Center for Coaching Certification


By Cathy Liska

Whether seeking to understand coaching, getting started as a coach, or further refining advanced coaching skills, acronyms are an easy way to remember important things.  

As a starting point for professional coaches, the ICF’s 11 Core Competencies of a Coach outline the skills and their PCC Markers are the specific behaviors that demonstrate the skills.  Putting this into an acronym makes it easier for coaches to remember and apply the essential elements of coaching sessions.

C.O.A.C.H.I.N.G. uses the obvious word describing the work and then each letter becomes a reminder of the specific behaviors in a natural progression through a coaching session.  When you read it, have the 11 Core Competencies and the PCC Markers handy!

Clearly define session focus, measures, and process.
Offer acknowledgement and space to express.
Act in response to the who, the what, and the insights.
Customize to client’s language, situation, and emotions.
Help expand thinking and exploration.
Invite reflection on learning and application.
Notice progress and support planning.
Give credit and get permission to close.

Each of the above reminders is tied to the behaviors (PCC Markers) for the Competency as noted here:
C = Establishing the Coaching Agreement
O = Establishing Trust and Intimacy with the Client
A = Coaching Presence
C = Active Listening
H = Powerful Questioning
I = Direct Communication
N = Creating Awareness
G = Designing Actions, Planning and Goal Setting, Managing Progress and Accountability

What are your thoughts?

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