Coacharya Coaching Competencies

Nov 19, 2019

Coacharya Coaching Competencies

International Coaching Federation, European Mentoring & Coaching Council, and Center for Credentialing Education, as globally renowned coach credentialing institutions, all have different competency frameworks. They are not in agreement about how to define coaching ethics, and in listing coaching competencies. Coacharya would like to attempt to align and integrate the wisdom of these global bodies to serve the coaching community better. (You can download all of them, including what’s below, here.)

Coacharya looks at ethics in coaching not as a competency, but as the bedrock for the coach to build the practice. We go back to Carl Rogers, integrating his wisdom with modern-day inputs of Organizational Development and a systemic approach. 

Our definition of ethics in coaching includes: 

  • Client centricity through:
    • Unconditional positive regard to client
    • Being authentic, self-aware, and congruent with integrity
    • Generative, empathetic approach to client in thought, emotion, language and action
  • Sensitivity to client culture through:
    • Respect for diversity
    • Spirit of inclusion
  • Systemic approach:
    • Dealing with client as part of a larger system
    • Bringing in all stakeholder views and voices
  • Differentiating coaching as a process of self-awareness creation by:
    • Distinguishing coaching in the spectrum of telling to asking, and past to future, as the space of asking and growth-oriented future
    • Referring clients to experts if approaches need to be different
  • Leadership development:
    • Aligning coaching with leadership development at the individual, team and institutional levels

Coacharya looks at coaching competencies in a taxonomy framework of:

  1. Learning frameworks and concepts
  2. Understanding through questioning
  3. Applying to anchor understanding 
  4. Connecting and integrating constituent elements to form a whole
  5. Evaluating and refining based on feedback
  6. Creating new approaches based on learning and growth

Within this framework, the following key competencies are critical to coaching. The word “client” includes team, stakeholders and organization contextually.

  1. Self-realization to understand, discover and evolve
    1. Coach’s purpose in working with the client 
    2. Emotional and spiritual intelligence
    3. Self-reflective practice of self-coaching 
    4. Continuous and purposeful professional development
    5. Responsibility to the ecosystem 
  2. Co-create client vision in the journey and in the session
    1. Agreement with client and stakeholders on ethical, commercial and coaching objectives in the journey
    2. Roles and responsibilities of each person involved
    3. Agree on the measurement of desired objectives and how to monitor
    4. Coach-client agreement on the desired outcome of the session, including how to evidence, the value of the underlying outcome, and possible barriers to explore
    5. Staying with the client to desired outcome through evoking awareness and following through action
  3. Psychological safety and presence
    1. Understand, respect, acknowledge and appreciate where the client is coming from, the experience, context, culture, values, beliefs through body expressions, emotions, thoughts whether expressed in words or not, and actions
    2. Stay absent in ego to create presence, trust and safety
    3. Be curious, not knowing, allowing client to reflect, express and expand in coach’s silence
    4. Share what is observed, and what is sensed in intuition non-judgmentally inquiring how this may shift client mind to move towards desired outcome
    5. Partner client in empathy, generatively and with deep respect to client strengths as well as needs and developmental areas
  4. Communication to communion
    1. View the client holistically, who the client is, what situation client is in and where client wishes to go, with empathy and respect and inquire on growth in the journey
    2. Observe and share with respect and empathy what is sensed in client words as well nonverbal expressions through the body, feelings, voice and energy
    3. Explore humbly and curiously, not knowing, the present moment experience of the client’s mind on how the client wishes to move towards desired outcome
    4. Connect the dots of what client expresses to discern a pattern to support client growth
  5. Create learning, awareness and growth
    1. Be creative in language through metaphors, humor, stories and visualization to make client comfortable and expand in awareness towards desired outcome
    2. Challenge client’s world view, values and assumptions respectfully and in empathy to help client reframe limiting beliefs as perceived
    3. Invite the client to move beyond current perspective in terms of what is possible based on current reality, to develop a long term vision that supports desired outcome
    4. Partner the client to express fully, emotionally and energetically, to let go internal blocks
    5. Support client through sharing coach’s own intuitive, nonjudgmental reflections to create learning and forward movement
  6. Initiate accountable action
    1. Establish if the client has the awareness to create their desired outcome
    2. Partner the client to create the future plan of what, how, when, where and with whom, in moving to desired outcome with motivation 
    3. Explore to anticipate potential blocks to create possible support systems
    4. Inquire how this outcome as achieved can help the client grow further in work and life, along with stakeholders
    5. Invite the client to reflect on progress in the session and appreciatively close the session.
  7. Seek feedback, evaluate, refine and evolve
    1. Invite the client to action-learn between sessions and set up a feedback feed-forward system for accountability
    2. Invite stakeholders to provide supportive feedback
    3. Partner client based on feedback to revise outcomes as needed, and approaches as needed
    4. Ensure that client receives what was expected
  8. Coaching individuals and teams systemically
    1. While coaching individuals, involve stakeholders to help establish vision and goals and seek continuous feedback
    2. Partner client in looking at goals and current reality through systemic lens
    3. While engaged in systemic teamwork focus of creating an emotionally bonded team to co-create shared vision and movement to collaborative action
    4. Align lenses, goals, and vision of the organization with individuals through their teams, to help break silos down
Smita Raghum
Smita Raghum


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