ICF Core Competency: Co-creating the Relationship – Coaching Presence

The second point under Co-Creating the Relationship is Coaching Presence.

4. Coaching Presence – Ability to be fully conscious and create spontaneous relationship with the client, employing a style that is open, flexible and confident.

  1. Is present and flexible during the coaching process, dancing in the moment.
  2. Accesses own intuition and trusts one’s inner knowing—”goes with the gut.”
  3. Is open to not knowing and takes risks.
  4. Sees many ways to work with the client and chooses in the moment what is most effective.
  5. Uses humor effectively to create lightness and energy.
  6. Confidently shifts perspectives and experiments with new possibilities for own action.
  7. Demonstrates confidence in working with strong emotions and can self-manage and not be overpowered or enmeshed by client’s emotions.

Retrieved from ICF Core Coaching Competencies.

I like to think of coaching presence as similar to “mind like water” and “mind like the moon”  in Karate or martial arts.

The first metaphor of “mind like water” (“mizo no kokoro” or “mushin“) refers to “quieting one’s mind to the point that it resembles a still pond of water without a single ripple or wave of distracting mental activity. In this state, the surface of the water reflects a clear and perfectly undistorted image of the surroundings, like a mirror.”

The second metaphor of “mind like the moon” (“tsuki no kokoro” or “zanshin“) “describes an acute state of non-analytical alertness or global awareness wherein the mind observes every detail, just as the moon shines on everything
without prejudice or preference, and remains unaffected by what it illuminates.”

The metaphor of “dancing in the moment” for coaching presence is spot on.

Retrieved from Mushin and Zanshin.

Click here to see the 11 ICF Core Coaching Competencies in this blog.

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