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  • Writer's pictureTodd Roache

For coaches who don't like using (but think they have to use) tools/models: consider 'competencies'

Updated: Mar 19, 2021

(I seem to have written a version of this as well as video'd one - so choose what suits!)

An offering for coaches who don’t like using tools and models but think that’s the measure of good coaching: consider ‘competencies’ instead, e,g the ICF (International Coach Federation) ‘Core ‘Competencies’.

The ICF have spent x amount of decades figuring out what makes for effective coaching, and nowhere in their list of competencies are there tools or models in the sense of particular processes or structures to follow eg A-F imported from CBT.

In my sense of things:

Competencies are like Coaching 101 – the plain simple bread, the fundamental coaching frameworks that hold things together and make coaching ‘work’.

Tools and models are the additional raisins and chocolate bits you add to the bread and which need to exist in some kind of coaching framework – which the competencies provide. You can’t just start hammering a client on the head with a tool the minute they walk in the door – the tools are contained within the coaching conversation – and the skills of that coaching conversation are bought to life in the competencies.

So to conclude on my tenuous bread metaphor lol– you don’t *have* to add tools to bake a good coaching loaf! It depends on what kind of coaching bread you want to bake!

Some other points to consider:

· An allegiance to external tools can ‘cover up’ or move attention/use and trust away from the greatest coaching tool you’ll ever have – YOU! (Your presence, listening, intuition etc ..)

· It may be that you don’t like using the tools because you haven’t yet got the ‘headroom’ on the basic coaching 101 competencies, and therefore tools become an extra complication/confusion/burden to your comfort and flow with coaching. Point being just because you don’t like using them now, doesn’t mean you’ll always not like using them. Who knows how the ‘you of the future’ will develop as a coach. (Not that you ever have to us tools though – to be clear).

· If you love using tools – yay! If they’re working for you and the client, it ain’t broke. I feel like some coaches take to them more than others, and it’s not a better/worse thing – it’s just a reflection of the fact that we are all different.

· More could be said on all this – but that’s all for now! : )

Watch the video for more nuance and illumination on this : )

click here to explore 1-1 and group supervision

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