Common Mistake #1 of 3 – Lessons Learned from ICF Assessors

Lessons Learned from ICF Assessors

While planning for a presentation to ICF’s Ethics Community of Practice, I had the opportunity to talk with the presenter, Jim Smith.  Then, during his presentation, Exploring the Convergence of Updated Ethics and Core Competencies, what we had talked about was a powerful message for many.  Jim talked about the three most common mistakes made in recordings of coaching sessions submitted as part of an application for an ICF credential.  In this mini blog series, we will explore each of these three common mistakes. Lessons Learned from ICF Assessors

The first is the failure to have an agreement.

What does that mean?  During coach training we talk about agreements happening in three stages.  Stage one is an initial conversation about what coaching is and is not.  Stage two is the written agreement for a coaching engagement.  Stage three happens every single coaching session and that is where the coach asks the client what they want from the coaching session.  Examples of questions include:

  • What do you want to focus on today?
  • What specifically do you want to accomplish in this conversation?
  • How will you know this conversation was successful?
  • What does achieving this mean to you?
  • What might get in the way?
  • How do you want to have the conversation?

When in coaching certification these examples are given and discussed and practiced.  Until there is a clear agreement on exactly what the client wants from the session, it is impossible to have that coaching session.


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