At its very heart, coaching is all about using the competencies of individuals in a manner that is structured, measured and methodical. The relationship between a coach and a participant in a coaching session is defined as one where the participant gets to understand more of self, plan out a roadmap and work towards achieving goals. Coaches partner participants in the journey to self-development through a process that involves the use of core competencies. Considered as the most popular and reputed standard for coaching, ICF credentials are sought after by professionals; here is a look at the eleven core competencies necessary for ICF credentials.
Core competencies and categories
The eleven competencies fall into four broad categories as given below:
- Foundation – (1) Meeting Ethical Guidelines and Professional Standards (2) Establishing the Coaching Agreement
- Establishingtrust– (3) Establishing Trust and Intimacy with the Client (4) Coaching Presence
- Communicating – (5) Active Listening (6) Powerful Questioning (7) Direct Communication
- Facilitating results – (8) Creating Awareness (9) Designing Actions (10) Planning and Goal Setting (11) Managing Progress and Accountability
The four categories are carefully designed to offer value to participants.
The first category – the foundation, involves the setting of standards and establishing ethics which will be used across different situations. This also involves the need for understanding a set of behavior as listed out clearly in the ICF Code, which encourages and calls all credentialed coaches to implement. The boundaries are defined clearly, defining certain areas of practice that are often mixed up and used by professionals. For instance, there is a clear difference between coaching and consultation and psychotherapy. Many professions exist which are used in a supportive capacity to help individuals. However, each profession is different from the other and has its own role to play.
The second category–of establishing trust is all about creating an atmosphere of trust and bonding between the coach and the participant. This is the competency necessary for a coach to be able to understand the participant’s situation and desire to achieve a certain goal in the future. This competency helps a coach to show the levels of sincerity in the interaction and the desire to help the participant achieve the goals. This also spells out the assurances and goals that are listed out, in addition to the recognition of the dreams of the client and the learning. The presence of the coach is to create and establish a relationship that is transparent and flexible, which will permit the participant to be confident in the knowledge that the program helps to gain insights into themselves, and trust their instincts.
The third category – of communicating effectively is a competency that is necessary for the coach to be able to understand clearly what is being expressed by the participants. Here it is necessary for coaches to be able to take the agenda forward on the basis of the client’s needs and not in the pre-planned idea of the coach. The coach needs to be in a position to understand the beliefs and values of the participants and spell out the possibilities and the challenges. The coach should identify changes in voice, tone, and tenor to understand the different expressions that convey a larger meaning in addition to the spoken word. This will determine if the coach possesses the abilities and qualities to understand the participant’s needs, expressions, perceptions and offer encouragement and suggestions, after accepting the same. The coach needs to partner the participant’s journey by building upon the suggestions and concepts of the participant. The coach should also possess the competency to be able to skillfully dig out information from the participant by asking searching questions in an effort to offer maximum benefit to the relation.
The fourth category – of facilitating results through learning is all about the competency of the coach to be able assess the quality of various sources of information and to interpret the same so as to assist the client to become more aware of the situation and the progress. This will help the participant to make significant progress towards achieving the outcomes that were spelt out. This involves the art of looking beyond the expressed responses of the participant and separating the description of the client from the situation to be able to offer better value. The coach needs to be able to help the client identify certain issues such as apprehensions, perceptions and sort out the differences between thoughts and actions. The coach needs to possess the knack of helping the clients explore various options and acquire a strong resolve to initiate suitable action for achieving desired results.
The four categories that cover the eleven core competencies are designed to ensure that the coach is equipped to conduct sessions and help participants achieve their ambitions and goals by self-realization and improvement.