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What You Need to Know About ICF Core Coaching Competencies

The International Coach Federation or the ICF is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to coaching on a professional scale. The organization defines coaching as a strategic partnership between the coach and the learner. With this definition, it is the role of the coach to empower their clients to make goals clear, achieve what they choose, move past challenges, and create action plans. For a lot of companies, the use of coaching and creating a culture of coaching are becoming very popular. On the other hand, it is also very common for leaders to take a coaching approach in management to become more effective and better leaders. People who take on the role of a coach also acquire skills that will help them gain better personal lives. With these skills, they are capable of improving their relationships at home and when they serve as volunteers in the community.

With the ICF, they come up with eleven core competencies that they then divided into four categories. These four categories begin with setting the foundation and co-creation of the relationship and communicating effectively and end with facilitating learning and results. The first category comprises the ethical guidelines along with the coaching agreement. The second category covers the coaching presence and trust and intimacy. Included in the third category is powerful questioning, active listening, and direct communication. Accountability, goal setting and planning, designing actions, and creating awareness are all part of the fourth category. There is a current update in these ICF core competencies. Prior to learning more about these updates, it is vital that you have a basic understanding of the ICF core coaching competencies. By learning about the basics of the competencies along with the ICF core competencies update, you will know the role that coaches play in the success of any organization.

What follows is a quick guide to understanding these competencies. Essentially, coaching starts with determining and learning more about the ethical guidelines that are part of the coaching relationship, which is the ICF code of ethics. What comes after will be the coach establishing a coaching agreement with the client or learner, which provides clarifications of each other’s roles, process, relationship, and ethics. When the coach creates a safe space for their clients to speak up, this means that they are establishing intimacy and trust. Focusing entirely on the client is what a coaching presence is all about. With effective communication, active listening is vital along with using direct and clear language and being able to ask powerful questions. For the coach to empower clients, they play a role in creating awareness by promoting self-awareness along with being a facilitator in goal setting and planning. Finally, the coach will be the accountability partner of the client.

In coaching, the niche areas vary. Such niches can then be classified as life coaching, executive coaching, business coaching, and career coaching areas.

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