Because the number one indicator of success in a coaching relationship is the rapport between the coach and the client, this coaching competency of establishing trust and intimacy is essential. It begins in the first two competencies and continues here with the ability to create a safe space for the client.
At the first level of credentialing, the coach is expected to work with the client’s agenda. By the next level, the coach has some degree of trust and is beginning to be open to not knowing. At the highest level, the coach has complete trust and mutual awareness. When the coach is comfortable not knowing then expanding awareness is enhanced. The ideal is complete ease with vulnerability and confidence. In the ICF Comparison Table, if a coach is focused on their own performance, ideas, and expertise then the coach will fail the credentialing process.
When reading the table it is clear that trust and intimacy go beyond the client trusting the coach to the coach trusting the client. The client is their own best expert and when the coach trusts the client fully then the coaching process will effectively empower the client. This in turn creates an environment the client trusts and in which the client can really explore and then own their choices, strategies, and action steps with full support.