, regulated and standardized at the National and International levels. The one I am most familiar with is the International Coaches Federation (ICF).

One of the things these different associations want to standardize is coaching core competencies, however, since there are so many in the mix there are many differences. It may just be a matter of semantics—each association vying for supremacy. But for the time being, until they can agree on the coaching core competencies, the ICF competencies are as good as any to strive for.

ICF Coaching Core Competencies

The International Coaches Federation (ICF) details eleven coaching core competencies.  This provides an excellent tool to gauge your skill set, recognize your level of efficiency, and a standard for expanding your abilities. The eleven coaching skills that the ICF deems necessary for one to be competent in if they intend to be employed as a coach, and/or be certified by the ICF are as follows:

1. Ethical Guidelines

2. Coaching Agreement

3. Trust and Intimacy

4. Coaching Presence

5. Active Listening

6. Powerful Questioning

7. Direct Communication

8. Creating Awareness

9. Designing Actions

10. Planning and Goal Setting

11. Accountability

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Mastering The Coaching Core Competencies

Although only eleven ICF coaching core competencies have been listed above, there are many sub topics under each one.  Learning and maintaining these skills is vital for offering topnotch professional coaching services, even if the coaching core competencies may differ in wording depending on whose list you are looking at. It is important to note that developing these competencies takes time and practice, and are best learned through a coaching training program.

Although many coaches have a high level of experience and education before transitioning into professional coaching, and may already excel in some of the areas of the coaching core competencies, it is still a good gauge to determine your ability as a coach.

Are They All Necessary?

Not every coach core competency has to be demonstrated in a single coaching session, but some behaviors should always be present, such as coaching presence, active listening and powerful questioning. The others may be called for in only certain coaching situations,  and so may not be evident in every session, but are none-the-less just as valuable and are still core to the coaching process.

Coaching clients benefit when a coach is well-trained in all areas of the coaching core competencies no matter who’s list you are going by.

Hope you took some great value out of this post today! I’d love to hear your feedback, so make sure you leave a comment with your thoughts or questions. And also, you can click on the Twitter button below to retweet this article… Thank you!

Dana Bosley
Spiritual Growth Coach
Writing team, Coaches Training Blog Community

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