Coaching

Coaching is partnering with a person, team, or organization (client) in a creative process to help the client to reach their goals by unlocking their own potential and understanding. A coach is able to accept the client as a whole, creative, and competent person, and serve their agenda ethically.

There are many different definitions of coaching, for example Whitmore, J. (1992), simply states: 

 

“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.” 

 

When working with an individual or system we are helping them move forward in some way, helping them grow. Coaching people and systems are professions in their own right, and we encourage you to dig deeper into coaching, as a profession, using the links provided in the resource section. There are professional bodies, such as the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC), which support the overall principles of professional coaching. 

 

Someone using Agile Coaching practices needs a strong foundation in coaching as the client often needs someone to create a constructive space in which they can broaden and deepen their thinking to where they need to go. An important aspect of using coaching practices is to understand when/when not to use a coaching approach.

 

Coaching Mindset

Being a Coach, you will have the beliefs, values and attitudes that allow you to take a coaching stance and work effectively with both individuals and systems. It can be difficult for beginners to enter a coaching stance as you must often let go of skills and behaviors that have made you an expert. Below is a list of some attitudes and beliefs that a great coach will hold when taking a coaching stance:

 

  • Coachee Focus – Develop and maintain a mindset that is authentic, open, curious, flexible and honoring the clients agenda. 
    • Authenticity – You behave in an ethical way and have a strong belief and values system that holds the client in a non-judgemental and safe space.
    • Learning – You recognise that learning is an important part of the development process as a coach. 
    • Enabling – You develop their own skills to enable the client to learn and gain insight. 
 
  • Belief in the Client – the client is capable and whole and growth is possible. Clients are capable of achieving their own goals, and not in need of “fixing”.
    • Neutrality – You respect the client’s perspective and their needs without judgment. You do not influence, and instead hold the clients agenda. You reduce client dependence, work to enable the client to move forward independently. 
    • Adaptability – You are willing to let go of judgment and adapt to what the client needs in the moment. 
    • Learning – You believe that others learn best for themselves. People are naturally resourceful and whole with unlimited potential. They come to work to do the best they can and do not need rescuing from the decisions they make. 
 

Competency Level Definitions:

1 Beginner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Beginner
Coachee Focus
  • Define what coaching ethics means to them.
  • Explain what Physiological safety is and why it is important.
  • Recognize the power of coaching and the impact of coaching for themselves.
Belief in the Client 
  • Recognize that growth is possible and people are naturally creative, resourceful, whole and have unlimited potential.
  • Recognize that a coaching conversation is for the purpose of helping a client deepen/broaden their thinking and to enable growth.
  • Understand the importance of the client leading the direction of the conversation.

Advanced Beginner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Advanced Beginner  
Coachee Focus
  • Apply coaching ethics when coaching.
  • Demonstrate the power of coaching by having regular coaching yourself.
  • Able to let the client set the agenda.
Belief in the Client 
  • Able to focus on the clients agenda, believe that your clients are naturally creative, resourceful, whole and have unlimited potential. Therefore, they have the means to solve their own challenges.
  • Able to help the client create opportunities for learning and for taking new actions. Helps them explore alternatives, promotes experimentation and self-discovery, celebrates successes and capabilities, helps “do it now”.

Practitioner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Practitioner  
Coachee Focus
  • Apply coaching ethics as part of their everyday life.
  • Demonstrate the power of coaching by having regular coaching supervision or peer support.
  • Able to suspend judgment in regards to the clients perspective and their needs.
Belief in the Client 
  • Model unconditional positive regard, assume positive intent, people are always doing the best they can. 
  • Demonstrate the ability to help clients to believe in their potential and ability to change.
  • Able to enable the client to move forward independently.
Guide
4 Guide  
Guide level guidance will be provided in a future update.
Catalyst
5 Catalyst  
Catalyst level guidance will be provided in a future update.

1 Beginner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Advanced Beginner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Practitioner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Guide

5 Catalyst

Coachee Focus
  • Define what coaching ethics means to them.
  • Explain what Physiological safety is and why it is important.
  • Recognize the power of coaching and the impact of coaching for themselves.
Belief in the Client 
  • Recognize that growth is possible and people are naturally creative, resourceful, whole and have unlimited potential.
  • Recognize that a coaching conversation is for the purpose of helping a client deepen/broaden their thinking and to enable growth.
  • Understand the importance of the client leading the direction of the conversation.
Coachee Focus
  • Apply coaching ethics when coaching.
  • Demonstrate the power of coaching by having regular coaching yourself.
  • Able to let the client set the agenda.
Belief in the Client 
  • Able to focus on the clients agenda, believe that your clients are naturally creative, resourceful, whole and have unlimited potential. Therefore, they have the means to solve their own challenges.
  • Able to help the client create opportunities for learning and for taking new actions. Helps them explore alternatives, promotes experimentation and self-discovery, celebrates successes and capabilities, helps “do it now”.
Coachee Focus
  • Apply coaching ethics as part of their everyday life.
  • Demonstrate the power of coaching by having regular coaching supervision or peer support.
  • Able to suspend judgment in regards to the clients perspective and their needs.
Belief in the Client 
  • Model unconditional positive regard, assume positive intent, people are always doing the best they can. 
  • Demonstrate the ability to help clients to believe in their potential and ability to change.
  • Able to enable the client to move forward independently.

Guide level guidance will be provided in a future update.

Catalyst level guidance will be provided in a future update.

 

Coaching Skills

To be a successful coach is more than just adopting the right mindset. Coaching models leverage specific skills and capabilities that allow the coach to help the client deepen their thinking to where they need to go. Coaching skills are foundational techniques that you as a Coach can apply regardless of if you are working with an individual, a team, or an organization.

There are a number of different approaches to one on one coaching, each of which may contain different models, practices, and tools that can help a coach given different contexts. Whichever tools a coach uses, they must co-create an effective relationship with the client and leverage their communication skills to cultivate learning and growth.

Coaching Systems looks at skills associated with coaching beyond individuals working with groups and relationships. There are a number of different approaches to coaching systems, each of which may contain different models, practices, and tools that can help a coach in the context of a system.

Both are included in the following areas:

 

  • Co-creates the Relationship
    • Cultivates Trust and Safety – You partner with the client (individual or system) to create a safe, supportive and confidential environment that allows the client to share freely. You maintain a relationship of mutual respect and trust.
    • Maintains Presence – You are fully conscious and present with the client, employing a style that is open, flexible, grounded and confident.
    • Promote psychological safety – You create and maintain an environment of trust where people can share thoughts openly and thinking can be challenged.
  •  
  • Communication Skills
    • Listens actively – You focus on what the client/system is and is not saying to fully understand what is being communicated. 
    • Evokes awareness – You facilitate client insight and learning by using tools and techniques such as powerful questioning, silence, or metaphor.
 
  • Tools, Techniques and Approaches – You are aware of a number of Tools, Techniques and Approaches and know when to apply them in service of the client. 
 

Competency Level Definitions:

1 Beginner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Beginner
Co-creates the Relationship
  • Understand the importance of a coaching contract, and what it should contain. (e.g. role of the coach, duration, expectations, feedback, responsibilities).
  • Recognize confidentiality as a basis for the coaching conversation.
Communication Skills
  • Understand the importance that listening plays in good communication.
Tools, Techniques and Approaches
  • Explain at least one coaching tool/technique and be aware of the benefits.
  • Understand the importance of using powerful questions and silence to create space for client thinking and expression.

Advanced Beginner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Advanced Beginner  
Co-creates the Relationship
  • Practice partnering with individuals and (the) systems to develop, maintain, and reflect on agreements and goals.
  • Explain how you can encourage individuals and system members to pause and reflect on how they are interacting and behaving in the coaching sessions.
  • Able to formulate a basic coaching agreement and contract.
Communication Skills
  • Explain how to challenge the individuals’ and systems’ assumptions, behaviors, and mindset, to enhance their collective awareness and insight.
  • Recognize a situation in which you would intervene to reorient the conversation and your reasoning to intervene.
  • Able to actively listen, without trying to solve the clients problem some of the time.
Tools, Techniques and Approaches
  • Apply at least three coaching techniques and describe how the coaching technique impacted each interaction.
  • Ask powerful questions for maximum impact, that evoke discovery and insight, challenge assumptions, are open-ended, forward-looking and pre-supposing success. 
  • Apply two or more tools or techniques to support psychological safety in a one on one coaching session

Practitioner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Practitioner  
Co-creates the Relationship
  • Contrast at least 2 methods to develop, maintain, and reflect on agreements and goals with individuals and (the) system(s).
  • Practice intervening in the conversation to reorient it and reflect on which interventions were appropriate.
  • Practice encouraging individuals and system members to pause and reflect on how they are interacting and behaving in the coaching sessions.
Communication Skills
  • Practice at least 3 ways to encourage individuals and the system to own the dialogue.
  • Demonstrate a situation where you intervened to reorient the conversation and your reasoning.
  • Able to actively listen, reflect and mirror body language, words, tone and energy.
Tools, Techniques and Approaches
  • Compare coaching approaches and how they best serve the client.
  • Analyze three coaching tools and how they can be used to help a team grow, explain how you have used one of the tools in the past.
  • Apply two or more tools or techniques to support psychological safety in a systemic coaching session.
Guide
4 Guide  
Guide level guidance will be provided in a future update.
Catalyst
5 Catalyst  
Catalyst level guidance will be provided in a future update.

1 Beginner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advanced Beginner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Practitioner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Guide

5 Catalyst

Co-creates the Relationship
  • Understand the importance of a coaching contract, and what it should contain. (e.g. role of the coach, duration, expectations, feedback, responsibilities).
  • Recognize confidentiality as a basis for the coaching conversation.
Communication Skills
  • Understand the importance that listening plays in good communication.
Tools, Techniques and Approaches
  • Explain at least one coaching tool/technique and be aware of the benefits.
  • Understand the importance of using powerful questions and silence to create space for client thinking and expression.
Co-creates the Relationship
  • Practice partnering with individuals and (the) systems to develop, maintain, and reflect on agreements and goals.
  • Explain how you can encourage individuals and system members to pause and reflect on how they are interacting and behaving in the coaching sessions.
  • Able to formulate a basic coaching agreement and contract.
Communication Skills
  • Explain how to challenge the individuals’ and systems’ assumptions, behaviors, and mindset, to enhance their collective awareness and insight.
  • Recognize a situation in which you would intervene to reorient the conversation and your reasoning to intervene.
  • Able to actively listen, without trying to solve the clients problem some of the time.
Tools, Techniques and Approaches
  • Apply at least three coaching techniques and describe how the coaching technique impacted each interaction.
  • Ask powerful questions for maximum impact, that evoke discovery and insight, challenge assumptions, are open-ended, forward-looking and pre-supposing success. 
  • Apply two or more tools or techniques to support psychological safety in a one on one coaching session
Co-creates the Relationship
  • Contrast at least 2 methods to develop, maintain, and reflect on agreements and goals with individuals and (the) system(s).
  • Practice intervening in the conversation to reorient it and reflect on which interventions were appropriate.
  • Practice encouraging individuals and system members to pause and reflect on how they are interacting and behaving in the coaching sessions.
Communication Skills
  • Practice at least 3 ways to encourage individuals and the system to own the dialogue.
  • Demonstrate a situation where you intervened to reorient the conversation and your reasoning.
  • Able to actively listen, reflect and mirror body language, words, tone and energy.
Tools, Techniques and Approaches
  • Compare coaching approaches and how they best serve the client.
  • Analyze three coaching tools and how they can be used to help a team grow, explain how you have used one of the tools in the past.
  • Apply two or more tools or techniques to support psychological safety in a systemic coaching session.

Guide level guidance will be provided in a future update.

Catalyst level guidance will be provided in a future update.