Have you seen the new Team Coaching Competencies by the ICF? Recently, I was mentoring a coach for their ICF credential and they hadn’t seen the ICF Team Coaching Competences, so today on the journal I wanted to share them.
What is Team Coaching?
As I am currently credentialed with the ICF, I am going to be referring to team coaching in relation to the ICF Team Coaching Competencies. The ICF defines Team Coaching as –
“partnering in a co-creative and reflective process with a team and its dynamics and relationships in a way that inspires them to maximize their abilities and potential in order to reach their common purpose and shared goals.”
It is important to also note, that team coaching is different from team mentoring and team consulting. Yes there is some overlap between each of these areas, however there is also some key differences. Our focus for this article is team coaching 🙂
What is the Intention Behind the ICF Team Coaching Competencies?
As I see it, the team coaching competencies have been created to support team coach practitioners serve and support their clients. However, as I do not work for the ICF it is important to refer to them and they indicate –
“The ICF Team Coaching Competencies support a team coach practitioner in understanding the distinct knowledge, skills, and tasks required for working with teams. At the core of this practice, however, remains the ICF Core Competencies, which provide the foundation for all coaching practice.”
The Similarities and Differences Between the ICF Core Competencies and the ICF Team Coaching Competencies
The main difference between the ICF Core Competencies and the ICF Team Coaching Competencies is the nature of the client. In the ICF Core Competencies, the term “client” mainly refers to an individual. However, with the ICF Team Coaching Competencies, the “client” is a team as a single entity, comprising more than one individuals. Subsequently, the language of the competencies vary as follows –
Competency 1: Demonstrates Ethical Practice
Definition: Understands and consistently applies coaching ethics and standards of coaching.
- Coaches the client team as a single entity,
- Maintains the distinction between team coaching, team building, team training, team consulting, team mentoring, team facilitation, and other team development modalities,
- Demonstrates the knowledge and skill needed to practice the specific blend of team development modalities that are being offered,
- Adopts more directive team development modalities only when needed to help the team achieve their goals, and
- Maintains trust, transparency, and clarity when fulfilling multiple roles related to team coaching.
Competency 2: Embodies a Coaching Mindset
Definition: Develops and maintains a mindset that is open, curious, flexible and client-centered.
- Engages in coaching supervision for support, development, and accountability when needed, and
- Remains objective and aware of team dynamics and patterns.
Competency 3: Establishes and Maintains Agreements
Definition: 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.
- Explains what team coaching is and is not, including how it differs from other team development modalities,
- Partners with all relevant parties, including the team leader, team members, stakeholders, and any co-coaches to collaboratively create clear agreements about the coaching relationship, processes, plans, development modalities, and goals, and
- Partners with the team leader to determine how ownership of the coaching process will be shared among the coach, leader, and team.
Competency 4: Cultivates Trust and Safety
Definition: 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.
- Creates and maintains a safe space for open and honest team member interaction,
- Promotes the team viewing itself as a single entity with a common identity,
- Fosters expression of individual team members’ and the collective team’s feelings, perceptions, concerns, beliefs, hopes, and suggestions,
- Encourages participation and contribution by all team members,
- Partners with the team to develop, maintain, and reflect on team rules and norms,
- Promotes effective communication within the team, and
- Partners with the team to identify and resolve internal conflict.
Competency 5: Maintains Presence
Definition: Is fully conscious and present with the client, employing a style that is open, flexible, grounded and confident.
- Uses one’s full range of sensory and perceptual abilities to focus on what is important to the coaching process,
- Uses a co-coach when agreed to by the team and sponsors and when doing so will allow the team coach to be more present in the team coaching session,
- Encourages team members to pause and reflect how they are interacting in team coaching sessions, and
- Moves in and out of the team dialogue as appropriate.
Competency 6: Listens Actively
Definition: 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.
- Notices how the perspectives shared by each team member relate to other team members’ views and the team dialogue,
- Notices how each team member impacts the collective team energy, engagement, and focus,
- Notices verbal and non-verbal communication patterns among team members to identify potential alliances, conflicts, and growth opportunities,
- Models confident, effective communication and collaboration when working with a co-coach or other experts, and
- Encourages the team to own the dialogue.
Competency 7: Evokes Awareness
Definition: Facilitates client insight and learning by using tools and techniques such as powerful questioning, silence, metaphor or analogy.
- Challenges the team’s assumptions, behaviours, and meaning-making processes to enhance their collective awareness or insight, and
- Uses questions and other techniques to foster team development and facilitate the team’s ownership of their collective dialogue.
Competency 8: Facilitates Client Growth
Definition: Partners with the client to transform learning and insight into action. Promotes client autonomy in the coaching process.
- Encourages dialogue and reflection to help the team identify their goals and the steps to achieve those goals.
Over to You…
I hope that has given you some insight in to the ICF Team Coaching Competencies. If you would like to read more about them, please go to the ICF website here or if you are interested in ICF Mentoring, please contact me here. Also – any questions, please ask them below 🙂
The Updated ICF Core Competencies were released in November 2019. The ICF Core Competencies were developed
“to support greater understanding about the skills and approaches used within today’s coaching profession as defined by ICF.”
How Have the ICF Core Competencies Changed?
The Core Competencies have changed with –
- Competencies 1 and 2: focused on “the Being of the Coach”,
- Competencies 3 – 8: focused on “the Doing of Coaching”,
Competency 1 and 2: “The Being of the Coach” –
These competencies relate to how the coach shows up and their “being” and includes:
1. Demonstrates Ethical Practice: Understands and consistently applies coaching ethics and standards of coaching.
The language has changed from the old model of Meeting Ethical Guidelines and Professional Standards to Demonstrates Ethical Practice. This is the core of coaching in many ways.
A few examples of this competency in practise includes – abiding by the ICF Code of Ethics, maintaining the distinctions between coaching, consulting, psychotherapy and other support professions as well as referring clients to other professionals when required.
2. Embodies a Coaching Mindset: Develops and maintains a mindset that is open, curious, flexible and client-centered.
Embodies a coaching mindset is a new competency. However, this does relate to some aspects of the older competencies. Some examples of this new competency includes – acknowledging that the clients are responsible for their own choices, seeking help from others’ when required and developing ongoing learning and reflective practise.
Competency 3-8: “The Doing of Coaching” –
These competencies relate more to the direct work coach’s do through individual coaching sessions. The competencies are –
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.
This competency has evolved from the previous one of Establishing the Coaching Agreement. Now this competency relates to the coach sharing about what coaching is and what it isn’t. As well as reaching agreement about the coaching relationship (i.e. logistics, fees, scheduling, duration, termination, confidentiality and inclusion of others) and determining client-coach compatibility. There are also other attributes and you can find these here.
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.
The competency in the previous model was Establishing Trust and Intimacy with the Client and is now Cultivates Trust and Safety. As you can hear in the video here, the competency has been revised to clarify the intent behind the competency and also translate across different cultures (especially in relation to the word intimacy).
Some examples of the aspects within this competency include demonstrating respect for the client’s identity, perceptions, style and language and adapting it to coaching the client as well as showing support, empathy and concern for the client.
5. Maintains Presence: Is fully conscious and present with the client, employing a style that is open, flexible, grounded and confident.
In the previous model it was Competency number 4 (Coaching Presence) and has evolved to Maintains Presence. Some examples of aspects within this competency include – managing emotions and staying present and grounded with the client, being comfortable working in the space of not knowing and also creating and/or allowing space for silence, pause or reflection.
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.
This competency relates to the previous Active Listening competency (number 5). A couple of examples of this competency relates to noticing, acknowledging and exploring the client’s emotions, energy shifts, non-verbal cues or other behaviours as well as noticing trends in the client behaviours and emotions across coaching sessions.
7. Evokes Awareness: Facilitates client insight and learning by using tools and techniques such as powerful questioning, silence, metaphor or analogy.
Evokes awareness combines the previous competencies 6-8 (Powerful Questioning, Direct Communication and Creating Awareness). This competency identifies what the coach does to evoke awareness within the client.
Some examples of what the coach does includes – asking questions about the client in relation to their way of thinking, values, needs and beliefs as well as adjusting the coaching approach in response to the client.
8. Facilitates Client Growth: Partners with the client to transform learning and insight into action. Promotes client autonomy in the coaching process.
Facilitates Client Growth combines the previous competencies 9-11 (Designing Actions, Planning and Goal Setting and Managing Progress and Accountability). This revised competency connects all of these elements in a more succinct way.
A couple of examples of this competency include working with the client to integrate new awareness, insight or learning into their worldview and behaviours as well as celebrating the clients successes and progress.
Are You an ICF Coach?
To support the ICF Coaching Community transition to the new core competencies, the ICF prepared a webinar. You can access the webinar here or go to the ICF Page here and scroll down the bottom.
Over to You…
I hope this post has helped you to see the changes in relation to the ICF Core Competencies. If you have any questions, please let me know. Also – if you are looking for an ICF Mentor Coach, please click here to find out more. I have also created a Coach’s Business Starter Toolkit here.
Recently I have had the question on mentor coaching and coaching supervision. Subsequently, in this post I wanted to elaborate on the difference between mentor coaching and coaching supervision.
Also – please note, as I am a currently an International Coaching Federation (ICF) Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and also an ICF Mentor Coach, I am going to be referring to these from the ICF space as that is whom I align with. Subsequently, in this post I will discuss –
- What is Mentor Coaching?
- What is Coaching Supervision?
- The Difference Between Mentor Coaching and Coaching Supervision.
What is Mentor Coaching?
According to the International Coaching Federation (ICF), Mentor Coaching –
“consists of coaching and feedback in a collaborative, appreciative and dialogued process based on an observed or recorded coaching session to increase the coach’s capability in coaching, in alignment with the ICF Core Competencies.”
The purpose of mentor coaching is to provide –
“…professional assistance in achieving and demonstrating the levels of coaching competency and capability demanded by the desired credential level.”
Before choosing a mentor coach for an ICF credential, you may like to read more about Mentor Coaching on the ICF website here and also check the ICF’s list of Mentor Coach’s on their website here.
What is Coaching Supervision?
The ICF is very clear on Coaching Supervision and it states that it is –
“…a collaborative learning practice to continually build the capacity of the coach through reflective dialogue for the benefit of both coaches and clients.
Coaching Supervision focuses on the development of the coach’s capacity through offering a richer and broader opportunity for support and development. Coaching Supervision creates a safe environment for the coach to share their successes and failures in becoming masterful in the way they work with their clients.”
You can read more about what the ICF says about Coaching Supervision here on their website. Also, there is a nice one-pager here.
So, What’s the Difference Between Mentor Coaching and Coaching Supervision?
As I was writing this, I was identifying my own differences and then I found what the ICF wrote here. The difference between Mentor Coaching and Coaching Supervision is that –
“A Mentor Coach primarily supports a coach in achieving the levels of coaching competency and building skills in the Core Competencies. Coaching Supervision offers a coach a richer and broader opportunity for support and development. In Coaching Supervision, there may be a greater focus on reflective practice and the being of the coach. Coaching Supervision provides a wide-angled lens to review one’s coaching practice with a fellow practitioner.”
Over to You…
I hope this has given you some insight in to Mentor Coaching and Coaching Supervision. If you have any questions, please let me know. Also – please make sure you refer back to the ICF website for more information. Please ask any further questions below 🙂
We also have the Coach’s Business Starter Toolkit as well, that helps coach’s develop their own systems and processes in their coaching business. Details are here.
In October 2020, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) released an updated version of their Professional Certified Coach (PCC) Markers. The PCC Markers are now aligned with the new ICF Core Competency Model that was released in November 2019.
The PCC Markers represent the behaviours that a coach at the PCC level engages in. The ICF has three levels of Coaching –
A Snippet on the Evolution of the PCC Markers
To start with, the PCC Markers were used as assessment markers. This helped an Assessor listen and determine what ICF Core Competencies were evident and to what extent. However, I have also found the PCC Markers useful as an ICF Mentor Coach. I have used them as I support clients to grow from an ACC to a PCC in relation to their skills and what they are wanting to grow and focus on.
Also, one main difference from the current PCC markers to the updated ones, is that they have shifted from 47 to 37 markers. However, this is more an evolution rather than a revolution. With the decrease in competencies, they became more streamlined, cohesive as well as a greater consistency in language. The new markers also have translations in French, German, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish and they can be downloaded from here.
If you have any questions, on the updated PCC and how I use them in the ICF Mentor Coaching I provide, please let me know. However, if you have further questions on the updated PCC Markers, please go to the ICF website here.
Coaching and mentoring are a little different, however many people use these words interchangeably. Subsequently, today I wanted to discuss –
- What is Coaching?
- What Coaching is NOT!
- Some Definitions on Mentoring,
- The Differences and Similarities Between Coaching and Mentoring
Let’s get started…
What is Coaching?
The International Coach Federation (ICF) refers to coaching as
“partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”
Coaching recognises the client as the expert in their own world (personal and professional) and knows every person is creative, resourceful, and whole.
Basically the coaching process is about identifying where you are now, where you would like to be and then close that gap. The coach does this through –
- discovering, clarifying, and aligning with where the client wants to be,
- encouraging self-discovery and trust within themselves,
- eliciting client-generated solutions and strategies,
- keeping the client accountable and ensuring they are taking responsibility for themselves
- providing support to the client.
What Coaching is NOT!
Coaching is not –
- a quick-fix, one size fits all approach for your current challenges (as we are all unique),
- therapy or counseling (please seek a licensed medical professional if this is what you need),
- about giving you advice (you are the expert in your own life),
- financial advising or estate planning (again please seek a licensed practitioner if this is what you require).
Some Definitions on Mentoring…
There are a number of definitions of mentoring, including –
- “someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person” ~ Merriam-Webster Dictionary
- “An experienced person in a company or educational institution who trains and counsels new employees or students.” ~ Oxford Dictionary
- “a person who gives a younger or less experienced person help and advice over a period of time, especially at work or school.” ~ Cambridge Dictionary
- “(in business) the practice of assigning a junior member of staff to the care of a more experienced person who assists him in his career” ~ Dictionary.com
- “Mentoring involves primarily listening with empathy, sharing experience (usually mutually), professional friendship, developing insight through reflection, being a sounding board, encouraging” ~ David Clutterbuck
The Similarities and Differences Between Coaching and Mentoring
There are quite a few differences between coaching and mentoring. As this is a question many clients ask, I decided to investigate further for them. The following table identifies the differences and similarities between coaching and mentoring –
How would you summarise the difference? Maybe it can be summarised as follows:
“A coach has some great questions for your answers; a mentor has some great answers for your questions.”
Over to You…
I hope this post has given you some insight in to the differences between coaching and mentoring. What do you think? Are there any other differences or similarities you would add? If so, feel free to add them below 🙂 Also – if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below as well.
We also have the Coach’s Business Starter Toolkit as well, that helps coach’s develop their own systems and processes in their coaching business. Details are here.
Palmer, S., & Whybrow, A. (2009). Handbook of Coaching Psychology – A Guide for Practitioners. New York, USA: Routledge.
Passmore, J. (2006). Excellence in Coaching – The Industry Guide. London, United Kingdom: Kogan Page.