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The competences for coaching and counselling

NB: In this section, wherever only the term ‘coach’ is used, ‘counsellor’ can also be read.

The mission of the ACC is “creating awareness”. We strive for a world in which people have a positive attitude to life and use their talents to get the best out of themselves and others. That is why we focus on (awareness of) your personal mission and talent development in our training programmes. What is your personal goal and what do you have as a human being to get the most out of yourself? And how can you use those talents again to get the best out of others?

At the ACC we believe it to be essential for a professional coach/counsellor continuously develop its skills throughout his life as a person and as a professional. As far as we are concerned, this includes the following two competences:

1. Self-insight

The coach is aware of his/her own values, beliefs and behavior, knows how these influence his way of coaching and uses this self-insight to realize the goals of his clients and, where applicable, the client in the most effective way. The coach reflects on himself and his (professional) actions by means of intervision, supervision or peer consultation.

2. Focus on self-development

The coach examines and improves his / her own level of work and maintains the reputation of the profession. He ensures that he acts according to the latest insights of the profession and makes every effort to continue to develop as a person and as a professional.

Eleven competencies for counselling / coaching

In addition to these two competences, which are about the personal development of the coach, we use the following eleven competencies that serve as a starting point for doing your work as a coach/ counsellor well. The core competences are grouped into four clusters that form a logical whole. The clusters and the individual competencies within them are all equally important, so the list does not prioritize. Every competent coach must have all core competencies. During the course, these competences and skills are regularly considered and worked on, so that you master them after completing the course.

Cluster A. Laying the foundation

Competence 1: Respect ethical guidelines and act according to professional standards

The coach complies with ethical guidelines and professional standards. He understands the coaching ethics and standards and applies them in all coaching situations. The coach is not an advisor or therapist. He knows the limits of his profession and refers to another professional where necessary.

Competence 2: Establish the coach agreement

The coach knows what is needed in a coaching interaction. He establishes and complies with the expectations and limits of the coach agreement with the client and, where applicable, with the client. He sets goals for the entire coaching process, as well as per session, and keeps the focus on this.

Cluster B. Shaping the relationship together

Competence 3: Building a relationship of trust with the client

The coach can build a fruitful relationship with the client. He has the ability to create a safe, supportive environment in which there is mutual respect and trust. The coach establishes a strong foundation for collaboration with the client. Core concepts are integrity, respect, confidentiality and support. The coach always treats the client with unconditional positive regard.

Competence 4: Having a “coaching presence”: being a true coach

The coach is fully aware and has the flexibility to adapt his coaching style to the needs of the client. The coach can create a spontaneous relationship with customers, with a style that is open, flexible, authentic and confident. The coach is curious, trusts his intuition, dares to experiment and uses humor.

Cluster C. Communicate effectively

Competence 5: Active listening

The coach has the ability to focus on what the client says and does not say (verbal and non-verbal communication). He understands the meaning of what the client is saying and can interpret it in the context of the client’s request for help. He helps the client interpret his story, instead of getting caught up in the story. In addition, he supports the client in his self-expression.

Competence 6: Asking effective questions

The coach asks questions that provide the information that maximally serves both the client and the coach relationship. The coach asks questions that lead to new insights and that help the client move forward. These are clear, direct and open questions that start with “what” and “how”.

Competence 7: Communicate directly

The coach has the ability to communicate effectively during coaching sessions and to use language that has the greatest positive impact on the client. He uses clear language and is direct in his questions, observations and feedback. The coach adapts his language to the client and, where necessary, uses metaphors and analogies to provide the client with insights.

Cluster D. Promote the learning process and achieve results

Competence 8: Creating awareness

The coach has the ability to integrate and accurately evaluate various sources of information. He helps the client to increase his awareness and thereby achieve the agreed results. He looks beyond the direct goal, but helps the client to explore and discover in order to increase his perspective, learn and grow. He focuses on the talents and strength of the client. He searches for the connection between what is said and what is done.

Competence 9: Developing actions

Together with the client, the coach creates opportunities to continue to learn, during coaching and in daily life, and to take new actions that most effectively lead to the agreed coaching results.

Competence 10: Formulate objectives and plans

Together with the client, the coach draws up an effective coaching plan and monitors progress. The coach is aware of this and attunes to the request for help, the learning style, the pace and the degree of involvement of the client. He focuses on success factors that are important to the client.

Competence 11: Promote client progress and responsibility

The coach keeps his attention on what is important to the client and leaves the responsibility for taking action with the client. He remains focused on what is important to the client, but does not take over responsibility for his process.

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