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The following seven core Coaching Competency Categories were developed to promote an understanding of the skills and approaches that the IAPC&M has determined as being desirable in a competent Coach.
The competencies listed under each heading are essential for any competent Coach to demonstrate and form the basis of the criteria used in the IAPC&M’s accreditation process.
Competency Number 1
Presenting a Professional Image in each session.
- Understands and adheres to the Standards and Ethics as set out by the IAPC&M including Client Care, Personal Professional Conduct, and Professional Relationships.
- Understands and demonstrates the Key Values exhibited by an IAPC&M Coach.
- Explores with the Client what their agenda for the session is, and coaches to the Client’s agenda, not the Coach’s own agenda.
- Determines if there is an effective match between his/her coaching ability and the needs of the Client.
- Reflecting on the Client’s needs for each session, in the moment chooses the most effective approach.
- Uses a range of tools and techniques to support the Client; increases their awareness and/or assists them in achieving their desired results.
- Clearly explains the purposes of techniques and/or exercises.
- Moves back and forth between where the Client is now and where the Client wishes to go.
- Demonstrates and maintains confidence throughout the Coaching session.
- Is open as a Coach to not knowing and taking risks.
- Demonstrates respect and adapts to the Client’s learning style, ideas, actions, perceptions, beliefs and fears.
- Manages the Coaching Process so that the session ends on a positive note.
- Manages the time well in the session, ensuring that a positive outcome for the session is achieved.
- Ensures that the Client remains independent of the Coach and does not become dependent or reliant on the Coach.
- Establishes clear agreements and ensures the fulfilment of these.
Competency Number 2
Creating a safe environment for the Coaching Relationship
- Creates an environment in which both the Coach and Client build trust and respect for the coaching relationship.
- Shows genuine concern for the Client’s well-being and future.
- Responds to a Client’s emotions with empathy, without personally becoming involved.
- Shows respect for the Client by not judging their thoughts, words and actions.
- Removes any judgements of the Client when they surface in order to be completely objective and compassionate throughout the coaching process.
- Holds only positive thoughts, words and actions of the Client during the entire relationship.
- During the session the Coach remains neutral, showing neither approval nor disapproval of the Client’s thoughts, words and actions; is comfortable sharing views when necessary or when requested by the client.
- Uses neutrality to establish trust and prevents the Client from trying to please the Coach or avoid their disapproval.
- Creates and environment which enables the Client to freely explore, unhindered by the ideas and thoughts of the Coach.
- Creates a positive enjoyable experience for the Client.
- Has no agenda for the Client and is not attached to the outcomes.
- Treats the Client as an equal partner in the Coaching journey.
- Allows the Client to choose their own pace of accomplishment.
Competency Number 3
- Primarily uses open questions; avoids using leading, multiple or confusing questions; clearly recognises and uses closed questions when appropriate.
- Does not ask questions for the benefit of the Coach rather than the Client.
- Uses powerful and incisive questions that challenge or promote clarity, discovery or learning.
- Is unafraid to and skilfully asks questions which may be uncomfortable for the Client and those which address ‘the elephant in the room’.
- Asks questions that demonstrate active listening and an understanding of the Client’s perspective, beliefs, personal strengths, and abilities.
- Ask questions that are able to be clearly understood and that move the Client forward towards their goals.
- Uses questioning techniques that respectfully keep the Client focused on the challenge or goal for each session.
- Provides an inquisitive environment, which transcends the Client’s fears, roadblocks, unconstructive feelings and behavioural patterns related to the challenge or goal.
- Asks questions which allow the Client to self-discover options and innovative solutions through exploration of multiple facets of the challenge or goal.
- Asks questions which allow the Client to uncover the unknown in order to increase awareness.
Competency Number 4
- Demonstrates effective listening, questioning and clarifying skills; notices the difference between what is said and what is left unsaid.
- Uses honest, direct, easy-to-understand language that enables the Client to move towards the agreed outcomes.
- Uses courteous communication which is friendly, open, confident and flexible; no hidden agenda or passive-aggressive tones.
- Adapts communication/language style to reflect the Client’s needs and outcomes.
- Adapts communication/language style in recognition of the Client’s personality preferences.
- Uses the Client’s language to create broad and meaningful conversations.
- Provides relevant feedback and information to support the Client’s needs and outcomes.
- Communicates clearly, confidently and credibly with the Client.
- Encourages Client’s to share their views; takes time to understand and consider these views.
- Manages emotions in an intelligent manner, which does not impact on the Client in a negative way.
- Is comfortable in exploring emotions with the Client in a non-threatening manner.
- Uses intuition to engage Client’s to consider what is not being said.
- Recognises and effectively manages transference, counter-transference and/or projection.
- Allows the communication between Coach and Client to flow; does not interrupt, lead, suggest or make assumptions.
- Demonstrates the use of effective body language (where appropriate).
Competency Number 5
- Actively listens; focuses completely on what the Client is saying as well as listening for what is not being said.
- Demonstrates the use of silence allowing the Client space to think and to finish what they are saying; does not interrupt the Client.
- Pays attention to the Client’s words, tone of voice, and body language (where possible).
- Accurately summarises, paraphrases and/or mirrors back what the Client has said to ensure clarity and understanding.
- Acknowledges the Client’s concerns, goals, values, and beliefs as their perception of the world.
- Understands and accurate evaluates information, and reflects back interpretations that help the Client to gain awareness.
Competency Number 6
- Helps the Client to discover their beliefs, personal strengths, and abilities.
- Enables the Client to increases their self-awareness in areas such as their own perceptions; reality and assumption; and their interpretation of events.
- Helps the Client to discover where there are interrelated factors that affect their actions and their behaviours.
- Challenges the Client to stimulate clarification, gain understanding, provoke new ideas, and improve their performance.
- Invites the Client to acknowledge and recognise their own successes and realisations/learning’s.
- Encourages the Client to generate options and solutions for themselves.
- Encourages the Client to explore the wider context, impact and implications of their desired outcomes.
- Helps Client to explore their approach to change and works effectively with the Client to identify and overcome any resistance to change.
- Facilitates growth in the Clients areas of thinking (cognitive), feeling (emotional) and doing (behavioural), as appropriate.
- When appropriate or if necessary the Coach may ask the Client if they require additional input from the Coach.
- Invites informed experimentation from the Client to develop powerful actions and leverage.
- Encourages the Client to stretch and challenge themselves to a level that is appropriate for them at any given point of time.
- Invites the Client to use their strengths and internal and external resources to achieve their desired goals.
Competency Number 7
Planning and Accountability
- Supports and challenges during the planning stage by encouraging the Client to ‘do it now’.
- Provides the Client with the opportunity to plan without interference from the Coach.
- Where appropriate, reminds the Client about major insights, patterns, solutions and ideas that were generated throughout the session.
- Where appropriate, helps the Client to create and implement a plan with results that are specific, measurable, attainable, and time-framed; and adjust this where necessary.
- Encourages a Client’s self-discipline, responsibility and accountability for what they say they are going to do.
- Keeps the Client focused and on track by reviewing progress, holding attention on the goals for the session and the desired outcome, as well as agreed-upon courses of action.
- When appropriate, asks the Client to articulate what results they have noticed and/or to state how far they have come with the completion of their plan.
- Encourages the Client to stay focused on previously generated goals and their commitment to those goals.
- In order to ensure forward movement, works with the Client to address and overcome any obstacles that are in the way of previously set goals and plans.
- Positively challenges the Client when he/she did not take agreed-upon actions.
- Acknowledges the Client’s successes and their realisations/learning.
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