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HomeICF Core Competencies

ICF Core Competencies



1) Demonstrates Ethical Practice
Understands and consistently applies coaching ethics and standards of coaching.

2) Embodies a Coaching Mindset
Develops and maintains a mindset that is open, curious, flexible and client-centered.

Co-Creating the Relationship


3) Establishes and Maintains Agreements
Partners with the client and relevant stakeholders to create clear agreements about the coaching relationship, process, plans and goals. Establishes agreements for the overall coaching engagement as well as those for each coaching session.

4) Cultivates Trust and Safety
Partners with the client to create a safe, supportive environment that allows the client to share freely. Maintains a relationship of mutual respect and trust.

5) Maintains Presence
Is fully conscious and present with the client, employing a style that is open, flexible, grounded and confident.

Communicating Effectively



6) Listens Actively
Focuses on what the client is and is not saying to fully understand what is being communicated in the context of the client systems and to support client self-expression.

7) Evokes Awareness
Facilitates client insight and learning by using tools and techniques such as powerful questioning, silence, metaphor or analogy.

Cultivating Learning and Growth



8) Facilitates Client Growth
Partners with the client to transform learning and insight into action. Promotes client autonomy in the coaching process.