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ICF is Listening, Are You? Updated ICF Core Competencies (6-7)


Now's not the time to be daydreaming!


Your client has been going on the past 40 minutes about...well something. They just finished their monologue and are looking at you expectantly. Oh shoot! You're suppose to say something right now.


Problem is you were thinking about what you are going to have for dinner and not using those active listening skills. No worries, you can always evoke some awareness. So you say...


"Yep, mhm, I hear you and that all sounds great. See you next week and we can discuss how things went for you."


Except they were talking about strangling their boss for the past 40 minutes and you weren't paying attention and now you don't have a client anymore because they are in jail for assault.


If only there was some live series or blog going over better ways of communicating effectively...


Now I know that anyone reading this article is rolling their eyes and incensed at the over-the-top example shared above, no coach who is trained and skilled would ever interact with a client in such a manner. However, we use this extreme to demonstrate the importance of being an active and curious participant in all of your sessions,


Why does this matter?


Outside of wanting to be the best coach you can possibly be, International Coaching Federation (ICF) has updated their Core Competencies. and any coach who wishes to say that they have been trained in ICF's coaching model and do so with confidence, must be fully in the know when it comes to these updates.


This week Lisa Finck (A.C.C.), Brooke Adair Walters (M.C.P.C.), Jerome LeDuff Jr (M.C.L.C.), Anthony Lopez (M.C.L.C), and our newest Technical Director Kyle Rodriguez (M.C.LC.). aimed to assist you in committing the new Core Competencies to memory as we cover Core Competency numbers 6 and 7.



The Core Competencies

In the third in our series on the Core Competencies we dive into how the essential quality of coaching is the conversation. And any good conversation requires active listening and engaging with the other person fully.


The Golden Rule of Coaching; 80/20.

The client should do 80% of the speaking in a session while the coach uses the remaining 20% to clarify, ask, questions, and assist in goal setting. That's a heck of a lot of listening to do so you might as well be good at it.


So as you read these Core Competencies, think about how you can not only commit these to heart & memory, but how you can actively use them in your coaching practice.


C. 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

  1. Considers the client’s context, identity, environment, experiences, values and beliefs to enhance understanding of what the client is communicating

  2. Reflects or summarizes what the client communicated to ensure clarity and understanding

  3. Recognizes and inquires when there is more to what the client is communicating

  4. Notices, acknowledges and explores the client’s emotions, energy shifts, non-verbal cues or other behaviors

  5. Integrates the client’s words, tone of voice and body language to determine the full meaning of what is being communicated

  6. Notices trends in the client’s behaviors and emotions across sessions to discern themes and patterns

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

  1. Considers client experience when deciding what might be most useful

  2. Challenges the client as a way to evoke awareness or insight

  3. Asks questions about the client, such as their way of thinking, values, needs, wants and beliefs

  4. Asks questions that help the client explore beyond current thinking

  5. Invites the client to share more about their experience in the moment

  6. Notices what is working to enhance client progress

  7. Adjusts the coaching approach in response to the client’s needs

  8. Helps the client identify factors that influence current and future patterns of behavior, thinking or emotion

  9. Invites the client to generate ideas about how they can move forward and what they are willing or able to do

  10. Supports the client in reframing perspectives

  11. Shares observations, insights and feelings, without attachment, that have the potential to create new learning for the client

While most of your job is listening, the few things you say are equally important and can dramatically change the perspective of your client. When you master active listening, evoking awareness becomes as natural as any other conversation and when clients open their awareness they are primed to grow as individuals.


Be sure to join us next week on CLCI Live as we talk about the final Core Competency #8; Facilitating a Clients Growth.


And just in case you missed it.


Last week we went over Core Competencies 3, 4, & 5 and how to fully co-create the coach-client relationship. Now we move on to the next grouping where we talk about our active listening skills and how we can best evoke awareness.


Thank you,


Lisa Finck, Brooke Adair Walters, Jerome LeDuff Jr., Anthony Lopez, Kyle Rodriguez


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