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ICF's 11 coaching skills - The Coaching Association

ICF's 11 coaching skills - The Coaching Association

ICF's 11 coaching skills

11 coaching skills to master

ICF (International Coach Federation) has developed 11 skills they believe you must master to be called a professional coach.

The 11 coaching skills are:

  1. Ethical guidelines and professional standards
  2. The coaching agreement
  3. Create trust and closeness
  4. Coaching presence
  5. Active listening
  6. Powerful questions
  7. Direct communication
  8. Create awareness
  9. Design documents
  10. Plan and set goals
  11. Manage progress and responsibility

The educational goals of the different coaching skills are described here:

  1. Ethical guidelines and professional standards

Objectives of the skill:

The goal is for the coach to adopt ICF's ethics and attitudes and be able to apply this in all coaching situations.

After completing the training, the coach must:

  • Act on the ethical guidelines and definition of coaching set by the ICF.
  • Be able to decide whether the client should be referred to another coach or to another professional category.
  • Be able to clearly tell someone about the difference between coaching and related professions, such as psychotherapy and consultation.
  1. The coaching agreement

Objectives of the skill:

The coach must be able to determine what is required in each specific coaching situation. The coach must also be able to agree on details in the coaching process and the relationship with new and potential customers.

After completing the training, the coach must:

  • Understand and be able to discuss the parameters and guidelines for the coaching agreement. For example: fees, appointments and logistics.
  • Set a reasonable level of the client's expectations of the coaching relationship.
  • In collaboration with the client, decide what is included or not included in the agreement.
  1. Create trust and closeness

Objectives of the skill:

The coach must be able to create a supportive and safe environment. This leads to trust and respect being created between the coach and the client.

After completing the training, the coach must:

  • Show care for the client's well-being and future.
  • Draw clear agreements and fulfill the promises made.
  • Continuously show personal integrity and honesty.
  • Ask the client for permission before coaching takes place in new and sensitive areas.
  • Respect the client's learning style, perception and personal way of being.
  • Provide support and encouragement for the client's new behaviors and actions, including those that cause fear or risk.
  1. Coach presence

Objectives of the skill:

Be fully present and through a flexible, open and trusting style create a spontaneous relationship with the client.

After completing the training, the coach must:

  • Trust your own gut feeling and intuition.
  • Be able to change their way of working according to what is best for the client and for the moment.
  • Create energy and lightness in the conversation by effectively using humor.
  • Be flexible, participatory and in the present during the coaching conversation.
  • Do not get overwhelmed or engrossed when the client shows strong emotions, but instead be able to safely handle these.
  • Be able to experiment with different methods and different perspectives.
  • Be open to letting go of control of the call and not knowing.
  1. Active listening

Objectives of the skill:

The coach should focus entirely on what the client says, but also on what the client does not say. Based on what is said, the coach should be able to understand the meaning of the conversation in relation to the client's wishes and assist the client to express themselves more clearly.

After completing the training, the coach must:

  • Follow the client's, not the coach's, agenda for the conversation.
  • Without being critical, be able to let the client talk about themselves to help the client move on.
  • Start from the client's thoughts and suggestions and build on these.
  • Ensure clarity and understanding by summarizing, reformulating and reflecting what the client has said.
  • Be able to distinguish between tone, body language and words.
  • Encourage, explore, reinforce and accept how the client expresses their perceptions, feelings, concerns, thoughts, suggestions and ideas.
  • Be able to find the core of what the client is trying to convey and help the client get there without getting caught up in long descriptive stories.
  1. Powerful questions

Objectives of the skill:

Be able to obtain the information needed for the client and the coaching relationship by asking questions.

  1. Asks questions that evoke discoveries, insights, commitments or actions (eg questions that challenge the client's assumptions).

After completing the training, the coach must:

  • Ask questions that lead the client in the desired direction, not questions that make the client defend himself or look back.
  • Show active listening and an understanding of the client's perspective through the questions.
  • Create learning, clarity and more opportunities by asking open-ended questions.
  • Design questions that lead to insights, commitment, discovery, action or challenge the client's assumptions.
  1. Direct communication

Objectives of the skill:

During the coach conversation, the coach should be able to talk to the client in an effective way and with a language that has a positive effect on the client.

After completing the training, the coach must:

  • Illustrate a point, idea or picture of the situation using metaphors and comparisons.
  • Be able to clearly and simply explain the goal of the coaching, the conversation agenda and explain the purpose of different techniques or exercises.
  • In their response and their opinions be direct and easy to perceive.
  • Use a respectful and appropriate language for the client, such as avoiding racist and sexist comments and not using too much technical jargon.
  • Through communication help the client to see the situation from a new point of view. This is to help the client understand what he wants or is unsure of.
  1. Create awareness

Objectives of the skill:

Be able to correctly evaluate and integrate information from different sources. Based on interpretations of this, the coach will help the client increase his awareness and thereby achieve the agreed results.

After completing the training, the coach must:

  • Not captured by what the client describes, but instead review what is expressed.
  • Assist the client to see the various interconnected factors that influence the client's and his or her behaviors, such as emotions, body, background and thoughts.
  • Formulate their insights in a way that makes them interesting, meaningful and useful to the client.
  • Help and inspire the client to find new courses of action by expanding the client's field of vision.
  • Encourage the client to increase their self-awareness to reach a greater understanding, awareness and clarity.
  • Encourage and assist the client in thinking in new thoughts, changing their perceptions, attitudes, moods and emotions to strengthen the client's ability to achieve what is important to the client.
  • Ask the client to distinguish between the important and the unimportant. When the client says one thing but does something else, the coach should pay attention to this.
  • Identify the most important areas for development and where the focus should be in coaching and identify the client's most important strengths.
  • Assist the client in establishing the root of what worries, point out the differences between interpretations and facts, break the pattern with which the client interprets the world and himself and the difference between feelings, emotions and actions
  1. Design documents

Objectives of the skill:

The coach must, in collaboration with the client, create opportunities for continuous learning, both during coaching and in the client's life, as well as develop new measures that most effectively lead to the agreed results.

After completing the training, the coach must:

  • Help the client to prepare documents that enable the client to use and deepen their learning.
  • Engage the client in exploring and evaluating alternative solutions and ideas and making decisions based on this.
  • Celebrate the client's successes and potential for development in the future.
  • Provoke new ideas and action options by challenging the client's assumptions.
  • Help the client to systematically explore and evaluate the action options that are essential for the client to achieve the desired results.
  • Encourage the client to experiment and increase their self-awareness, so that they can use what has emerged in their normal life immediately after the coaching interview.
  • Challenge the client, but keep a comfortable learning pace tailored to the client.
  • Develop views that are in line with the client's goals, but if the client chooses to ignore them, you should not be hurt.
  • Help the client implement an action or change immediately during the coaching conversation by providing support and strength.
  1. Plan and set goals

Objectives of the skill:

In collaboration with the client, develop and follow an effective coaching plan.

After completing the training, the coach must:

  • Create a coaching plan with the client based on gathered information that includes sub-goals, development goals and the most important areas for the client's development and learning.
  • Create a plan whose goals are realistic, clear, timed and measurable.
  • Create forward movement by finding successes and goals that the client can achieve quickly and easily.
  • Assist the client in increasing their learning by helping them find and use various resources, such as books or other professionals such as family counselors, lawyers and doctors.
  • When changes or situations arise, be able to adapt the coaching plan accordingly.
  1. Manage progress and responsibility

Objectives of the skill:

Being able to focus on what the client feels is important and place the responsibility for shopping with the client.

After completing the training, the coach must:

  • Review and summarize the information that emerged during the conversation with the client.
  • Request the client to perform goal-oriented actions, which bring the client closer to the set goals.
  • Focus on the coaching plan, results, agreed actions and topics for future conversations to keep the client on track.
  • When the client has not implemented the agreed measures, the coach must draw the client's attention to this in a positive way.
  • Be able to put the client's goals in context by switching between implementation and strategy.
  • Follow up the documents that the client undertook during previous conversations.
  • Hold the client responsible for what the client has undertaken to do, the results of the actions and the set schedule, and strengthen the client's self-discipline.
  • Give the client recognition for progress, learning or what the client has become aware of since the previous conversation.
  • Get the client's ability to make decisions, determine the appropriate learning speed, prioritize and absorb feedback to grow.
  • Focus on the coaching plan but also be open to adjusting it based on what happens and emerges during the coaching process.
  • Give the client support based on the client's specific needs and what is desired

Synonyms for skill

  • ability, skill, knowledge, knowledge, talent, technique, habit, dexterity, art