Is the Coaching You’re Getting Good?

There are many people who consider themselves to be a coach. If you receive coaching from someone, how do you know it’s good?

The International Coach Federation (ICF, created a list of 11 core coaching competencies that make up a good coaching experience:

  1. Meeting Ethical Guidelines and Professional Standards – Examples of this include: Did your coach offer to you that your content would be kept confidential? Did they tell you if they are ICF certified? And if not, where did they learn how to coach?
  2. Establishing the Coaching Agreement – Examples include: Did your coach explain the differences between coaching and other modalities such as mentoring, therapy, or advising?  Do you know what you agreed to in having a coaching relationship?
  3. Establishing Trust and Intimacy – Examples include: Do you feel you can tell your coach exactly what’s going in in your world, or do you hold back? Are you comfortable with your coach?
  4. Coaching Presence – Examples include: Does your coach have their complete attention on you, whether by phone or in person? Do they get distracted?
  5. Active Listening – Examples include: Does your coach hear your needs under your statements? Do they reflect back not only what you’ve said, but the context from which you are speaking?
  6. Powerful Questioning – Examples include: Is your coach offering questions that have you dig deep to new areas you never thought of before? Do some of the questions go with you even after your appointment?
  7. Direct Communication – Examples include: Do you feel your coach is straight with you? Do you feel some challenge, but not so much that it becomes abrasive? Is your coach too gentle that you wonder if you’ve accomplished anything?
  8. Creating Awareness – Examples include: Do you leave the session with insight on your topic? Do you see yourself in a new light? or the situation?
  9. Designing Actions – Examples include: Have you created actions to work on after you leave each session? Do you feel you have co-created these actions with your coach? Do you feel part of your development?
  10. Planning and Goal Setting – Examples include: Do you have goals that you work on with your coach? A session may be about today’s problems, but is there also a guiding goal that you are working on with your coach?
  11. Managing Progress and Accountability – Examples include: Do you feel good about reporting in your progress to your coach? Are they supporting you and keeping you accountable?

These ICF core competencies are offered to support you in making your experience of coaching productive, meaningful, and valuable to you. You may want to consider interviewing other coaches if you feel your current experience is not bringing you to your next level of individual development.

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