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Coaching Skills Criteria and Core Competencies

Embracing the coaching skills criteria and core competencies set forth by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), the below fundamental coaching competencies are integrated into both the 1.0 and 2.0 coach training courses. Your coach-trainer will employ these criteria as a foundation to provide valuable feedback during your coach-client overviews, also known as mentor coaching.

For a more detailed overview, visit our ICF Markers page.

1. Setting the Agenda

Setting a clear, measurable agenda for a coaching session provides a strong foundation for the whole session.

  • Did the agenda come mostly from the client, or is the coach pushing or not identifying the client’s agenda?
  • Was the session agenda measurable?

2. Trust and Intimacy with a Client

Developing trust is a mixture of empathetic listening and skill in designing the coach-client alliance.

  • How willing was the coach to be the client’s student?
  • How well did the coach develop the coaching relationship with the client?

3. Coaching Presence

A skilled coach demonstrates curiosity and confidence in the coaching process.

  • Was the coach bold in asking insightful, powerful questions?
  • Did the coach work with the energy present in the call?
  • To what degree did the coach demonstrate trust in the coaching process?

4. Active Listening and Powerful Questions

The two core skills of coaching are listening and asking effective questions.

  • Did the coach ask short, open-ended questions?
  • Were the questions primarily present or future-tense-oriented?

5. Direct Communication

Being able to speak directly to what needs addressing is the hallmark of an effective coach.

  • Was the coach clear in sharing ideas? 
  • How effective was the coach in providing feedback to the client?

6. Creating Awareness

Helping a client learn about him or herself is one of the most valuable benefits of coaching.

  • Did the coach ask questions about the client’s learning and self-discovery?

7. Designing Actions

Well-designed actions enable learning and insights to produce tangible results.

  • Does the coach invite an equal or greater degree of participation from the client versus the coach in designing actions?
  • How well does a designed action relate to the client’s agenda?

8. Managing Progress and Accountability

A skilled coach also addresses accountability and the larger impact coaching has on the client’s life.

  • Did the coach co-design methods of accountability with the client?
  • Was the accountability clear and measurable?

For more information on CTEDU’s coaching certification visit this page.

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