Center for Coaching Certification

Team Coaching Competencies 2 and 3

In the first blog of this series, we reviewed the additional points of skill from ICF’s Team Coaching Competencies.  Continue here with competencies 2 and 3. Team Coaching Competencies

Competency 2: Embodies a Coaching Mindset

+ Engages in coaching supervision for support, development, and accountability when needed.

+ Remains objective and aware of team dynamics and patterns

What this means:

  • Coaches are committed to our own ongoing development and having a reflective practice. The added thought here is that coaching supervision is a sounding board focused on the coaching, taking the reflective practice deeper.
  • Team coaching involves dealing with a variety of personalities and agendas plus the reality of corporate politics. A high-level of skill as coach directly impacts efficacy.  For team coaching this means learning about teams.  It means being prepared to notice what is happening with the individuals and the interactions.

Competency 3: Establishes and Maintains Agreements

+ Explains what team coaching is and is not, including how it differs from other team development modalities.

+ Partners with all relevant parties, including the team leader, team members, stakeholders, and any co-coaches to collaboratively create clear agreements about the coaching relationship, processes, plans, development modalities, and goals.

+ Partners with the team leader to determine how ownership of the coaching process will be shared among the coach, leader, and team.

What this means:

  • These additional areas focus on the formal agreement stage of coaching agreements and incorporate the many people involved in setting up the team coaching.

Embodies a Coaching Mindset was added to the coaching competencies at the end of 2019 and required as of 2021.  At the Center for Coaching Certification all coach training classes in 2020 were based on the new competency.  If you completed your coaching certification before 2020, please do review the blogs and YouTube videos that teach this new content.


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Team Coaching Competencies Series – Competency 1

The International Coaching Federation created competencies for Team Coaching through an extensive process and working with experts.  The Team Coaching competencies are additional points for each of the existing competencies.  In the future they plan to offer a credential in team coaching.  For now, let us explore the additions to the competencies as Team Coaching Competencies in this blog series. Team Coaching Competencies

Each competency has additional points for the Team Coaching and this series will go through the competencies in order.

Competency 1: Demonstrates Ethical Practice

+ Coaches the client team as a single entity.

+ Maintains the distinction between team coaching, team building, team training, team consulting, team mentoring, team facilitation, and other team development modalities.

+ Demonstrates the knowledge and skill needed to practice the specific blend of team development modalities that are being offered.

+ Adopts more directive team development modalities only when needed to help the team achieve their goals.

+ Maintains trust, transparency, and clarity when fulfilling multiple roles related to team coaching.

What this means:

  • Because the coach is there for the team as a whole, if they notice one person is out of alignment and coach them that can interfere with the team functionality.
  • It is essential that the coach ensure transparency and clarity about what service is offered. Sometimes team coaches offer more than one service and must distinguish which is happening when.  Consider the natural progression of services: team building, team training, team consulting, team mentoring, team facilitation, then team coaching. Coaching is advanced development for advanced results.  As with all coaching engagements, the coach ensures there is transparency about the roles.
  • Offering Team Coaching calls for developing the skills for the work. This is true of related services that are offered too.
  • Determining which service makes sense when is done in partnership with the team.
  • Trust is built on the clarity and transparency and is maintained throughout with the ethics and confidentiality.

The points covered here are in addition to the Core Competency information taught during coach training.  The blog series will continue to cover all the Team Coaching Competencies in this format.


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The Talents of Impactful Coaches

Perhaps you have heard the old tale of a woodcutter who so impressed their king that they were given the most important areas of forest to cut.  In the beginning the volume of cutting was impressive.  Over time that volume became less and less.  The woodcutter was perplexed because they were working the same number of hours and working just as hard.  Why were they cutting less?  With time the axe had become dull and less effective.  The woodcutter simply had to sharpen their axe and then they were once again cutting at the high volume. The Talents of Impactful Coaches

Much like the woodcutter sharpening the axe, coaches must constantly sharpen our tools to ensure we are effective and impactful.  This starts at the very beginning by fully engaging in the training required.   During training we learn about and develop skills based on ICF’s Core Competencies and ICF’s Code of Ethics.  We continue the journey be moving toward credentialing with additional training, experience, mentor coaching, being assessed, and passing ICF’s Coach Knowledge Assessment.  Renewing membership and/or a credential requires continuing education and ongoing learning.

Based on ICF’s competencies and ethics, the most important talent for impactful coaching is recognizing clients as their own best expert, fully capable of discovering their own answers, designing their own actions, and achieving what they choose.


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Becoming a Coach Trainer

In the previous blog we explored reasons for becoming a coach.  The reasons for becoming a coach trainer add on to that with a focus on supporting other coaches. Becoming a Coach Trainer

  • Coach trainers are coaches with the desire to be of service and make a difference for coaches.
  • Coach trainers love supporting others on their journey to becoming a coach.
  • The process to become a coach trainer requires commitment.
  • Coach trainers love when coaching students engage fully with a growth mindset.

The process of becoming a coach trainer varies based on the coach training organization.  At the Center for Coaching Certification, the first requirement is that each coach trainer must earn a credential with the International Coaching Federation.  This means they completed coach training, have experience coaching, worked with a mentor coach, were assessed coaching, and passed the exam.  Then they can start training to be a trainer.  This process involves observing the training and discussing the content and training methodologies used for each class.  Then they teach the program while being observed and discussing what was done well and what to do differently for each class.  Then they can be the trainer for classes with each class submitting evaluations of the trainer as one element of the ongoing quality control and improvement.  The process takes time and dedication.  The reason coach trainers do it is because they love the work.


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Being a Coach

More than one coach has shared their motivation to help others and make a difference.  Choosing to become a coach often hinges on this desire.  Coaches talk about the work time developing others was what they enjoyed the most while in a job.  Fully embracing the idea of each person being empowered is essential. Being a Coach

The choice to start the journey for becoming a coach is commonly tied to the desire to be of service and make a difference.  Of note: the journey to becoming a coach is more than coach training and credentialing.

Being a coach includes ICF’s competency 2: Embodies a Coaching Mindset, which they define as, “Develops and maintains a mindset that is open, curious, flexible, and client centered.”  What does this mean?  It is recognizing that others are whole and capable.  It is a commitment to ongoing learning and development.  It is the paradigm shift from thinking that telling helps, to recognizing that asking questions is the most helpful because it develops others.  Coaching is partnering with clients so that they find and choose how to use their own answer.

One thing coach trainers talk about is the paradigm shift all coaches go through from telling to asking without knowing the answer.  It means creating awareness of the impact asking has, and then changing long-time habits.  Being a coach means fully embracing asking because clients are best served when they are their own best expert.


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Choose and Hold Boundaries

Clients are experiencing new stressors when working from home.  A recent client was struggling with separating work time from family time.  After they finished their work for the day, they continued getting phone calls from someone wanting something.  It was easy to step back over to their computer and take care of it.  Within a few months they were working 12 hours a day.  What are the boundaries?  What is the workday schedule? Choose and Hold Boundaries

Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries is a common challenge.  When there is a call or email with a last-minute request, what are the options?  If it is after work hours, is carrying the phone or checking email a requirement?  What happens if working all evening is unrealistic?

Imagine exploring this with a client.  Consider these questions:

  • How can you set boundaries for yourself?
  • When is it time for you to focus on work?
  • When is your time?
  • What are your options for managing when people can contact you?
  • What are your options for deferring after-hours requests?

Coaching is an amazing opportunity for clients to consider what boundaries they want in place, how to set them, and how to maintain.

Similarly, many coaches are deciding their own boundaries.  Reflect on what work hours make sense and how you will manage your schedule, so you have balance.


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Focusing on What You Can Do

As a result of the pandemic many are unemployed or newly working from home, and they are struggling to figure out how to manage their day-to-day events.   Balance is getting out of sync.  People are struggling and stressed.   What can they control?  How do they decide when to do something? Focusing on What You Can Do

Imagine seeing your neighbor coming home from work each day, stopping outside their front door, and waving their arms around before going inside.  In the morning they come out, stop outside their front door, and wave their arms around again.   You see this time and time again.  Finally, you go over to your neighbor and say, “I am curious about something.  Every morning you step outside your front door and you wave your arms around.   Every evening you stop outside your front door and wave your arms around.  I am curious, what are you doing?”  The response is that when they come home from work, they take all the work problems, challenges, and issues, hang them up in the tree, go inside, and are at home.   In the morning when they come out, nobody has ever stolen those challenges or problems, they have never washed away in the rain or blown away in the wind.  That is when they can do something about them, so they take them and go to work.

The lesson learned: Focus on what is within your control, and when you can do something about it.  Do what you can when you can and protect time for yourself and your family.

Check out the Resources page at the Center for Coaching Certification for webinars, and so much more!


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Talk Openly, Focus on What You Control, and Value Relationships

Many things are happening on personal and professional levels with the pandemic, protests, etc.  Another stressor – a risky one to discuss – is politics.  Current politics have resulted in people being stressed over polarized viewpoints.  People are arguing and losing friendships.  How much control does any one person have when it comes to an election?  Getting stressed out about things that are outside of our control is easy to do, and what is the benefit of that?  Recently I was talking with someone who had friends with different political beliefs.  They place value on these friendships, and there was animosity around the election.  The reasons each wants one side or the other to win was explored.  It resulted in recognizing what each believed was not the opposite; the priorities were different.  It meant friends were focused on something that impacts them versus being against Talk Openly, Focus on What You Control, and Value Relationshipssomething else.

In conversations with friends, when there are different opinions, do we want them to hate us because our opinion is different?  Similarly, do we want to hate them because theirs is different?  Or do we value each other as a person and have a conversation about it?  What is important to you? How do you make this work for you?  What do you control?  What value do you place on the relationship(s)?

The lesson learned: Talk openly, focus on what is within your control, and continue to value relationships.


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Focus on What You Can Do

One of the things I have been working on over the past year is my chapter for Coaching Perspectives X.   The Center for Coaching Certification publishes a book out each year and the chapters are written by graduates.  My chapter this year was inspired by a change in the ICF’s Code of Ethics. Focus on What You Can Do

They added that more than doing no harm, do good.   What is the difference in terms of doing good? Avoiding harm means we are working hard not to hurt somebody or not to cause harm.   Doing good is proactively initiating positive impact, doing something that benefits others and makes a difference.   As coaches we are called on to make a difference and to do good.   When we look at what is happening in our world, oh, my goodness, what a year 2020 has been.

Now we are into 2021.   What kind of a year do we want?  What kind of change do we want to see?  How can we make a difference?  What can each person do that is really going to make a difference?  Through researching and reflecting, here is what I listed:

  • Educate ourselves. For example, a fabulous area for all of us to do good is to influence change, systemic change, to really address social justice.   To be part of that starts with educating ourselves.  Research information on the different forms of biases, the impact, and how it manifests.
  • Self-assess and strategize. Self-assessment starts with evaluating what we are doing, how we are communicating, and what is happening in our space.  For example, look at your website – the pictures, the language, and message conveyed there.
  • Commit to a self-reflective practice. When we want to have a positive impact, having a self-reflective practice is going to support success.  It means being aware and taking time to think back on how we have engaged and what came across.
  • Communicate openness. Images, words, and tone can be used to communicate openness.  What pictures or ways of saying things do you want to incorporate on your website?  How will you communicate in conversations?
  • Expand access to coaching creatively. For example, many volunteers coach leaders in different nonprofits.  Be intentional about also giving back and volunteering and doing good.

As a coach, we can impact one person at a time.  Think about what is important, where the opportunities are, and be intentional about reaching out and making a difference.

Let us collaborate, even when we are doing things individually, and make a differenc

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Making a Difference

The biggest benefits of being a coach, and or a trainer of coaches, are:

  • Working with people that really care about what they are doing and how they are doing it.
  • Working with people that want to make a difference.

It is so wonderful to hear their stories, their examples, their motivators, and what they really want to focus on in terms of making a difference. Making a Difference

Over the past year one thing I have noticed is more and more are wondering, where do you even start?  There is so much going on, so many people that are struggling and dealing with challenges.  There is so much call for change.   As coaches we wonder, where do I even start?  What can I do? I’m one person, how can I make a difference?

There is a wonderful story for insight: A young child is walking along the beach with their grandparent.   On the beach hundreds of starfish have washed up.   The young child is picking up the starfish and tossing them back into the water and picking up starfish and tossing them back into the water.   The grandparent says to the child, “what are you doing?”  The child explains, “if they stay on the sand, they will die from the sun, so I am saving them.”  The grandparent says, “oh, there are so many you cannot possibly save them all.”  The young child leans over, picks up another one, throws it in the water, and turns to the grandparent and says, “I saved that one.”  That is the key for all of us.   We cannot save everyone; we cannot fix everything.   We cannot do it all.   We can impact and make a difference within our sphere of influence.

What does that tell us?  As a coach, focus on what you can do and what is possible.   Reflect on these coaching questions for yourself:

  • Where can you make a difference?
  • How can you make a difference?
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