What is at the core of what we do as coaches?
One of the most exciting parts of being a coach is the realization that what we do goes beyond the routine of making a living. Coaching is a celebration of humanity. It is a tool that supports our clients to integrate, to live their lives, and build their organizations in integrity and authenticity.
Coaching came to be as a formalized profession out of a cry from the corporate world – a realization that the traditional way of work, where we were asked to keep our personal lives in the parking lot, is unsustainable, inhumane, and ultimately unproductive.
Just recently, the ICF released a revision of their Core Values. This comes out of the same effort to update their Core Competencies, Code of Ethics, PCC Markers, and certification process. It is a demonstration of the commitment the organization has to the ongoing evolution, growth, and professionalism of coaching worldwide.
As expected, the Core Values are simple but powerful. And they accurately speak to the core nature of coaching.
A commitment to a coaching mindset and professional quality that encompass responsibility, respect, integrity, competence, and excellence.
A commitment to develop social connection and community building.
A commitment to being humane, kind, compassionate, and respectful towards others.
A commitment to use a coaching mindset to explore and understand the needs of others so I can practice equitable processes at all times that create equality for all.
We couldn’t be more proud of these statements. They truly express what is at the core of what we do.
As coaches, we have a commitment to bring our best to our clients. We strive to grow, to stay current, and to evolve. We strive to bring a level of excellence to everything we do. It is a question of integrity and true respect for the trust our clients put in us every day.
Just like I mentioned a few months ago in another blog post, we are a group of professionals that can only truly thrive in community. It is together that we are strong. It is by sharing that we learn. As humans, we are social beings and collaboration is a matter of survival. It can never be “us and them”. Our efforts are around unity, generosity, and living by sharing and giving.
That is being human – and at the core, this is what we do. Our job is to support our clients to be even more connected to their humanity, to recognize who they truly are and live from that place. Therefore, it is imperative that we pledge to be kind and compassionate, not only in words but in how we show up every day.
We believe in the value of every individual. We believe in the resourcefulness and potential of every person and every client. Regardless of their background or whatever shape and form they come with, we operate from the principle of respect and honor. This requires a level of self-awareness on our part and a commitment to challenge our own biases, limited points of view, prejudices, and even subtle acts of discrimination, to make sure we are open, flexible, and ready to learn from each other.
As we look at these Core Values, it is important to remember that coaching is not just what we do. Coaching is who we are. And this is not just a catchy phrase, but the raw reality of this profession. There is no way we can possibly be effective if we are not truly committed to growing through and embracing these ideals.
As a mentor coach, I am always giving feedback to my students and mentees helping them develop their coaching skills and prepare for their certification with the ICF. ForCoaches is a place where I can publicly share some of my insights and experiences. What does it mean to be a truly effective coach?