30 Coach Culture There was a time period when, if you were a woman, you could not become a doctor. You had to be a nurse. This rule was in place because enough people believed it to be literally true; that women physically, mentally, or emotionally could not operate as a doctor of medicine. Now, even though the rule has changed and there are countless examples of female doctors who are quite successful and skilled, there are still people walking around with that belief in their head. The rule changed; the belief is somewhat stickier. It’s not logical whatsoever. In fact, a limiting belief rarely is. Often people don’t even realize that they’re allowing these beliefs to control them—the job of the coach is to uncover that. We create the awareness necessary for that person to say, “I’m holding myself back because I don’t think it’s possible for me to do this.” THE COACHING CONVERSATION All trained and ICF certified coaches follow the ICF’s Eleven Core Competencies. These are set out in the agreement with the client about what you’re going to work on, not only for the entire engagement of your time together but also for each session. First of all, for each session, the client always decides on the agenda. It’s never the coach’s job to decide precisely what you’re going to talk about, but it is our responsibility to make sure there’s focus for the session.
What Is Coaching 31 THE CORE COMPETENCIES The Core Competencies are grouped into four clusters according to those that fit together logically based on common ways of looking at the competencies in each group. The groupings and individual competencies are not weighted—they do not represent any kind of priority in that they are all core or critical for any competent coach to demonstrate. A. Setting the Foundation 1. Meeting Ethical Guidelines and Professional Standards 2. Establishing the Coaching Agreement B. Co-creating the Relationship 3. Establishing Trust and Intimacy with the Client 4. Coaching Presence C. Communicating Effectively 5. Active Listening 6. Powerful Questioning 7. Direct Communication D. Facilitating Learning and Results 8. Creating Awareness 9. Designing Actions 10. Planning and Goal Setting 11. Managing Progress and Accountability