The International Coaches Federation, ICF, publishes a list of Core Competencies, providing excellent perspective on key skills for coaches. The skills are organized in four groups to facilitate understanding. Let’s explore each of the areas and what it means for coaches.
The area titled “Setting the Foundation” includes Meeting Ethical Guidelines and Professional Standards, defined in summary as understanding and following the code of ethics, communicating the difference between coaching and other support professions, referring clients to other professionals as needed, understand and discuss guidelines, reach an agreement, and determine if there is an effective match.
What does this mean to you as a professional coach?
Consider how you explain coaching to clients. Clarify what coaching is (a strategic partnership) and what it is not (counseling or consulting.) Overview the coaching process and describe your approach for clients. Clarify the boundaries of the coaching relationship.
Publish your code of ethics (ICF members agree to subscribe to the ICF Code of Ethics.) Use a written coaching agreement to establish session scheduling and contact parameters between sessions.
Clarify understanding of client interests, needs and wants to ensure you are an effective coaching match. Where appropriate, refer your client to other professionals or a different coach.
Ultimately your credibility and that of the coaching profession are -Should I be a Coach?enhanced when everyone is on the same page.
What are your thoughts on establishing a coaching relationship?