According to the International Coaching Federation, a Professional Coach should demonstrate specific skills. These skills are developed in a specific coach training course (ICF requires a minimum of at least 125 hours), that is aligned with the ICF Standard and Code of Ethic.
This is why it is important to choose a training course that is accredited by and aligned with the ICF, in order to develop the knowledge and practice to embody these skills, and to get a certification that can be spent worldwide.
One of the first ICF Competency is the ability to help build a clear agreement with the clients and to support them to define what goals the clients are choosing to achieve in their coaching journey.
Moreover, another ICF Competency in professional coaching is the ability to listen to what the customers say and what they does not say. It is essential to adopt a behavior that is respectful of the client’s values, thoughts, reasoning processes, of their perceptions, their learning style and their beliefs.
Another important aspect in professional coaching is the ability to promote and build a relationship based on trust and a safe space in which the clients can feel free to open up and share, for the benefit of their own evolution and growth.
The ability to ask powerful and engaging questions to the clients is another skill of a professional coach. This ability is not something we use daily in our conversations with friends or colleagues, it is a skill that can only be developed during specific training, through lots of practice and tons of hours of mentoring with feedback from a skilled Coach Mentor.
This is why coaching is a profession that involves a long and deep focused training.
Another capability in professional coaching is about evoking new awareness through the use of challenging and powerful questions, by using the clients’ own language, in order to act as a mirror and offer the clients the opportunity to self-observe themselves and to look inside themselves with new eyes, from new perspectives that sustain the clients’ transformation.
One of the main skills of a professional coach is ‘presence’. Being ‘present’ means being ‘in the moment’, attentive to what happens in the coaching session, in the interaction with the clients. It means to be present to ‘listen to’ and align to the energy that the clients bring to the coaching conversation, which is always a structured conversation, where the coach’s focus is on timing and on the client’s coachable results.
Presence is a competence that can be developed through a continuous and consistent self-work, through the coach’s commitment to engage in an ongoing process of self-development and self-observation, with the purpose to increase the coach’s level of awareness about the coaching profession and self-awareness as well.
A Professional Coach approach differs from the psychologist’s one. To begin with, coaches do not work on the past of their clients. The coaching interaction is not an investigative interview like the one of the psychologist. Coaches do not cure mental issues or discomfort, that is the task of other types of professionals.
So how does a coach work? Coaches welcome the client where they are ‘in the present moment’, in the present, and they partner with them towards their results, towards the future, towards the goals that the clients wish to obtain. In addition to the many skills that the coach needs to develop, the ability to partner with clients in a thought-provoking creative process is essential.
On the other side, coaching clients have to be curious, open to a collaborative dialogue and ready to take responsibility for their own results.
Another element that differentiates coaching from the psychological approach is the following: coaching is a partnership that has a start date and an end date of the whole coaching engagement, it takes place in a predefined number of sessions and in coaching the objectives must be clear since the beginning.
Since the first meeting the clients works shoulder to shoulder with their coach to discover and access all the needed resources and talents to achieve the desired results. Coaching is all about awareness and it involves a full participation with work and action on the client’s side. In a professional coaching program an action plan is always created by the clients with the support of the coach, and this allows the individuals to concretely move towards their goals, thus transforming their life into reality.
If you want to learn more about the our coaching specific training and mentoring programs, that are fully aligned with the ICF Standards, please get in touch with us and book a free chat with our Trainers. We’d be very happy to meet you and let you know more about the journey to set up your professional coaching business! Book a free meeting here https://epicoaching.academy/contact/